Ends Feb 25

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Tooting Arts Club)

Members say: Great singing, Great staging, Absorbing, Clever, Great acting
89
Critics
86
56 reviews
Members
90
512 reviews
 

Tooting Arts Club's immersive staging of Sondheim and Wheeler’s iconic musical thriller transfers from London to NYC's Barrow Street Theatre. Now starring Tony nominee Carolee Carmello.

... Read more

After being wrongfully imprisoned by the corrupt Judge Turpin, escapee Benjamin Barker uses the alias Sweeney Todd to resume work in his barber shop above Mrs. Lovett’s struggling pie shop. He swears vengeance against the judge that tore his family apart, and hatches a plot with Mrs. Lovett that leads them down a dangerous, thrilling path with deadly consequences. Instead of a traditional theater setting, this revival is set inside a 360-degree replica environment of Harrington's Pie & Mash shop. The action takes place downstairs on and around the shop’s service counter and four nearby tables. While there is no formal audience participation, certain seats are very close to the players. Pie and mash is served beginning one hour prior to each performance.

 
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Offer valid for all select performances through 11/5/17. All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges. Blackout dates may apply. Telephone and Internet orders are subject to standard service fees. This offer cannot be combined with any other discount and is not applicable to previously purchased tickets. Limit 4 tickets per order. Offer may be modified or revoked at any time without notice.

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Offer valid for all select performances through 11/5/17. All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges. Blackout dates may apply. Telephone and Internet orders are subject to standard service fees. This offer cannot be combined with any other discount and is not applicable to previously purchased tickets. Limit 8 tickets per order. Offer may be modified or revoked at any time without notice.

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Cast & Creatives (22)


Reviews (568)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
86
Avg Score

60
The New York Times

"Delivers on its ingenious, if limited, objective...This 'Sweeney' may raise your pulse rate....Yet unlike almost every previous 'Sweeney' I’ve seen, this one rarely penetrates your heart and mind. What we’re presented with is a self-contained, darkness-steeped spook house. And as with many amusement park entertainments, the jolts it elicits leave few aftershocks...It allows you to squeeze your partner’s arm in delighted anxiety, without paying the price of insomnia to come." Full Review

85
Theatermania

"Carmello is a revelation as Mrs. Lovett, unlocking the comic potential in one terrifyingly determined character...Lewis compensates with a velvety baritone that is able to express all the musical nuances in the score, even when there is nothing nuanced about his acting...Buckhurst's inventive staging makes us believe that any story can be told in any space with enough imagination." Full Review

90
Theatermania

“A thrillingly immersive revival, which takes an already great musical and turns it into a heart-pounding visceral experience…Secomb combines the efficient physicality of a remorseless killer with a truly lovely singing voice…Director Bill Buckhurst excels at drawing out suspense and tension in his staging…Tooting Arts Club's production is full of such memorable surprises. It pulls us into the heart of the story like no other musical playing in New York right now.” Full Review

95
BroadwayWorld

"A chance to see two top-shelf singer/actors, Norm Lewis and Carolee Carmello, transform a production that opened as an amusing Grand Guignol melodrama into a deeply moving and gorgeously sung evening of thrilling musical theatre...Lewis gives full value to Sondheim's music...His Sweeney Todd isn't a madman, but rather an emotionally wounded human driven to madness...Carmello draws you in with her character's absurd self-effacing humor and breaks your heart." Full Review

85
Variety

"The voices of the cast are uniformly robust. Secomb’s piercing glare and growling baritone give the demon barber the kind of sex appeal that makes mincemeat of a lusty lady like Mrs. Lovett...This tight-knit company, some of whom have been with the show since it originated in Tooting, also has a flair for the show’s undercurrents of black humor...All in all, this cheerily gory show is great family fun — if your family happens to be the Munsters." Full Review

85
Time Out New York

"Sondheim and Wheeler’s killer-cannibal musical cuts a fine figure with a mostly new cast...In the title role, Norm Lewis is glum in repose but comes scarily alive when prowling through the audience, and Carolee Carmello is a vicious, hilarious marvel as his amoral and clingy accomplice, Mrs. Lovett. Even if you've seen 'Sweeney' many times already, Carmello makes it worth revisiting: She's giving a meaty, delicously human star performance." Full Review

95
Time Out New York

“This high-concept staging is a bloody wonder…Bill Buckhurst and a hugely talented cast make this site-specific 'Sweeney' seem as natural as pie and mash…In this claustrophobic environment, the horror and madness is palpable…The sonic joys of Sondheim’s richly woven score and the Grand Guignol shocks of this primal tragedy are almost unbearably intense...This thrilling, overwhelming 'Sweeney' is a full-course meal: hot from the oven and dripping blood." Full Review

90
New Yorker

“Sondheim’s mid-career masterpiece…‘Sweeney Todd’ is filled with so much wonder that, especially when you have a cast and a director as talented as those involved in this London import, it can temporarily erase the memory of the cynicism or knowingness that informs so many other current productions..The actors perform without mugging. Their characterizations are organic, and they open Sondheim’s brilliant lyrics up to a new freshness: their interpretations are those of actors, not stars.” Full Review

85
New York Magazine / Vulture

"The gimmick, and the close quarters it entails, make this the most frightening 'Sweeney Todd' I’ve seen...The director Bill Buckhurst frequently has his cast bellowing in a space that doesn’t require it. It’s very effective, if at a cost to beauty...The score is a marvel of ingenious counterprogramming. That’s what makes the thrills thrill. The new production unfortunately flattens some of these effects...Still, when a production gets more than halfway there, it’s plenty. This one does." Full Review

85
The Huffington Post

"The terrific, pint-sized, meat pie & mash production of 'Sweeney Todd' has gotten terrificker, to coin a nongrammatical but pretty much accurate adjective...Altogether enhanced by the presence of a pair of strong-singing Broadway vets...The slight weakness of the production when it opened, for me, was the Lovett; good enough, but lacking the glazed insanity that need lurk near the surface of the character. Carolee Carmello shows us how it should be done!" Full Review

80
The Huffington Post

"This is a pint-sized production of the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler opus...Sondheim’s piano score for the musical is richly vibrant and as played by musical director Matt Aument, thoroughly and thrillingly fills the room...Yes, I prefer the full Jonathan Tunick treatment; but it wouldn’t work, or fit, here...The engagement seems to be an instant hit...This pie-shop 'Sweeney Todd' makes a tasty rendition of Sondheim’s masterwork, and serves up the show with style and thrills." Full Review

85
Theater Life

"A radical staging shift does not diminish its power...Places the thrilling tale...in its most logical setting—a meat pie shop—and the results are deliciously devilish...Buckhurst uses the intimate setting to create a terrifyingly close experience...Music director Matt Aument and his trio manage to impart the lushness of Sondheim’s complex and gorgeous score...Jeremy Secomb is probably the most frightening Sweeney you’ll ever see." Full Review

90
DC Theatre Scene

“Secomd as Sweeney Todd and Siobhán McCarthy as Mrs. Lovett are two of the four holdovers from the London production, and their simultaneously chilling and hilarious performances are reason enough to make this a must-see show…The other four cast members are welcome additions for the New York transfer…This production of ‘Sweeney Todd’ somehow feels seminal.” Full Review

90
Lighting & Sound America

"In this environment, and with such a gifted company, the musical's rattling terrors and jet-black comedy are felt with a power that, for me, recalls the electrifying effect of the original, still one of the top five experiences I've had in four decades of theatregoing...Everything in Buckhurst's production is infused with imagination...Buckhurst makes judicious use of audience interaction without ever undermining the show's savage viewpoint, its cruel and sinister jokes." Full Review

90
Front Row Center

"The intimacy of the space is captivating. The actors move in and about the tables and customers. The fourth wall comes down with a flourish and then pops back up again...These actors march through the story like an army on the move. They take no prisoners, and make you sit up and pay attention, not only through their intimacy, but through their plain old skill. This is an ensemble that cares as much about each other as they do about the story...This production is magic. Pure and fine." Full Review

90
The Hollywood Reporter

“As a concept, it holds together remarkably well…All these clashing sentiments burn bright in an accomplished ensemble combining London holdovers with newcomers…The urgency and immediacy of its storytelling make it a terrific introduction to a glittering musical by a composer at the peak of his powers, and also an invigorating new spin for audiences who know and love this brilliantly conceived Victorian nightmare.” Full Review

50
AM New York

"The pie shop concept is cute at first, but 'Sweeney' is a heavily-plotted drama that involves many different locations. This production is awkwardly staged...At its best, 'Sweeney' can be terrifying, mesmerizing and sweeping, but this production sacrifices the storytelling and score for the sake of a gimmick. The cast is decent but not noteworthy." Full Review

60
New York Daily News

“The show is intimate, inventive and as in-your-face as it gets...Reprising lead roles, Jeremy Secomb brings unblinking intensity as the titular throat-slitting barber, while Siobhan McCarthy is deftly daft as the baker who grinds victims into meat pies. Amid the atmosphere, narrative clarity can come out underbaked. Who’s that? Wasn’t the oven over there? And in a musical about justice, the singing doesn’t always do that to the majestic score.” Full Review

65
Deadline

“While I am no fan of these mini-Sondheims, there are many pleasures to recommend this revival, adroitly staged by Bill Buckhurst in Simon Kenny’s uncanny setting. Atop the menu are Jeremy Secomb, truly, mesmerizingly terrifying in the title role…The other roles are superbly cast as well…Benjamin Cox’s arrangements for trio have their charms, but power doesn’t figure in the mix...This 'Sweeney Todd' provides delectable finger food when what you really want is the full meal.” Full Review

90
CurtainUp

“Brilliantly inventive…Director Bill Buckhurst's approach is great fun…Everything about this propulsive staging works beautifully...A bigger orchestra could hardly top the effectiveness of this production's chamber sized threesome…None of this clever immersiveness would work without a cast who can deliver on all counts. And the Brits who pioneered the London hit do so with flying colors, as do the Americans who have now joined them.” Full Review

89
Front Mezz Junkies

“Piping hot and tasty is this inventive revival…Once the lights go out, the show kicks in with full force. From the first note sung, we know we are in for a solid fantastic meal here…This production is filled to the brim with great voices, creativity, and a perfectly cast group of actors. Not one bad ingredient in the lot…The whole production is more fun and startling, rather than dark and moody which works so well in the environmental set-up." Full Review

90
The Huffington Post

“The excellent company work the crowd as is now the custom in immersive theater. Favorite songs as are beautifully done in juxtaposition with Todd’s machinations with the incomparable Mrs. Lovett. Siobhan McCarthy inhabits this role with a gorgeous voice and murderous glee…Under Bill Buckhurst’s direction, the play moves apace, and is a serious hoot. You are not likely to have more fun at any other play this season.” Full Review

75
Newsday

“Just 10 actors play all the characters with creep-fest glee, if not always vocally astonishing power. Jeremy Secomb’s baritone is a little light for Sweeney’s deepest dark heart…Sondheim’s score is expertly reduced to just a piano, strings and wind trio. Somehow, Sondheim’s restless chromatics, the difficult disjunct vocal lines, the extended song forms and, especially, the wrenchingly beautiful choral writing are approached with the affection and awe they deserve.” Full Review

93
Bob's Theater Blog

"With his dead eyes, hollow cheeks and slicked-back hair, Jeremy Secomb is a very scary Todd. Any vocal shortcomings are more than made up for by his commanding presence. Siobhan McCarthy is as fine a Mrs. Lovett as I have seen...Kudos to director Bill Buckhurst for holding everything together. It’s a unique theatrical experience that I highly recommend. I also suggest ordering the pre-show pot pie and mash for $20 with beverage." Full Review

90
CitiTour

“Buckhurst manages to find the perfect, and sometimes elusive, mix of macabre, mirth, and melodrama…Yep, you’ll laugh, you’ll gasp…And you’ll leave humming every bit of Sondheim’s magnificently diverse score, and immediately want to go back for seconds. (Even the three-piece orchestra is sufficiently wonderful!) Much of the credit for the production’s success belongs to the stunningly chosen eight-person cast.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
90
Avg Score

92
Exquisite, Must see, Great writing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You want to experience an excellent production of Sweeney Todd intamitely staged where the audience is part of the production.

Don't see it if You don’t like the musical Sweeney Todd or don’t like immersive staging.

Also The entire cast of 8 is excellent, particularly Hugh Pannaro and Carol... Read more Read less

80
Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Must see

See it if you want to be little scared and be in very strange venue

Don't see it if you like meet pies

90
Ambitious, Intense, Refreshing, Riveting, Great singing

See it if you want to experience an extremely skilled ensemble, you want a new theatrical experience of a classic musical

Don't see it if you don't enjoy Sondheim at all (he's not for everyone after all), you don't want macabre or dark humour

Also I got a 'twisting seat' and it was kind of uncomfortable. The seats at... Read more Read less

91
Clever, Great acting, Riveting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you appreciate close-up/interactive theater experiences; if you enjoy dark themes in musicals; if you're a Sondheim fan.

Don't see it if you're squeamish about murders/blood;if you want a barrier between performers & audience;if you are looking for light entertainment

Also Take advantage of the pre-show dinner offer - great meat pies and mash... Read more Read less

81
Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Diluted concept!

See it if Stephen Sondheim & Hugh Wheeler's classic is almost always worth seeing.

Don't see it if you don't know the show. Once more, everything is reduced and you have to know the show ahead of time! Aargh!

75
Ambitious, Refreshing, Disappointing, Great staging

See it if you like musicals in an intimate setting.

Don't see it if you don't like Sweeney Todd or other Sondheim musicals.

95
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Intelligent, Riveting

See it if you want to see a great alternative staging of one of the best musicals ever written. The very intimate setting works surprisingly well.

Don't see it if you want to be far away from the main action and don't want the possibility of an actor getting in your face.

92
Dark, Inventive, Must see, Riveting, Great score

See it if you want to see an inventive, lively, powerful staging of a Sondheim masterwork in an intimate (if slightly gimmicky) theatre-cum-pie shop.

Don't see it if you can't abide the very dark themes, vengeful characters & on-stage violence. [But just see it... and get the "best pies in the Village".]

Also Note: I saw this production with the original cast (Jeremy Secomb as S... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want an immersive experience, you want clever lyrics with good acting & singing.

Don't see it if you want a classic staging, you don't like Sondheim, or you get easily triggered by violence.

91
Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if Great production! Creative, unique staging. See it for a fun evening.

Don't see it if Do not like musicals.

92
Absorbing, Riveting, Great staging

See it if You love Sondheim. This is the best production of Sweeney Todd I have seen.

Don't see it if If you do not like to be part of the show. Depending on your seat, you might be right in the action.

92
Absorbing, Clever, Great singing, Unique

See it if you want a unique immersive theater with great music, singing, acting, and staging.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy immersive theater

93
Great acting, Must see, Riveting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want a small intimate but extremely unique staging experience. The actors sing, dance and interact with the audience throughout the show

Don't see it if you dont like shows about murder, small staging and an immersive theater experience

100
Ambitious, Intelligent, Intense, Masterful, Great staging

See it if You love to be in the middle of the action and to hear remarkable actors sing inches away from you. If you enjoy environmental theatre

Don't see it if You are intimidated by being in the center of the show. You don't like dark intense shows.

Also Not since Nicolas Nickleby have I been this engaged in a show!

83
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you like the story, haven't yet seen the play and want to see it or if you enjoy immersing plays in general.

Don't see it if you do like Sweeny Todd, have seen it and are not interested in being immersed in a play.

88
Ambitious, Riveting, Romantic, Great singing

See it if You like intimate, immersive theatre and if you love Sondheim. Incredibly well done, the best production of Sweeney Todd I've ever seen!

Don't see it if You hate this show and like extravagant sets/theatres.

94
Absorbing, Clever, Must see, Great singing

See it if A small clever production of Sweeney Todd appeals to you, with more audience interaction and creative staging. Great singing/acting!

Don't see it if You like more elaborate theater productions and more light hearted musicals.

89
Edgy, Exquisite, Great acting, Must see, Great staging

See it if You absolutely love Sweeney Todd and want to see a very unique take on this classic. Incredible staging and acting.

Don't see it if You absolutely hate Sweeney Todd or Sondheim. If you do not like intimate settings this production is not for you.

90
Clever, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you enjoy Sondheim with some immersive theatre thrown in and kickbutt performances - I saw Carolee Carmello & Norm Lewis.

Don't see it if you like your theatre from a distance, are not a fan of musicals, and have to sit in a comfy chair.

90
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Refreshing, Great singing

See it if you want a refreshing version in a submissive environment where the audience is part of the performance & it is performed with a great cast

Don't see it if You like a big, splashy version of the show performed in a standard theater environment

91
Absorbing, Intense, Masterful, Must see, Profound

See it if you'd like to see a masterfully delivered Sweeney with a stunning cast, including Carolee Carmello and Hugh Panaro. Great staging/ensemble.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a dark show with wide implication; you don't want to be touched/sung directly at. A few small liberties w/ the score.

95
Absorbing, Delightful, Exquisite, Great acting, Great singing

See it if you enjoy semi-immersive with actors singing/shouting around you.

Don't see it if you are frightened easily.

Also Amazing production. Enjoyed the show inside out. The casts are truly i... Read more Read less

88
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you enjoy being engulfed by the action and witnessing the talented actors literally get in your face. Acting/singing/staging was terrific.

Don't see it if you get easily annoyed having to turn your head and shift your body (perhaps opt for mezz seats if this is you), you find pie shop gimmicky

Also Unique experience. Not particularly immersive, but the staging is fun ... Read more Read less

100
Great acting, Masterful, Great writing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Do not miss it.

Don't see it if If you are not into interactive theatre, this may not be for you.

95
Funny, Absorbing, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if If you are a theater, musical or Sondheim fan. By far one of the best productions of a masterpiece I have ever seen!

Don't see it if You want a simple show that requires no thought.