New TV shows and returning series used to be a big deal every Fall when I was growing up. Not so much any more with cable introducing new shows year-round and Netflix releasing entire series in one day. We can still count on PBS and Lincoln Center to come up with a Fall spectacular and it’s a New York Philharmonic concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s bloody musical “Sweeney Todd” airing 9-11:30 p.m. today (Sept. 26) on Channel 13 in New York. (Check local listings for air dates and times in other locations.)
The Philharmonic really must like “Sweeney Todd,” which is fully understandable, because 14 years ago successfully staged the work with George Hearn (stepping in late for Bryn Terfel), Patti LuPone, Neil Patrick Harris, Davis Gaines, John Aler,
Paul Plishka, Heidi Grant Murphy, Stanford Olsen and Audra McDonald.
This time around the cast includes Bryn Terfel as Todd, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Lovett, Philip Quast as Judge Turpin, Jeff Blumenkrantz as The Beadle, Christian Borle as Pirelli, Kyle Brenn as Tobias, Jay Armstrong Johnson as Anthony, Erin Mackey as Johanna and Audra McDonald as The Beggar Woman.
Unlike other concerts in the Live from Lincoln Center series, director Lonny Price didn’t cofine his actors to a three-foot strip across the stage. Apparently they invaded the audience. I would have loved to have been there for that.
Watch a 30-second sneak peek of the show here: