Play opens Kennedy Center's Sondheim celebration

WASHINGTON — The Kennedy Center has inked Christine Baranski and Brian Stokes Mitchell to play the principal roles in its upcoming production of “Sweeney Todd,” one of six Stephen Sondheim musicals it will perform in repertory next spring and summer.

Mitchell will play the title role in the production, which will be directed by Christopher Ashley. Baranski will play the delightfully evil pie maker, Mrs. Lovett.

The two are the first actors to be signed for the Center’s Sondheim celebration, which opens with “Sweeney” on May 10 for 17 performances in repertory. The other productions are “Company,” “Sunday in the Park With George,” “Merrily We Roll Along,” “Passion” and “A Little Night Music.”

As part of the Sondheim festival, singer Barbara Cook will perform her “Mostly Sondheim” concert for 10 days next June in the Center’s 500-seat Terrace Theater. Mandy Patinkin has also been signed to perform his Sondheim concert in the Terrace Theater that month.

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