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Powerhouse producers nab B’way ‘Sweeney’

Sondheim revival skipping Roundabout

The London revival of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” will transfer to Broadway in the fall, but not at the nonprofit address where it had been expected to set up shop.

No New York theater has been announced for the murderous tale of the eponymous barber and his gruesome partnership with Mrs. Lovett, who bakes Todd’s victims in tasty meat pies. Steven Baruch, Thomas Viertel, Marc Routh and Richard Frankel are producing with London producers Ambassador Theater Group, Adam Kenwright and Maidstone Prods.

That commercial configuration deep-sixes any pending deal with the nonprofit Roundabout Theater Company, which was widely reported to be in advanced negotiations to bring the production to its Studio 54 Broadway stage later this year. Roundabout, however, had never confirmed the production. Company reps were unavailable for comment.

With music and lyrics by Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, adapted by Christopher Bond, the scaled-down staging in London featured a cast of nine principals who doubled as the orchestra. All but Paul Hegarty as Todd played an instrument in addition to singing their roles.

The show is expected to be entirely recast with American actors for its Broadway run.

Directed and designed by John Doyle, the production was first staged by the Watermill Theater, opening at Trafalgar Studios in London before its West End transfer to the New Ambassadors, where it opened Oct. 13 and played through Feb. 5.

The show originally premiered on Broadway in 1980, directed by Harold Prince, and was last seen on the Great White Way more than 16 years ago.

The producing credits of Baruch, Viertel, Routh and Frankel include “Hairspray,” “The Producers” and the recent revival of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

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