Act I:
Musical Numbers -
“The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” (Company)
“No Place Like London” (Anthony, Todd, Beggar Woman)
“The Barber and His Wife” (Todd)
“The Worst Pies in London” (Mrs. Lovett)
“Poor Thing” (Mrs. Lovett)
“My Friends” (Todd, Mrs. Lovett)
“Green Finch and Linnet Bird” (Johanna)
“Ah, Miss” (Anthony, Beggar Woman)
“Johanna” (Anthony)
“Pirelli’s Miracle Elixer” (Tobias, Todd, Mrs. Lovett, Company)
“The Contest” (Pirelli)
“Johanna” (Judge Turpin)
“Wait” (Mrs. Lovett)
“Kiss Me” (Johanna, Anthony)
“Ladies in Their Sensitivities” (the Beadle)
“Kiss Me” (Johanna, Anthony, the Beadle, Judge Turpin)
“Pretty Women” (Todd, Judge Turpin)
“Epiphany” (Todd)
“A Little Priest” (Todd, Mrs. Lovett)

In the beginning of this act, we meet Sweeney Todd, an English barber who hasn’t seen London for many years. He’s been rescued by a young sailor named Anthony. Todd is a grumpy, older man, with a secretive past and an aversion to other people. As he and Anthony part ways, Todd sings a short song about his past, though at this point we assume that it’s merely a story. However, as the story progresses, we hear the same thing from Mrs. Lovett, the owner of a failing pie shop on Fleet Street. She tells a story almost identical to the one that Todd tells (“The Barber and His Wife” and “Poor Thing”). We begin to gather that this is Todd’s story, even if the details aren’t exact. Mrs. Lovett recognizes Todd as Benjamin Barker, the man from the story, and agrees to let him have the space above her pie shop where he used to work. She also returns his razors that she’s been keeping safe for many years (“My Friends”).
Now we skip to Johanna and Anthony. Johanna is Todd’s daughter, all grown up and living in the foster care of the Judge, Turpin. She is penned in her room most of the time because Turpin fears that some man will come along and try to marry her. This does in fact happen with Anthony, who sees her singing to a cadged bird (“Green Finch and Linnet Bird”) and pleads with her to notice him (“Ah, Miss”). She does not. Turpin comes home and yells at Anthony for spending time singing to his “daughter” (she is actually Todd’s daughter). He scares her away and she runs inside, away from Anthony. He decides he won’t give up and will continue to chase her.
Skip again to Todd and Mrs. Lovett, out on the town doing some shopping. They run into a man, Pirelli, selling some kind of “miracle elixir” that is supposed to make your hair grow faster (“Pirelli’s Miracle Elixer”). Pirelli is a barber trying to bring in more business. Tobias (Toby) Ragg is his spokesperson and is telling people to come try the elixir. Todd takes a vial and smells it, then insults Pirelli, telling him that it smells like piss and couldn’t possibly help do anything. He then challenges Pirelli to a contest: Who can give the better shave and who can pull a tooth better. The Beadle will judge the contest. Todd wins by a landslide. Pirelli comes to visit him later, saying that he knows who Todd is because he used to work for him (at that time, Pirelli was going by Daniel O’Higgins, his real name). Pirelli wants Todd to work for him and if Todd doesn’t cooperate, Pirelli will go to the police and tell them that Todd escaped prison (when Anthony found him, Todd had just escaped). Todd then kills Pirelli in desperation to not be discovered. When Mrs. Lovett discovers what happened, she takes Pirelli’s coin purse and they both try to figure out what to do with Pirelli’s body. Mrs. Lovett is struck with an idea: meat is expensive, and since she owns a meat pie business, there is a use that all this meat could be put to (“Epiphany” and “A Little Priest”).
Go backwards slightly to the Court Room of Judge Turpin. After his final ruling of the day, he heads home and tells the Beadle of his intent to marry Johanna the following Monday. As this scene progresses, we see Johanna and Anthony together, planning to run away and also be married on Monday. Note here that in the lyrics, Johanna says a few times that she does not know Anthony’s name, but is consenting to marry him anyways, and he does eventually tell her his name. As Turpin and the Beadle walk down the street, the Beadle asks the Judge if he can be frank, telling him that perhaps he should go get a shave from this wonderful place that just opened on Fleet Street (Sweeney Todd’s barber shop). The Judge agrees and they arrive just as Mrs. Lovett is discovering that Todd has killed Pirelli. Mrs. Todd takes the coin purse and the money inside, then hurries downstairs to tell Toby that his master has vanished and so she will take care of him. Turpin comes to Todd and tells him all about how desperately in love he is and how he wants to be more appealing. Todd just smiles and nods, agreeing with the Judge. He’s excited for the possibility of killing the Judge, though the opportunity does not arise this time. They sing “Pretty Women” together as Todd prepares to give him a shave. As the song ends, Anthony runs in, trying to tell Todd of his and Johanna’s plans to leave. Turpin is still sitting in the chair and is outraged by what he hears (he still hates Anthony for singing at Johanna’s window). He yells at Todd and tells him that he will not frequent the barber shop because of the company he keeps. Todd then takes it out on Anthony. Mrs. Lovett ascends the stairs and tries to calm Todd down. She tells him that the Judge will come again and he will have the chance to kill him. As she is talking, Todd decides that no one in London deserves to live (he repeats a monologue he gives to Anthony in the first scene). When he calms down, Mrs. Lovett brings up the interesting question of what they are going to do with Pirelli’s body. This is when they sing “A Little Priest” and the first act is finished.

Act II:
Musical Numbers -
“God, That’s Good!” (Tobias, Mrs. Lovett, Todd)
“Johanna” (Anthony, Todd, Johanna, Beggar Woman)
“By the Sea” (Mrs. Lovett)
Wigmaker Sequence (Todd, Anthony, Quintet)
“The Letter” (Todd, Quintet)
“Not While I’m Around” (Tobias, Mrs. Lovett)
“Parlor Songs” (the Beadle, Mrs. Lovett, Tobias)
“City on Fire” (Lunatics, Johanna, Anthony)
“Searching” (Mrs. Lovett, Todd, Beggar Woman, Anthony, Johanna)
Final Sequence (Mrs. Lovett, Todd, Beggar Woman, Judge Turpin)
“The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” (Company)

As we open on the second act, we see that Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop is doing better than ever. Many street urchins and poor people sit crowded around a table and Toby is running around at the table, trying to serve everyone beer and pies. He is singing in a form very close to what he sang when promoting Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir. Mrs. Lovett is running around as well, trying to make enough pies for all the customers. Todd paces above in his shop, obviously waiting for something, which we find out is the chair that he is going to get for his barber shop. As it arrives, he sticks his head out the window to tell Mrs. Lovett that it’s arrived. She runs up the stairs and they both admire it. Todd tells Mrs. Lovett that when he’s ready, he’ll stomp on the floor three times, then she’ll hit the wall three times, go down to the bake house and wait, then when he stomps three times again, he’ll send something down and when she receives it, she will hit the wall three times again. As she goes to tend to the customers, Todd puts a pile of books on the chair. He stomps three times. She hits the wall and runs down to the bake house. He stomps three times again, and pulls a lever on the arm of the chair. The books go flying down a chute as the chair flattens into a slide, then re-shapes itself. As Mrs. Lovett sees the books in the chute, she excitedly hits the wall three times, then runs back up to continue tending to her customers.
Now we see Anthony walking by. He and Todd share the song “Johanna.” Throughout the song, Todd kills two customers, but not a third because his wife and child are there and he and Mrs. Lovett decided they would not kill people with families or loved ones who would come looking for them. Later in the same song, Johanna and the Beggar Woman join in. The Beggar seems to know more than she’s letting on, screaming about the smoke coming from the bakehouse, but no one listens. When we see Johanna, she is locked behind the doors of Fogg’s Asylum. Anthony sees her there and bangs on the door, trying to get her out. The Beadle is walking by at this point and asks him what’s going on. Anthony replies that someone has been wrongly imprisoned there and that he needs to get her out. The Beadle asks if it is Judge Turpin’s ward, and Anthony says yes. The Beadle tells him that he was the one who brought Johanna to the Asylum, and that it would be better for Anthony if he ran along and didn’t complain anymore. Anthony shouts back a retort about the lack of justice in the city, then calls out to Johanna. The Beadle calls two policemen to take Anthony into custody, but he runs away before they can get him and they chase after him. The Beadle encourages them to get him and bring him back.
Now we see Mrs. Lovett sitting at her harmonium playing music while Todd cleans his pipe. Mrs. Lovett is doing the accounting on top of the harmonium. As she finishes, she tells Todd about how she’d love for them to go on vacation at the ocean (“By the Sea”). As she finishes, Anthony runs in, telling Todd he found out where Johanna was. Todd tells Anthony to dress up as a wig maker and go to Fogg’s Asylum and try to buy some hair (specifically Johanna’s) for a wig. Once he’s found Johanna, he can bring her back to Todd’s barber shop and they can flee from there. After Anthony leaves, Todd sits down to write a letter to Judge Turpin, telling him that Anthony is going to kidnap her and that she will be safely brought to the barber shop. He brings it to Turpin’s house and then heads back to Fleet Street to await Anthony, Johanna, and Turpin.
While all of this is happening, Mrs. Lovett is sitting outside the barber shop knitting a muffler for Toby. Toby comes out of the pie shop and sits with her. They sing “Not While I’m Around.” Mrs. Lovett slips up and pulls Pirelli’s purse out and Toby recognizes it. He starts to panic, but Mrs. Lovett offers to show him the bakehouse, and he excitedly goes with her. She shows him where the giant ovens are and how you have to grind the meat exactly three times. Then she locks him in the bake house and goes upstairs, where the Beadle is waiting, playing on the harmonium. He wants to see the bakehouse, but Mrs. Lovett quickly lies and says that Todd has the key, and he won’t be back for a while, trying to stall. They sit down together and play the harmonium and sing for a while, then Todd shows up, just back from delivering his letter to Turpin. The Beadle asks for the key, but Mrs. Lovett offers a shave first for the Beadle, then he can see the bakehouse. Todd takes him upstairs while Mrs. Lovett plays on the harmonium to drown out any sounds and Toby sits in the bake house eating a pie. As he eats, he finds a long, black hair, then a few fingernails. Realizing what he’s eating, he screams and runs to the door, banging on it to get Mrs. Lovett’s attention. She continues to play as the Beadle flies out of the chute into the bakehouse. Toby screams again. As Todd comes downstairs, Mrs. Lovett tells him that they have to go look for Toby because he was making so much noise, and they don’t want anyone to know what’s going on.
Now we enter Fogg’s Asylum with Anthony. He is talking to Fogg, who seems fairly crazy himself. Anthony looks at a few different inmates, searching for Johanna. When he finds her, he pulls out a pistol and threatens Fogg that if he doesn’t let them go, Anthony will shoot. He looses his nerve and drops the gun, which Johanna catches and shoots Fogg with. They flee the Asylum and run back to Todd’s shop. As they run, Todd and Mrs. Lovett are looking for Toby, without success. Anthony and Johanna arrive back at the shop, but Todd has not yet returned. Anthony leaves Johanna to wait while he goes to get a carriage. As Johanna waits, the Beggar Woman comes up the stairs, recognizing where she is. She paces around the shop, and we realize that she is Lucy, Todd’s wife. While she wanders there, Todd returns and commands her to leave. She does not, and Todd panics, killing her and sending her down the chute. The Judge arrives, demanding to know where Johanna is. Todd tells him to sit down and allow Todd to make him look less frazzled. As the Judge sits down, Todd pulls out his razor and kills Turpin. Turpin flails and falls down the chute.
We go to the bakehouse where Mrs. Lovett is beating an almost dead Judge Turpin. She then recognizes the Beggar Woman as Todd’s wife. Todd comes down into the bakehouse after Turpin is dead. As he is about to life the Beggar Woman into the oven, Mrs. Lovett stops him and he recognizes her. He scrams at Mrs. Lovett, asking he why she hadn’t told him that Lucy was still alive. She points out that she never said outright that she was dead, only that she swallowed poison. Todd sits on the ground, holding the dead body of his wife, then stands and begins dancing with Mrs. Lovett, throwing her into the oven and locking it in the end. He then goes back to the dead body and continues to hold it. Toby appears, his hair now white, and sees Todd’s razor lying on the ground. He picks it up and kills Sweeney Todd. As he’s holding the bloody razor, Anthony, Johanna, and a pair of policemen come rushing in. Toby looks at them, drops the razor and goes over to the meat grinder. He begins grinding meat as the rest of the company sing “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd.”


Kalista Ahouse