Josh Groban says ‘Sweeney Todd’ is designed to scare the audience “from the moment they walk in”


If you’re a fan of being scared, Josh Groban thinks you’ll love watching the Broadway show Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Groban stars as the titular “demon barber” and tells Time Out, “We want people to enter this world where they’re spooked from the moment they walk in.”

The singer described the new production of the Stephen Sondheim/Hugh Wheeler musical as “a big show with a big story and a big score.” He added, “It works brilliantly small, but to be able to do it this large just blows your hair back.”

“There isn’t enough scary theater. We definitely want to give people the good chills,” Groban mused, adding, “Our job is to tell the story like ghosts who are cursed to keep entering this space over and over and over again.”

The musical is set in 19th century London, where Todd murders his victims, then gives the bodies to his accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, who grinds up their flesh to make meat pies.

Groban added the musical explores why his character embarks on a murderous rampage, noting, “I think pushing against the darkness and finding the light in a person is what makes the bad guy more interesting to an audience.”

“We want this to be something that allows people to see inside these characters,” he continued. “We want to scare you, we want to thrill you, we want to break your heart.”

The singer also offered, “The quest for justice and revenge takes over these characters, and nothing good comes from it … That’s one part of the cautionary tale. The other part is: At a bakery, always ask for the ingredient list.”

The musical, which is currently in previews, opens March 26 at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Tickets are available now.

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