The marriage of two arts

When the time came to cast the Broadway production of Sweeney Todd, people literally wheeled into the audition room with shopping carts full of musical instruments. The earlier 2004 London revival, re-orchestrated by Sarah Travis and directed by John Doyle, had turned the 1979 Sondheim musical on its head, creating an orchestra from the actors on stage. So when the musical transitioned to Broadway, the entire show had to be recast, so orchestral assignments were up for grabs. Auditioning actors carted in whatever instruments they could play, hoping versatility would give them a better chance of being cast.

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