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Penny Dreadful: From True Crime to FictionThe Madding Crowd: 18th Century LondonBloodletting: Barber Surgeons and Early MedicineThe Play's the Thing: From Melodrama to Musical
IV
A String of Pearls
Sweeney Todd
Mrs. Lovett
Tobias Ragg
Johanna
Judge Turpin
The Beadle
Anthony Hope
Adolfo Pirelli
Beggar Woman
Stephen Sondheim
San Francisco Symphony
Ellen M. Krass Productions
Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in Concert
Judge Turpin
Click for RealAudio Audio clip: Johanna. Requires RealAudio

In many penny dreadful versions, Sweeney Todd is ultimately captured, and a judge sentences him to death for his crimes. In the Dibdin-Pitt melodrama, a lazy, corrupt judge appears in the final act, but he has very little significance to the story. More prominent is Dr. Aminadab Lupin, a lecherous preacher who is often drunk and chasing after women, while acting pious and quoting scriptures. He is the precursor of Judge Turpin. Dr. Lupin lusts after Johanna and flirts recklessly with Mrs. Lovett, at one point promising to marry her. Described in the credits as "A wolf in sheep's clothing," he is the comic element in the midst of Dibdin-Pitt's horror-tragedy. Late in the play, a minor character reveals that Dr. Lupin is actually married already - to a woman from the West Indies. The hidden wife then makes a surprise entrance with her five dark children - at which point the stage directions call for Lupin to "run about, followed by blacks."

Timothy Nolen

Photo of Timothy NolenTimothy Nolen, who first appeared with the SFS in a 1969 pops concert with Arthur Feidler conducting, has starred in the Broadway productions of Cyrano, The Phantom of the Opera and Grind. With New York City Opera he has starred in Sweeney Todd and Kismet. Mr. Nolen has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, and Santa Fe Opera; and with the Opera de Nice, Bordeaux Opera, at the Aix-en-Provence Festival, Scottish Opera and Maggio Musicale in Florence. Mr. Nolen created the role of Markus Schuler in the premiere of William Bolcom's McTeague. Other roles he has created include Junior in Leonard Bernstein's A Quiet Place, the title role in Floyd's Willie Stark and Lord Henry Wotton in Hans Kox's The Portrait of Dorian Gray.

The BeadleNext

 

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