London, 19th century.

ACT I. Anthony Hope, a young sailor, arrives at the port of London with Sweeney Todd, who he had rescued at sea. They are confronted by a Beggar Woman, who Sweeney brushes away. He shares with Anthony the sad tale of a young barber, his beautiful wife, and the lustful judge who sent the barber away in exile to pursue his wife. Todd goes to Mrs. Nellie Lovett’s pie shop on Fleet Street and asks if he can rent the room upstairs. Mrs. Lovett tells him the place is haunted by the ghosts of the former residents, a barber named Benjamin Barker and his wife. Mrs. Lovett says that the wife, Lucy, was coveted by the evil Judge Turpin, aided by Beadle Bamford. Turpin had Barker arrested and transported to Australia, then raped Lucy at a masked ball. Sweeney cries out, confirming what Mrs. Lovett suspected: he is Benjamin Barker, returned to London. Mrs. Lovett says that Lucy poisoned herself and Johanna is now the ward of Judge Turpin. She returns to Sweeney his razors, which she kept hidden, and gives him the room above her shop so he can become a barber again and plan his revenge. Johanna appears at a window in Judge Turpin’s house, wondering how a caged bird can still sing sweetly. Anthony passes by and falls in love with her on sight. Judge Turpin and the Beadle warn him off, but Anthony insists that he will rescue and win Johanna. In a crowded marketplace, renowned Italian barber Adolfo Pirelli and his assistant, Tobias Ragg, pitch a cure-all, Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir. Sweeney challenges Pirelli to a contest to see who can give a closer shave. Beadle Bamford is the judge and pronounces Sweeney the winner. Sweeney invites the Beadle to visit his shop for a free shave. Several days later, Sweeney awaits the Beadle’s arrival while Mrs. Lovett tells him to be patient. Anthony arrives and tells Sweeney that he has fallen in love with Johanna; Sweeney tells Anthony that he can hide Johanna at the barber-shop when they escape from Turpin. Anthony leaves just as Pirelli arrives with Toby. Alone with Todd, Pirelli drops his accent, reveals he recognized the razors as Benjamin Barker’s, and attempts to blackmail him. Sweeney strangles him and dumps his body into an empty trunk. Across town, Judge Turpin is tormented by his lust for Johanna and tells her he intends to marry her. Johanna and Anthony plan to elope. The Beadle suggests that Turpin go to Sweeney’s shop to make himself more appealing to Johanna. Sweeney tells Mrs. Lovett that he killed Pirelli, just as Judge Turpin arrives for a shave. Sweeney prepares for revenge while the Judge contemplates his marriage. Just before Sweeney slashes Turpin’s throat, Anthony bursts in to tell Sweeney about his and Johanna’s plans. Infuriated, the Judge storms out and vows never to return. Sweeney resolves that he will continue to kill until he has his revenge on Judge Turpin. Mrs. Lovett comes up with a practical plan for disposing of Pirelli’s body and future victims: she will cook them into her meat pies, an idea which Todd enthusiastically adopts. ACT II. Mrs. Lovett’s pie business is booming and Toby helps wait on the customers. Sweeney receives his custom-made barber chair that allows him to kill someone and then send the body directly down into the pie shop’s bakehouse. Anthony looks for the now-missing Johanna, while Sweeney also thinks about his daughter as he disposes of customers. Mrs. Lovett daydreams of retirement to a seaside cottage with Sweeney, though he appears uninterested. Anthony has found Johanna at Fogg’s lunatic asylum, where Judge Turpin had committed her. With Todd’s help, he plans to rescue her by posing as a wigmaker there to purchase inmates’ hair. Sweeney plots to use the situation to trap Judge Turpin, writing to him that Johanna will be at his Fleet Street shop that evening. Toby is growing fond of Mrs. Lovett and is highly suspicious of Sweeney Todd, particularly when he sees Pirelli’s purse. Mrs. Lovett suggests that Toby be promoted to working in the bakehouse, then locks him in there. Beadle Bamford arrives to investigate the stench coming out of the pie shop’s chimney, and Mrs. Lovett distracts him until Sweeney arrives. Sweeney kills the Beadle and sends him down the chute to the bakehouse, where Toby is standing. Anthony arrives at the asylum to rescue Johanna. When Fogg attempts to stop them, Anthony cannot bring himself to shoot him, so Johanna does so, and the pair escape. Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett search for the missing Toby. Johanna, disguised as a sailor, waits in the barber shop while Anthony gets a coach. She quickly hides as the Beggar Woman appears. Sweeney, anticipating the Judge’s imminent arrival, slits the Beggar Woman’s throat and sends her down the chute. Judge Turpin arrives looking for Johanna. Sweeney says that Johanna has changed her mind and will now marry him. The Judge sits in the barber chair to prepare for his reunion with Johanna. Sweeney reveals his true identity and slits the Judge’s throat, sending him down the chute. Johanna, who has heard everything, emerges from her hiding place and is also nearly slain by Todd, but Mrs. Lovett’s scream from the bakehouse distracts him and Johanna escapes. Mrs. Lovett tries to put both Judge Turpin and the Beggar Woman into the oven. Storming into the room, Sweeney recognizes the dead Beggar Woman as his wife, Lucy. He accuses Mrs. Lovett of knowing all along she was alive, but Mrs. Lovett claims she was only protecting him from discovering that his wife had gone insane. Mrs. Lovett tells Sweeney that she loves him. Sweeney feigns forgiveness and waltzes Mrs. Lovett over to the huge oven, hurling her into the fire and slamming the door shut. He sinks to the floor and cradles his deceased wife. Toby appears, his hair white from shock, picks up the nearby razor, and slashes Sweeney’s throat. Johanna, Anthony and the police arrive to find Tobias absentmindedly mimicking the motions of turning a meat grinder.

HOT's serving up close shaves and meat pies

On the gritty streets of London, a man who calls himself Sweeney Todd sets foot in England for the first time in 15 years.  More than a decade-and-a-half earlier, Todd, aka Benjamin Barker, was wrongly accused of a crime and sentenced to an Australian penal colony, forced to leave his wife and daughter behind.  When he finally returns to London, he has one thing on his mind: revenge.  Armed with a straight razor and parading as one of the city’s finest barbers, Todd finds himself in cahoots with a woman named Mrs. Lovett, a local baker who lusts after Todd, and is willing to help him extract vengeance. Will Todd’s thirst for blood lead him to the authorities or will he carve himself a new life as London’s most ruthless killer?

Performance Schedule

  • April 24, Friday, 8:00pm
  • April 26, Sunday, 4:00pm
  • April 28, Tuesday, 7:00pm

All performances at the Blaisdell Concert Hall

Sung in English with English translations projected above the stage.

Approximately 2 hours & 40 minutes with an intermission



    Orchestra Level
  • A - $135
  • OR/OL - $90
  • B - $90
  • C - $63
  • D - $34
  • Seating Chart

    Balcony Level
  • A - $135
  • B - $90
  • C - $63
  • D - N/A

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Pre-Show Features

Pre-Performance Lanai Lecture:
  • Show Day
    at the Ward Lanai, Blaisdell Concert Hall
    1st lecture: 30 minutes before curtain
    2nd lecture: 60 minutes before curtain
In-Depth Preview Lectures:

Join HOT for an Opera Preview at the Honolulu Museum of Art Doris Duke Theatre, on April 15, 2015.

Meet the Stars


Peter Kendall Clark

In Buffy Baggott and Peter Kendall Clark, this cast has a Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney Todd who not only sang gorgeously (especially Clark) but also displayed the dramatic range and comic timing (especially Baggott) to turn the blackness of the tale into something transcendent. (cont.)


Buffy Baggott

Everything came together in the pair’s madcap tour de force, A Little Priest, in which unspeakable material (Mrs. Lovett’s pies made from entrails of Todd’s murder victims) became the stuff of exhilarating song and dance. Tampa Bay Times