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Broadway's Hamilton - Opening Number Homage to Sweeney Todd

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Published on Apr 27, 2016

At the 30th annual Easter Bonnet Competition, the company of Hamilton took top honors for transforming their opening number into an homage to Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. Lin-Manuel Miranda chillingly portrayed the “demon barber of Fleet Street” as his fellow cast members retold the dark, twisted tale.

The bonnet on Jonathan Groff's head represents a slice of meat pie, in homage to Sweeney Todd. It was designed by Scott Westervelt.

Easter Bonnet 2016: The Fleet Street Remix
by Lin-Manuel Miranda

LESLIE
How does a master’s gore-filled sumptuous score and a plot skimmed
Hot from a British novel involvin’ a convict, hopped on conflict,
Washed up in London harbor grow up to be a bloody demon barber?

ANTHONY
The mean barber used to bein’ Benjamin Barker
Got a lot darker by bein’ a lot odder
By seein’ a lot of trauma, by seein’ his baby mama
Swiped from the scene, sent screaming away from his wife and daughter

DAVEED
And every day while shaves were bein’ flaunted and sauntered away
By Italian knaves, he struggled and kept his shop up
Inside, he was longin’ for bloddy beadles to chop up
The barber was ready for judges’ jugulars he could mop up

OAK
Then a green finch came and linnet birds rained
Our man saw his future drip drippin’ down the drain
Put a razor to his nasal, connected it to his brain,
And he straight up went insane, his arm was complete again…

LESLIE
Well the word got around they said “this can’t be the same man
Sent away to prison like Valjean in a chain gang
Get yourself a station, a place to practice your aim,
And the world is gonna know your name, what’s your name, man?”

LIN
Demon barber Sweeney Todd
I am the demon barber Sweeney Todd
Indeed I serve a dark and vengeful god
But the work…waits…

RENEE
Judge Turpin ordered him to split, full of it, lust-ridden
Some years later, see Turpin and his ward just sittin’
Flushed, spittin’ as he locks her up quick, his hair slick

COMPANY
Johanna’s not his daughter but c’mon that shit is sick

ANDREW
Moved in with Miss Lovett, Miss Lovett would be his newest guide
Cookin’ his victims into her pies, somethin’ new inside
A voice, sayin’

COMPANY
Sweeney, you’ve gotta kill for yourself

ANDREW
He started the bleedin’ and feedin’ every pastry on the shelf

LESLIE
There woulda been several new deceased, which only grew the feast
And nobody knew that she imbued the yeast with just a little priest
Started workin’
Turpin was the one he saved his hand for
Slicin’ up Pirelli, practicin’ on Beadle Bamford

COMPANY
Scammin’

LESLIE
For every neck he can get his hands on

COMPANY
Plannin’

LESLIE
For the future, see him now, as he stands on
The bow of a ship headed for his hometown
On Fleet Street, clean sweep, cut ‘em all down

COMPANY
On Fleet Street, clean sweep, cut ‘em all down

LIN
But the work waits…

COMPANY
On Fleet Street, clean sweep, cut ‘em all down

LIN
I’m alive at last…

COMPANY
On Fleet Street, clean sweep, cut ‘em all down
On Fleet Street, on Fleet Street…

LIN
And I’m full of JOOOOOOOYYYYY!!!

COMPANY
Demon barber Sweeney Todd
We will now attend the tale for you (we attend the tale for you)
You could never back down, you had to swing your razor hiiiigh
Oh, demon barber Sweeney Todd
Here’s the tale that we regale for you
What happens next, well, that’s the play
You wouldn’t want us to give it away
The world will never be okay, ohhhh

LESLIE
The ship's in the London harbor now, see if you can spot ‘im
A young sailor named Anthony right beside him
His enemies destroyed his rep, his vengeance turned him rotten

DAVEED, OAK (AS TURPIN AND THE BEADLE)
We fucked with him.

ANTHONY (AS ANTHONY)
Me, I trusted him.

ANDREW (AS PIRELLI)
Me, I shaved with him.

RENEE, JASMINE, ALYSHA (AS MS. LOVETT, JOHANNA, AND BEGGAR WOMAN/SWEENEY’S WIFE)
Me, I loved him.

LESLIE
And me
I’m the young Toby that got him.

COMPANY
There’s a million things I haven’t done, but that’s the playyyyy…

LESLIE
What’s your name, man?

COMPANY
Demon barber Sweeney Todd!

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