Tony winner Annaleigh Ashford, currently starring as Mrs. Lovett in the Broadway revival of Sweeney Todd, has announced a temporary break from the show after testing positive for COVID-19.
Ashford shared the news with her Instagram followers: "To anyone planning on seeing @sweeneytoddbway: I have unfortunately tested positive for COVID," she writes. "But my very brilliant friend [standby Jeanna de Waal] will be playing Mrs. Lovett with the rest of our magical company. I can't wait to see you all again soon."
Ashford's announcement comes just after her co-star, and fellow 2023 Tony nominee, Josh Groban tested positive for COVID last Friday, temporarily stepping out of the role of Sweeney Todd. The show's official Instagram page shared that de Waal will take over as Mrs. Lovett August 23–25. Nicholas Christopher will continue as Sweeney Todd for both performances August 23 after assuming the role last week.
The Sweeney Todd cast also includes Daniel Yearwood as Anthony, Gaten Matarazzo (Stranger Things) as Tobias, Tony Award winner and Laurence Olivier Award nominee Ruthie Ann Miles (The King and I) as Beggar Woman, Maria Bilbao (On Your Feet!) as Johanna, Jamie Jackson (The Last Ship) as Judge Turpin, John Rapson (Les Misérables) as Beadle Bamford, and Nicholas Christopher (Hamilton) as Pirelli.
The ensemble includes Galyana Castillo, Jonathan Christopher, Taeler Cyrus, Timothy Hughes, Paul-Jordan Jansen, Alicia Kaori, Raymond J. Lee, Patricia Phillips, Samantha Pollino, Lexi Rabadi, Nathan Salstone, Kristie Dale Sanders, Stephen Tewksbury, Daniel Torres, Felix Torrez-Ponce, and DeLaney Westfall.
Rounding out the company are swings Dwayne Cooper, Kyrie Courter, Michael Kuhn, Megan Ort, Mia Pinero, and Hennessy Winkler.
Based on the Christopher Bond play of the same name, Sweeney Todd centers on its titular barber who seeks revenge on a corrupt judge and turns to murder, with neighbor and accomplice Mrs. Lovett ultimately discovering they can dispose of the evidence by serving up the most unsettling meat pies to the people of London.
The production features choreography by Steven Hoggett, scenic design by Mimi Lien, costume design by Emilio Sosa, lighting design by Natasha Katz, sound design by Nevin Steinberg, special effects design by Jeremy Chernick, and wig, hair, and make-up design by J. Jared Janas. Casting is by The Telsey Office, and Baseline Theatrical's Nick Lugo and James Hickey serve as general managers. Cody Renard Richard is production stage manager.