Acclaimed actor, singer and dancer Jordan Fisher is making his dreams come true portraying Anthony in the Broadway return of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Jordan Fisher is no stranger to Broadway. Having portrayed John Laurens and Philip Hamilton in the sensational Hamilton musical from 2016 to 2017, and the first black actor to star as Evan Hansen in the Tony-award winning musical Dear Evan Hansen leading up to the start of the 2020 pandemic, Fisher earned his place on stage alongside Josh Groban and Annaleigh Ashford in the late Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, in it’s triumphant return to Broadway this month. Not only is the show one of the most anticipated of the season, it’s a personal victory for Fisher, who has looked up to and found inspiration in Sondheim’s work since he was a kid.
Aside from Broadway, Fisher’s talents span from music to TV and film– he can be seen in Netflix’s Work It and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before sequel, The CW’s The Flash, and HBO’s Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Underground Rock Experience. Most recently, Jordan starred in and produced Netflix’s Hello, Goodbye, and Everything In Between and was one of the voices of 4*Town in Disney and Pixar’s animated film, Turning Red, which gained recognition for its smash hit, “Nobody Like U.”
Ahead of Sweeney Todd previews, which started February 26th at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, 1883 chats to Fisher about his dream of being a part of a Stephen Sondheim show, being a new Dad, the moment he was asked to be a part of Disney’s Happily Ever After, and how ecstatic he is for its return.
The Broadway return of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street is one of the most anticipated shows of the season. How does it feel to be a part of it?
It’s a lot of dreams coming true at one time. You know, any opportunity to work as friends is something that I usually jump at. So there’s that part of it. And from the creative team to a handful of the cast members going into it, it’s always nice to have that kind of a landing spot. Sondheim has been my biggest influence in my career creatively, and I definitely wish that I had an opportunity to shake his hand and thank him for his work. But I feel like this is the closest that anybody could get. I’m just so honored to be a part of it. Like, it’s hard to put it into words truly. I mean, everything from OBC to, you know, being next to Annaleigh Ashford and Josh Groban and Gaten Matarazzo. It’s this material and it’s with a 26 piece orchestra, it’s the first time since 1979, and it’s all of the things. It’s so much!
That sounds really special, that’s amazing. How have the rehearsals been going so far? How long have you guys been rehearsing?
Yeah, they’ve been great. We got started officially on January 11th I believe. The ensemble was in for a week before we got in. But yeah, we’ve been at it since the beginning of January and previews.. you know. Wow. This Sunday. Holy moly. That’s crazy. That’s so funny, because all of a sudden you blink and you’re at the finish.. well, it’s not the finish line. It’s old, it’s frozen and we’re up and, you know, then we still got another race to go. But yeah, it’s been wonderful. I mean, we’ve been like kids in a candy store, truly.
That IS coming up so quickly! Do you have any friends and family coming out to the first preview?
My mom’s going to come into town for it. But if you know, we’ll have some friends and family kind of scattered in and out throughout previews, but I think a majority of our friends and loved ones are going to be coming after the show fully opens.
Well, congratulations. I mean, that’s huge. Obviously with Sondheim being one of your biggest influences ,did you have any other personal connections to Sweeney Todd before getting offered the role of Anthony?
Yeah, I mean, it was the first Sondheim piece that I fell in love with as a kid. So, you know, 12 year old Jordan is absolutely pinching himself still. I mean, it’s just one of those shows, like if you see it, especially as a kid, it’s so impactful because it’s unlike any other theater. You know, it’s a real thriller piece and it’s dark and it’s got this drudgy kind of tumultuous nature to it, and it’s looming. You know, I’ve never experienced anything like that in the theater. So that stuck with me. And I mean, it’s my wife’s favorite Sondheim musical as well and I’ve been singing all of the stuff to our son. I mean, even before I knew that I was doing it, I was singing Johanna to him. So it’s super exciting. I mean, to have my family with me too, you know, first time on Broadway with a whole family, you know, to be able to be here. I’ve got a whole wife and kid at home. You know, and it’s so beautiful to be able to go to work every day and work on the show that I’m working on and be able to get home and give them a hug and a kiss in the evening. It’s a dream come true, truly.
That is so sweet. Do you hope that your son grows up to want to have a similar career path to you? I have no doubt that he’s going to be musically talented.
I want him to do whatever he wants to do. I have zero desire to push any of my kids into any direction. I want them to kind of tell us what they want and foster all of that. But thankfully, dad has a habit of wearing a lot of hats and doing a lot of different things so I’m sure that there’s going to be plenty of things that we can work together on. He’s captivated by film. It’s really beautiful.
That is beautiful! Have you been showing him any of your past work?
Yeah, some of the colorful fun stuff, you know, animated things as well. You know, eventually he’ll get it. Eventually he’ll put two and two together. He’ll be like, oh, wait, wait, dad, don’t -what? That’ll eventually happen at some point.
How is it being a new dad? Your son is must be coming up on a year old, right?
Yeah, getting close to. He’s creeping up on nine months and he’s just a ray of sunshine. I mean, I’ve wanted to be a dad seemingly my whole life. I’ve just always been a nurse for any caretaker and somebody that’s longed for that of my own for forever and thankfully so is my wife and you know, something that we were really excited to do together, bring new life into the world and as a goofball and lift them up and raise them as kindhearted and caring and respectful people, and yeah, it’s a dream come true. I mean, he is literally out there watching his favorite TV show right now, about to go down for a nap, and I get to go hug him and kiss him and squeeze him and put him down and it’s, you know – I pinch myself every day.
Well, I know you and your wife are huge Disney fans and I have to bring this up because I’m a huge fan of Happily Ever After. So Jordan, how excited are you that it’s coming back in April?
Yeah, I can’t put that into words either. I mean, when it was initially brought to the table, I, of course as a Disney nut, was thrilled and jumped to do it. I mean, I couldn’t be more thrilled, but, you know, kind of thinking that, like [the previous fireworks show] Wishes, it would just be there for much longer, I was definitely bummed when it went away. I think that the most powerful thing about it to me is just that it meant so much to so many people that they brought it back for fans because fans were so loud about it. And I think that the timing is a lot of it as well. I mean, anybody that was working at the park around the time of Covid happening or through Covid at all, I mean, Happily Ever After, it’s kind of an anchor for them and a happy place song, and it’s definitely that for me. I mean, it will always be the coolest thing that I’ve ever done in my career. It’s so special. I still can’t believe that I got to do that and that’s a bucket list item that you don’t even expect to be achievable. Like, I can’t believe that I was asked. It still blows my mind.
I can’t even imagine what that must have been like for you. Are you excited to be able to bring your son to Disney World to see Happily Ever After?
Yeah. Come on! I mean, hopefully it’s there for many, many years and he’s able to recognize that that’s me one day. That would be so cool. But yeah, I had the vision of that and being on my shoulders and being able to watch the fireworks and I thought that that was gone, and I’m so thrilled that it’s not gone.
Oh, that’s so exciting. Has he watched Turning Red yet?
He sure has. He loves it.
What was it like working on that film? Did you get to work in person with Finneas and Billie at all?
Yeah. We were in the studio for a few days together and it was a pretty concentrated effort and we got all of the songs done in a matter of, I think it was like two or three days at the studio. But they were wonderful, so gifted, hardworking.
Very cool! Well, going back to your love for Broadway, which obviously you’re no stranger to. Do you have any favorite Broadway shows? Are there any shows that you’re a huge fan of that you hope to be a part of someday?
Yeah, I mean, my favorite show ever is Once On This Island, it’s a Lynn Ahrens musical that I love. It’s a 90 minute, one-act. And then a dream show of mine to be in would be Sunday in the Park With George. It’s another Sondheim show. So beautiful. Such a moving piece
Do you have any long-term goals to maybe write your own show or at least be a part of the songwriting process for a show?
Yes, yes I do. That’s about all I will say.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will officially open on March 26, 2023, at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
Interview Rachel Martin
Photography Deanie Chen