Tobias Ragg

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Tobias Ragg
Sweeney Todd character
Portrayed byBrian Glenny (1928 film, as Tobias Wragg)
Johnny Singer (1936 film)
Len Jones (1970 television)
Ken Jennings (original 1979 Broadway cast)
Michael Staniforth (original 1980 London cast)
Andrew Schofield (1985 London revival)
Adrian Lewis Morgan (1993 National Theatre Revival/1994 BBC Radio production)
Michael Cantwell (2000 London concert)
Neil Patrick Harris (2001 concert)
Mark Price (2002 Kennedy Center)
Manoel Felciano (2005 revival)
Ben Walker (2007 TV film)
Edward Sanders (2007 film)
James McConville (2012 London Revival)
Gaten Matarazzo (2023 Broadway revival)
Joe Locke (2023 Broadway revival, starting Jan 2024)
In-universe information
Full nameTobias Ragg
AliasTobias Wragg
GenderMale
OccupationApprentice
Waiter
Home Fleet Street, London

Tobias Ragg (also spelled as Tobias Wragg and sometimes referred to as Toby) is a fictional character who appears in various adaptations of the story Sweeney Todd . The character is an apprentice to the abusive barber Pirelli until Pirelli is murdered by Todd. Toby proceeds to stay with Todd and Mrs. Lovett, helping the latter out in her meat pie shop. Later, Tobias discovers that they have a joint venture to cook the men Todd shaves into meat pies. He ultimately kills Todd after Todd kills Lovett and Lucy Barker, along with multiple others.

Contents

Various actors have portrayed Toby, most notably Ken Jennings, the original actor in the 1979 Broadway production, Neil Patrick Harris in the 2001 concert version of the musical, Manoel Felciano in the 2005 revival of the musical, Edward Sanders in the 2007 film of the musical, and Gaten Matarazzo in the 2023 revival of the musical. Toby participates in multiple songs in the play and movie, having a solo in "Not While I'm Around".

Fictional biography

In the penny dreadful The String of Pearls , Tobias Ragg is the apprentice of Sweeney Todd, a barber who murders his customers. Sweeney Todd has him committed to a lunatic asylum after Tobias finds proof of Todd's guilt and decides to contact the police. He eventually escapes, is involved in Todd's arrest, and as the story ends goes into the service of Johanna's husband-to-be Mark Ingestrie. Tobias Ragg was also the young apprentice of Todd in the 1936 film version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street .

In the Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street , Toby is the apprentice of Signor Adolfo Pirelli, a barber who was once an apprentice of Todd, [1] and a tenor/boy soprano. [2] Pirelli pretends to be Italian, and sells some fake potions for hair, made of "piss and ink". Toby is taken in by Mrs. Lovett after Todd kills Pirelli, who threatened to blackmail him. Toby becomes deeply attached to Mrs. Lovett, thinking of her as a surrogate mother. The character expresses this in one of the final songs in the play, "Not While I'm Around". However, when he discovers that Todd has been killing customers for Mrs. Lovett to bake into meat pies, he goes insane with horror and shock. After seeing Todd kill Mrs. Lovett, a vengeful Toby emerges from the sewers, where he was hiding, and slashes Todd's throat with his razor. Sweeney knows that Toby is about to kill him he lifts his head to make it easier [3] [4] In Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, a 2007 film adaptation of the musical directed by Tim Burton, Toby's role is mostly the same.

In the stage musical, Toby is portrayed as a mentally handicapped adult; Ken Jennings, who originated the Broadway role, was 31 on opening night, [5] and Neil Patrick Harris was 27. In the 2007 movie, he is a child and not mentally ill, portrayed by 14-year-old Ed Sanders.

Performers

Songs

In the musical Tobias Ragg has only one solo number, "Not While I'm Around", which he sings to Mrs. Lovett. He does sing various other songs with other characters, including:

Awards and nominations

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 Cut from 2007 film)
  2. 1 2 3 Edited for 2007 film

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"Not While I'm Around" is a song from the Stephen Sondheim musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. It is a duet between Tobias Ragg and Mrs. Lovett that first appeared on Broadway in 1979. A screen adaptation for the 2007 film of the same name features Edward Sanders as Tobias and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett. In the 2023 revival, it is sung by Gaten Matarazzo and Annaleigh Ashford. Josh Groban, who played the barber in the 2023 production, has also released his own version. Sutton Foster and Joe Locke are currently performing the song. Aaron Tveit is Sweeney.

References

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