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Meat Pies On Broadway!

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Apr 24, 2017

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player, Stitcher, or Apple Podcasts. (And please subscribe!)

The story of Sweeney Todd has been around since mid-1800's England. It's been a play, a silent film, a ballet, a Broadway musical, and a Hollywood extravaganza starring Johnny Depp.

But there's never been a production quite like the one happening right now at New York's Barrow Street Theatre. (It's technically Off-Broadway, but we took some poetic license with the title and intro of this episode.)

Spoiler alert -- Sweeney Todd is about a barber who goes on a killing spree and disposes of his victims by baking them into meat pies. And in this new production, they serve you an actual meat pie before the show begins.

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That's just the beginning. This Off-Broadway theater itself has been turned into a painstaking recreation of Harrington's Pie Shop in London:


The show is performed right there in the "pie shop" -- no stage, no microphones, and only a few instruments.

This week on The Sporkful, we go behind the scenes of Sweeney Todd to find out how the show's pie maker Chef Bill Yosses (below, right) is creating pies that just might have some "unexpected" ingredients.

"Somebody looked at the pies and said, 'Is that last night's audience?'" Chef Bill jokes. "The juice does ooze kind of red."

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But is this all just a fun, delicious gimmick? Or does eating these pies before you see the show actually make the show better?

Dr. Pamela Dalton, a researcher at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, helps us understand how food flavors and smells can affect our brains while we’re watching this kind of immersive theater.

Then, Helen Rosner from Eater joins Dan to eat the pies, see the show, and report back. Listen in to the full episode to find out what happens!

This week's episode of The Sporkful podcast is up! Listen through the player, Stitcher, or Apple Podcasts. (And please subscribe!)

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Interstitial music in this episode courtesy of Sweeney Todd and by Black Label Music:

- "Bandstand" by Jack Ventimiglia

- "Morning Blues" by JT Bates

- "Horn In The City" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt

- "New Old" by JT Bates

Photos: Dan Pashman and Joan Marcus

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