Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

You'll want to steer clear of Mrs. Lovett's meat pies during Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, but don't let her horrid cooking keep you away from the show. The musical is filled with black comedy and some of the most wonderful music ever performed on Broadway. But because the show has such a high level of musical difficulty (this is Sondheim, after all) and a fair bit of gore, very few community theaters attempt it. That didn't stop Stage Door theater from tackling the production, the first ever for a local community theater.

"We've been working on this for a year," says the show's exhausted director, Marc Anthony Glover. "The underlying reality of the show is that everyone is just a little bit crazy. Everyone has a level [of insanity] they're willing to go to in order to get what they want, whether it's revenge or the one they love or freedom."

Glover says range of acting skills required by the multiple layers of the show’s plot as well as the complicated music made casting the show a bit difficult. While Sweeney is the central character (he’s being played by Joshua Clark), Glover says it was also crucial to get Mrs. Lovett cast correctly. The role went to Heather Gabriel. “She knows music,” Glover says, “but she also has this crazy zaniness about her.”

Glover added a gaggle of ghostly children to the cast. They’re only visible to the beggar woman, who we find out later in the show lost her own child. The child actors are from Stage Door’s training arm, The Protégé Players. “They’re very excited about being in Sweeney Todd. They kept asking, ‘The real Sweeney Todd? The Sweeney where they cut everybody’s throat? That Sweeney?’” Yep, that Sweeney. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Through November 14. 284 Pasadena Town Square. For information, call 832-582-7606 or visit www.stagedoorinc.com. $12 to $30.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 3 p.m. Starts: Oct. 22. Continues through Nov. 14, 2010

 
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