Utah State Theatre and the Department of Music in the Caine School of the Arts at Utah State University presents “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” Oct 22-24 and 28-31 at the Morgan Theatre in the Chase Fine Arts Center on the USU campus (approximately 1110 E. 610 North, Logan).Tickets are available at the Caine School of the Arts Box Office in FA 138-B, 435-797-8022, or online (http://boxoffice.usu.edu) and are $13 for adults and free to USU students with a valid ID. Other discounts are also available. Call the box office for details.”Sweeney Todd” is based on the 19th century legend of a London barber driven to a life of crime after malevolent Judge Turpin (played by Wyn Moreno) takes his wife and child from him. Sweeney’s (played by Anthony Eversole) plan for revenge includes a cutthroat partnership with Mrs. Lovett — an enterprising businesswoman played by Felicia Stehmeier — who soon produces the tastiest meat pies in London.”We’re producing the original stage version,” said director Kevin Doyle. “There is a lot more to the stage musical, more songs, more scenes, than the film. We’ve cast 40 actors for the play with nine leads and a 31-member ensemble. Lynn Jemison-Keisker, music faculty member, is the musical director for ‘Sweeney Todd’ and has done incredible work with both the performers and the orchestra. With the 26-piece full orchestra, the musical experience alone is impressive.”The set is large, complicated and clever, Doyle said.”This requires swift changes between the scenes,” he said. “The visuals of the set and costumes will match the power of the many voices and large orchestra.”Utah State Theatre changed its production schedule in order to present the play, a collaboration between the Theatre and Music departments, during the Halloween season.”We thought it would be fun to do a spooky, elaborate musical during the days running up to Halloween, which is the date of the final performance,” said Doyle.Originally directed and designed by John Doyle, who won the 2006 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for the production, “Sweeney Todd” features the music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler from an adaptation by Christopher Bond.The original production of “Sweeney Todd” opened on Broadway at the Uris Theatre (now the Gershwin) March 1, 1979, in a production directed by Harold Prince. The musical won eight 1979 Tony Awards, including Best Musical of the Year and ran for 557 performances. It was revived in 2005 on Broadway to universal critical acclaim and won numerous awards.At Utah State University, the Caine School of the Arts presents more than 200 events each academic year. For information on upcoming events presented by Caine School of the Arts, visit its Web site (http://caineschool.usu.edu).
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