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Sweeney Todd:  The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street


Make plans to see the musical thriller about a 19th century London barber, who vows revenge, mixed with a bit of culinary assistance, as a baker mixes his victims into her meat pies.

Written by Stephen Sondheim with Libretto by Hugh Wheeler, this show is the recipient of eight Tony Awards.  Since its debut in 1979, it has experienced two revivals, and is also the basis for the silver screen version, starring Kentucky native, Johnny Depp. 

CenterStage's adaptation bills Austin Lauer as a charismatic, chilling Sweeney Todd and Jennifer Poliskie as the energetic, scheming Mrs. Lovett. These two weave the tale of utter mayhem almost seductively as a pair, intuitively moving from one scene to the next as if they have literally succumbed to their roles, instantly transforming into the demon barber and his creative, baking counterpart. And just when the crowd thinks they can't be any more appealing, they launch into the comedic, nearly maniacal "A Little Priest".

This production is just wonderfully cast, with the absolutely entrancing Margo Wooldridge as Johanna, and Mitch Donahue reprising the role of Anthony... who tugs on everyone's heartstrings with his tragically beautiful strains of "Johanna".

However, one of the evening's most standout performances goes to Andrew Hughes, as the ever-trusting, cheerful Tobias. His rendition of "Not While I'm Around" is simply BREATHTAKING... heart wrenching... and filled with absolute pure emotion. Brilliant!

The director, John Leffert, seems especially proud and perhaps even sentimentally attached to the production, commenting that this is "definitely one from his bucket list". And this is easily understood. He has created something magical. Sweeney Todd must be "felt", not merely directed... and Leffert has pulled this off in such a clever, beguiling fashion that we are all left, breath inhaled, to see what he will reimagine next!

For more information on Sweeney Todd, please visit CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center online, or you may call (502) 238-2709.