Southeastern Louisiana University’s Opera/Music Theatre Workshop will present the Broadway musical, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 and 26 at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, 220 E. Thomas St, Hammond.
“Stephen Sondheim is a living Broadway legend; for the last 50 years his musicals have continually expanded the boundaries of what a Broadway musical can — and should — be,” said Charles Effler, director of the Opera/Music Theatre Workshop.
“In Sweeney, he reaches towards opera — and his setting of the tale of the infamous barber and his demonic, yet comic, meat pie-baking sidekick, Mrs. Lovett, has chilled and delighted audiences in productions all over the world since its 1979 Broadway debut,” he said. Join Opera/Music Theatre Workshop in exploring this tragic story amid the squalor and cruelty of 1850s Victorian London; with, of course, a love story — and a lot of laughs — along the way.”
The original Broadway production was nominated for nine Tony awards and won eight, including Best Score for Sondheim.
The back guest stage director is Alton Geno. Geno, who has had a long career as a performer, choreographer and director in New Orleans and around the country, has directed Opera Workshop’s productions of The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific, The Wizard of Oz and The Music Man.
The cast includes Steven Rushing, of Baton Rouge, as Sweeney Todd; Analynn Sober, of Lake Charles, and Kristina Temple, of Amite, double cast as Mrs. Lovett; Jonathan Dupre, of Luling, as Tobias Ragg; Benjamin Vollentine, of Covington, as Anthony Hope; Lauren Gibson, of Walker, and Michelle Guillot, of Slidell, double cast as Johanna; Alison Joiner, of Ponchatoula, and Dana Arthur, of Abita Springs, double cast as beggar woman; Brent Goodrich, of Sulphur, as Judge Turpin; Nicholas Smith, of Ponchatoula, as the Beadle; Chase Ledet, of Houma, as Adolfo Pirelli and Olivia Lowentritt, of Hammond, as the customer’s daughter.
The ensemble, otherwise known as townspeople, policemen and lunatics, include Terelle Bibbins, of Slidell; Ryan Breaux, of Lafayette; Morgan Curole, of Larose; Rachel Davis, of Mandeville; Mindy Guidroz, of Houma; Provence Hatfield, of Amite; Alyssa Hernandez, of Metairie; Cody Sires, of Chalmette; and Ivan Stroup, of Des Allemands.
Effler will serve as the musical director and conductor, Department of Fine and Performing Arts faculty members Steve Schepker and Mignon Charvet will design the sets and costumes, respectively, and former Southeastern employee Ellen Lipkos will design the lighting. Southeastern theatre student Katy Truluck will serve as the stage manager.
Originally produced on Broadway by Richard Barr, Charles Woodward, Robert Fryer, Mary Lea Johnson, and Martin Richards in association with Dean and Judy Manos, “Sweeney Todd” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.
Advance tickets are available at the Columbia Theatre box office from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and will also be available starting one hour before each performance. Ticket are $21 for adults; $16 for seniors, Southeastern faculty/staff and non-Southeastern students; and $8 for children 12 and younger. Southeastern students are admitted free of charge with their ID.
For information about the Opera/Music Theatre Workshop, contact Effler at firstname.lastname@example.org.