PULLMAN, Wash. — Stephen Sondheim’s grim musical thriller, “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” begins a two-week run Thursday, April 8, at Washington State University presented by the School of Music and Theatre Arts.
Originally taking Broadway by storm, its immensely successful and ground-breaking musical garnered eight Tony Awards. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the play has returned to the stage — with unforgettable songs and dark humor, says director George Caldwell.
Sondheim’s musical tells the 19th century tale of Sweeney Todd, played by Kristofer Barber, a fiendish barber, who expertly dispatches his clients with his straight razor in a grisly journey for a wrong done him years before. Todd sends his victims through a trapdoor to Mrs. Lovett, Julie Silvera-Jensen, his accomplice, waiting below. A piemaker of peculiar abilities, Lovett turns their prey into meat pies. Unfortunately, the pies become so popular with the sidewalk crowd of London that the culprits have difficulty satisfying their customers with an increased supply of snacks.
Laced throughout the plot is also the endearing love story of a sailor, Anthony, played by James Mushrush, and Todd’s young daughter, played by Elizabeth Delaney, providing a background for some of the richest ballads in memory.
“Sondheim’s play promises to give audiences the most exciting and unique musical experience to come from the stage in the last 20 years,” Caldwell added. The production is rated R for graphic violence and adult subject matter, and audience discretion is advised.
Performances are planned for 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, April 8-10, and April 15-17 in R.R. Jones Theatre at Daggy Hall. Tickets are $8 for students, $6 for seniors and $4 for students and youth, and can be reserved by calling the Daggy box office, 509/335-7236, from 1-4 p.m Monday-Friday. Tickets also may be available at the door.
Free parking is available in the parking garage beneath Daggy Hall and in the lot directly across from the theater facility.