RIO GRANDE — In August, the French Art Colony’s (FAC) Riverby Theatre Guild will bring to the stage the deliciously terrifying musical, “Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”
The award-winning musical, directed by Harold Prince, originally opened on Broadway in 1979 at the Uris Theatre and has had numerous revival productions both in the U.S. and abroad. In 2007, Sweeney Todd hit the big screen in a film directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp.
The rare instance of a musical thriller, Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s chilling, suspenseful, heart-pounding masterpiece of murderous barber-ism and culinary crime tells the infamous tale of the unjustly exiled barber who returns to 19th century London seeking revenge against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. His thirst for blood soon expands to include his unfortunate customers, and the resourceful proprietress of the pie shop downstairs soon has the people of London lining up in droves with her mysterious new meat pie recipe.
The Theatre Guild chose Sweeney Todd as a production upon the request of a few the younger theatre guild participants.
“Sweeney Todd is a unique choice for our group, and one definitely a bit outside of our comfort zone. On the one hand it is a very dark, sinister tale intended for more mature audiences,” said FAC Executive Director and production Executive Producer Joseph Wright. “On the other hand, it is a fascinating musical production filled with numerous creative challenges for our team, which we are excited to be working on. We are fortunate to have music director Natalie Philips and music theater professional, Maggie Roach as staging director. They both lend very strong talents and experience to the project.”
The production is presented with special arrangement by Music Theatre International, New York, NY. It is based on a book by Hugh Wheeler and from an adaptation by Christopher Bond. Orchestrations are by Jonathan Tucker with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.
The RTG production stars Seth Argabright as Sweeney Todd, Lisa Jones and Mrs. Lovett, Ben Roach as Anthony Hope, Evans Smalley as Johanna, Lucy Colley as Tobias Ragg, Jeremiah Knop as Judge Turpin, Devin Kincaid at The Beadle, Alyssa Russell as the Beggar Woman, Steve Sisson as Adolfo Pirelli and Ron Siders as Jonas Fogg. Appearing in the chorus are Carly Peterson, Marissa Snyder, Savannah Wheeler, Jessica Sisson, Clyde Evans, Margaret Evans and other community members. In addition to Phillips, Roach and Wright, Hannah Graham serves as stage manager.
The performances will take place on Saturday, August 11 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, August 12 at 3 p.m. at the University of Rio Grande Fine and Performing Arts Center Auditorium, Rio Grande, Ohio.
Reserved Seating is available for $10 per person. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the French Art Colony, 530 1st Avenue, Gallipolis, 740-446-3834. Tickets may also be purchased at the door, as available. Payments by cash or check only.