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University Theatre presents Sweeney Todd

Music and murder are on the menu for University Theatre’s final production of the season, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler, directed by George Contini. 

Performances will be in the Fine Arts Theatre April 14-15, 20-23 at 8 p.m. and April 17 & 24 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $16, $12 for students, and can be purchased at, by phone at 706-542-4400, or in-person at the Performing Arts Center or Tate Center box office.

Since winning 8 Tony Awards in 1979, including Best Musical, Sweeney Todd has shocked, awed, and delighted audiences around the world. This dark and grisly comedy, set in 19th century London, tells the story of a barber who exacts revenge on the judge and the town that unjustly exiled him by murdering his customers — and using them as the secret ingredient for wildly popular meat pies created by his co-conspirator Mrs. Lovett. 

The story that introduced the character of Sweeney Todd originally appeared as a penny dreadful, a type of 19th-century cheap British fiction publication with lurid and sensational subject matter. It appealed to young men looking for a quick melodramatic thrill in pre-industrial London. 

Director George Contini, associate professor in the department of theatre and film studies, says that the story has been captivating audiences over the past two hundred years because “We’ve all fantasized about revenge on those who have wronged us. But Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett go the extra mile and become demonic eco-warriors urging us to ‘Eat Locals.’”

The cast includes graduate and undergraduate students in both Theatre and Music, with the role of Sweeney played by MM vocal performance student Isaiah Feken, Mrs. Lovett by MFA acting student Katherine Butcher, Johanna by vocal performance music major Stephanie Bacastow, Anthony by vocal performance music major Christopher Sapp, Beadle Bamford by MFA acting student Larry Cox Jr., and Tobias by theatre and mass media arts major Jake Berne. 

That's a great cast and crew for an ambitious production, just as we've come to expect from University Theatre. The level of training our actors and artists receive is second-to-none, as is easy to see in the exploits of alumni. Careers in theatre require serious pre-professional training experience and that is the focus of our program. Congratulations to Dr. Saltz, professor Contini, their colleagues and staff for the extraordinary, ongoing work.

Image: Production photo from University Theatre's upcoming Sweeney Todd. More here.


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