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A story of revenge: 'Sweeney Todd' April 29-May 8

April  28, 2016

John Whitson '16 as Adolfo Pirelli and ensemble members
Stuart Buthod '16 as Sweeney Todd, Jamie Hochmuth '16 as Mrs. Lovett.

Augustana's Department of Theatre Arts and Opera@Augustana will present the musical "Sweeney Todd" as the last mainstage production in Potter Theatre before moving to a new theatre complex this fall.

The show will run April 29-May 8. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 1:30 p.m. Sundays. The Tony award-winning Broadway musical is by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler, based on the 1973 play "Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street" by Christopher Bond.

Set in 19th century England, the musical details the return of barber Sweeney Todd to London after 15 years of exile, in order to take revenge on the corrupt judge who banished him, by conspiring with a local baker, Mrs. Lovett, who is in desperate need of fresh meat for her pies. (Wikipedia)

"'Sweeney Todd' explores the cycle of revenge and violence set in motion by a powerful, corrupt judge," said director and new theatre faculty member Jerry Jay Cranford. "Six of the seven deadly sins are displayed as they consume and destroy the characters."

Cranford noted that the challenge of "Sweeney Todd" begins with its dense score. "Dr. Michelle Crouch has spent much of the beginning rehearsal process getting the music taught correctly, as the popular movie simplified much of Sondheim's writing," he said.

Other challenges? "I enjoy looking at the movement within any piece, and I think the cast has been surprised at the amount of movement we are incorporating into the show," he said, "and then there's the blood. We're still working on that!"

Yes, viewers should be advised. This performance contains depictions of rape, murder and cannibalism.

Potter Theatre is located within Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts, 3701 7th Ave.

The $4.2 million Kim and Donna Brunner Theatre Center project is on schedule, and the venue should be ready for the beginning of the 2016-17 academic year.

Tickets for "Sweeney Todd" are sold out for all performances.

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833