Photo Flash: SWEENEY TODD at the Great Lakes Theater at Hanna Thatre, PlayhouseSquare
Great Lakes Theater (GLT) will commence its 2013-14 season at the Hanna Theatre, PlayhouseSquare, with a Fall Repertory that features William Shakespeare's royal epic, Richard III and Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award-winning musical thriller, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The productions will be performed in rotating repertory September 27 - November 3, 2013. Joseph Hanreddy will direct Richard III.Victoria Bussert will direct Sweeney Todd. (Sweeney Todd's music and lyrics were written by Stephen Sondheim based on a book by Hugh Wheeler and an adaptation by Christopher Bond.Sweeney Todd was originally directed on Broadway by Harold Prince with orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick. It was originally produced on Broadway by Richard Barr, Charles Woodward, Robert Fryer, Mary Lea Johnson, Martin Richards in association with Dean and Judy Manos.)
Generous production support for Richard III was provided by John and Barbara Schubert. The Production Sponsor for Sweeney Todd is the Kulas Foundation. Great Lakes Theater is funded by the citizens of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. In addition, the company's 2013-14 season is presented with support from The Cleveland Foundation and theOhio Arts Council. Media sponsors for GLT's 52nd season are The FORM Group, Ideastream (WCLV 104.9 FM and WCPN 90.3 FM) and WKSU 89.7 FM.
"We launch our fall season at the Hanna Theatre in high style...and a taste for revenge...with a daring duo of dastardly demons: King Richard III and Sweeney Todd," said Charles Fee, GLT's Producing Artistic Director. "Performed by a single company of astonishingly talented actors in revolving repertory, we simply can't wait to share these two extraordinary productions with our audiences."
The Fall Repertory begins with William Shakespeare's royal epic, Richard III.Monstrously Machiavellian and theatrically thrilling, Richard III recounts the rise of Shakespeare's most diabolical villain - a homicidal hunchback on a bloody campaign to seize the English crown. To steal power is one thing...but to retain it is another. Will cunning and charisma enable a murderous monarch to maintain his throne? Or will the ghosts of Richard's past rise up to ruin his rule? A bloody battle to the death delivers astonishing answers during a cathartic conclusion when once and future kings collide.
"Director Joseph Hanreddy makes his Great Lakes Theater debut with Shakespeare's twisted tyrant, the 'poisonous hunchback'd toad,' Richard III," said Fee about GLT's season opener. "Our production features a startlingly stylish, contemporary setting for the Bard's most popular villain."
A Tony Award-winning musical masterpiece, Great Lakes Theater's production of Sweeney Todd completes the classic theater company's Fall Repertory pairing. "Resident director Victoria Bussert has created a razor-sharp production of Sondheim's good-old-fashioned revenge thriller, set in Victorian London but inspired by everything from the 'penny dreadful' to German Expressionist horror films and steam punk," said Fee of the production. "As Ms. Bussert says, 'We've created our own very special recipe especially for you.'"
An indisputable masterpiece by America's greatest living composer/lyricist, Sweeney Todd is a heart-pounding thriller. Set on the seedy side streets of 19th century London and laced with brilliant wit, diabolical humor and extraordinary music, this Tony Award-winning musical tells the tale of an unjustly exiled barber's quest to avenge the wrongs done to him and his family by a lecherous judge. Aided by the romantically inclined and resourceful pie shop proprietress Mrs. Lovett, the demon barber of Fleet Street exacts his sweet, razor-sharp revenge.
Great Lakes Theater's award-winning home at the Hanna Theatre features a visionary "Great Room" inspired design that integrates the artist and audience experience into a single unified environment. Hanna patrons select from a variety of seating opportunities including traditional theater seats, club chairs, lounge/bar seats, banquette couches and private box seating. Arranged in an intimate 550-seat thrust configuration where the audience surrounds the stage, no seat is further than 12 rows from the performance.
Great Lakes Theater offers patrons a robust series of Experience Enhancement Programmingthat is organized by day of week. The series highlights the Hanna's unique amenities and affords access to artists.
--"Salon Thursdays" feature an engaging pre-show discussion/presentation beginning one hour before curtain with a Great Lakes Theater artist. (Offered: Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31)
--"Happy Hour Fridays" afford audience members the opportunity to gather, socialize and enjoy appetizers or beverages for sale in the Hanna's bar and lounge beginning ninety minutes before the performance. (Offered: Sept. 27 & Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25 & Nov. 1)
--"Nightcap Night Saturdays" are designed to encourage audience members to stay after the evening performance and mingle with the GLT artistic company in the Hanna's lounge. The Hanna's bar is open ninety minutes after Nightcap Night Saturday performances." (Offered: Oct. 12, 19, 26 & Nov. 2)
--"Ice Cream Social Sundays" offer patrons the opportunity to enjoy a London theatre tradition brought state-side. Audience members are invited to purchase a cool, personal ice cream treatbefore the show or at intermission. Ice cream will be offered at every performance in GLT's Fall Repertory, but on Ice Cream Social Sundays, the treat is half price. (Offered: Oct. 6, 13, 20, 27 & Nov. 3)
--"Director's Nights" offer audiences the opportunity to take part in a lively pre-show discussionwith GLT's Producing Artistic Director, Charles Fee, and the director of each production before Friday preview performances. (Offered: Sept. 27 & Oct. 4)
--"Playnotes Pre-Show Discussions" inform patrons with illuminating introductions to the content and history of each play in GLT's season presented by a guest scholar before Saturday matinee performances. (Offered: Oct. 12, 19, 26 & Nov. 2)
Great Lakes Theater will continue to afford patrons extraordinary access to its artists and production process at every Hanna Theatre performance this fall. The Hanna always opens its doors ninety minutes before each performance allowing patrons to observe the complete pre-show preparation process of GLT's actors and technical staff. Elements traditionally hidden from audiences such as stage combat rehearsals, dance calls, prop/scenic pre-sets, technical cue rehearsals and actor warm-ups will be conducted in full view of patrons, offering GLT audiences an unprecedented glimpse into the theatrical process.
Great Lakes Theater will also renew its New Deal pricing initiative this fall - designed to increase accessibility for audiences. As part of the program, adult tickets begin at $15 andstudent tickets for any seat at any performance are $13 - making GLT one of the most affordable entertainment options in the region.
Opening Night (also Press Night) performances of Richard III (September 28th) and Sweeney Todd (October 5th) have been scheduled for Saturday evenings with preview performances of both productions scheduled for the preceding Friday nights. Curtain times for all evening performances will remain at 7:30 p.m., with a 1:30 p.m. curtain time for Saturday matinees and a 3:00 p.m. curtain time for Sunday matinees. All GLT productions will continue to offer sign-interpreted and audio-described performances.
Single performance tickets range in price from $15-$70 (Student tickets are $13) and are available by calling (216) 241-6000, by ordering online or by visiting The PlayhouseSquare Ticket Office. Groups of ten or more receive discounts of up to 40% by calling (216) 241-5490 x302.
Sweeney Todd is presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. (421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 / Phone: 212-541-4684 / Fax: 212-397-4684)
Actor Sara M. Bruner (as Mrs. Lovett) stars in the Great Lakes Theater production of "Sweeney Todd" at the Hanna Theatre
Actor Tom Ford (left, as Sweeney Todd) dispatches his first victim, actor Mark G. Hawbecker (right, as Adolfo Pirelli)
Actors Mark G. Hawbecker (left, as Adolfo Pirelli) and Alex Syiek (right)
Tom Ford (as Sweeney Todd)
Sara M. Bruner (as Mrs. Lovett)