Shuler-Buckley Sweeney Todd Production Called Off

The Odessa, TX production of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd starring Shuler Hensley (Oklahoma!) and Betty Buckley (Pippin, Cats, Sunset Boulevard) has been called off.

The stars would have essayed the title role and his erstwhile Mrs. Lovett in a staging directed by Tony Georges at the Ector Theatre; the show was to have run from July 7th to 24th.  Georges explained to Playbill.com why Sweeney Todd was cancelled: "We had tremendous difficulty living up to the riders of the contracts with various entities involved in the production. We felt that it would be better to pass on the project rather than to come short of the expectations of the people involved."  It was also stated that the performances of the artists involved has nothing to do with the cancellation. 

An unannounced production will go up in the place of the great musical thriller, which tells of the title barber's vendetta against the man who ruined his family, and his consequent descent into madness and murder.  Sweeney Todd, which was originally directed by Harold Prince with a book by Hugh Wheeler to Sondheim's score, won 8 Tonys in 1979, including Best Musical.  The show will be revived this season with Michael Cerveris and Patti LuPone in the lead roles.

Hensley, who won a Tony award for his performance as Jud in the most recent revival of Oklahoma!,Great American Trailer Park Musical, which starts performances on August 20th at Dodger Stages.  Meanwhile, Buckley will perform her cabaret Smoke as part of the Ravinia Festival's Martinis at the Martin series on August 28th (4:30 PM) and 29th (8 PM).

A highly-anticipated production of Gypsy starring Olivier-winner Maria Friedman as Rose and Tony Award-winner Daisy Eagan as Gypsy Rose Lee will run at the Ector from August 11th to the 28th.
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Call (432) 337-9595 for tickets or more information.


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