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Jeff McCarthy & Emily Skinner Star In Lyric Theater's SWEENEY TODD, Opens 10/22

Jeff McCarthy & Emily Skinner Star In Lyric Theater's SWEENEY TODD, Opens 10/22Lyric Theatre, Oklahoma's premiere professional theatre company, opens the 2009-2010 "Lyric at the Plaza" season with Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award winning classic musical thriller, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. From October 22nd through November 1st, Lyric will present the live version of the musical filled with gothic gore, lush songs, and romantic melodrama. Along with the sinister Mrs. Lovett and her special recipe for meat pies, Sweeney Todd and his barber's blades bring betrayal, revenge, madness, and bloody murder to the city of London. Sondheim's complex and brilliant score is the perfect companion to the Halloween season, bringing to life one of musical theatre's darkest Jeff McCarthy & Emily Skinner Star In Lyric Theater's SWEENEY TODD, Opens 10/22heroes. Lyric's production of Sweeney Todd will be directed by Nick Corley.

Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway in 1979 and won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical and Best Score. Sondheim based the musical on Christopher Bond's 1973 play of the same name about the barber Benjamin Barker who returns to London from his wrongful imprisonment to find that his beloved wife Lucy & daughter Johanna have been lost to him at the hands of the twisted Judge Turpin. He renames himself Sweeney Todd and vows revenge on all humankind, hiding murdered bodies in the meat pies served in the shop of his partner-in-crime, Mrs. Lovett. Meanwhile, Anthony Hope, a sailor who saved Todd's life, falls in love with Johanna, who is being brought up as Judge Turpin's ward. Sondheim's rich music, including "Pretty Women", "A Little Priest", "Not While I'm Around", and "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd", brings the haunting drama of this tale to life, as the characters seek to fulfill their most desperate obsessions.

Lyric Theatre's production of Sweeney Todd has attracted Broadway's finest. Jeff McCarthy (Broadway: Urinetown, Drama Desk Nomination; Chicago; Beauty and the Beast) will star as the demon barber himself, and Tony Award nominee Emily Skinner will join him as Mrs. Lovett. Ms. Skinner received a Tony nomination for her role as one half of a pair of Siamese twins in Side Show, and has also performed on Broadway in The Full Monty, Jekyll & Hyde, and James Joyce's The Dead. The leading cast is rounded out by Thomas E. Cunningham (National Tours: Phantom of the Opera, Evita) as Judge Turpin and Roland Rusinek (Broadway: The Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd) in the role of the Beadle, the accomplIce To Judge Turpin's crimes. Supporting cast members include Christopher J. Deaton as Anthony, Caitlin Wees as Johanna, Kris Todd as the Beggar Woman, Jeremiah Downes as Pirelli, and Jimmi Kilduff as Tobias Ragg.

In addition to direction by Nick Corley, production staff for Sweeney Todd includes music direction by Kevin Casey, costume design by Jeffrey Meek, scenic design by Amanda Foust, lighting design by Josh Epstein, and sound design by Brad Poarch.

Tickets for Sweeney Todd are $40. Senior discounts (ages 60+), Group discounts (10+), and Student discounts are also available. Special $15 Student Rush tickets can be purchased ½ hour before performance time in person with ID, cash only. Performances are October 22nd through November 1st: Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursdays at 7:30pm; Fridays at 8:00pm; Saturdays at 2:00pm & 8:00pm; and Sundays at 3:00pm. For tickets:, (405) 524-9312, or in person at 1727 NW 16th St, Oklahoma City, OK.

Lyric's production of Sweeney Todd is sponsored by the Oklahoman and The Chickasaw Nation, with personal support given by Mark & Beverly Funke and Mike & Susan Turpen. Annual support is provided by Allied Arts and the Oklahoma Arts Council.

In Oklahoma City, the renovation and opening of the Plaza Theatre as an intimate live performance venue has enabled Lyric to expand its programming to include even more entertainment options for adventuresome theatergoers. The 2009-2010 "Lyric at the Plaza" season will continue in February with the new Stephen Schwartz musical, Snapshots, and conclude in April with Driving Miss Daisy. Season tickets are still available for as low as $75. Call (405) 524-9312 or visit

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