Cedar Crest Group To Stage SWEENEY TODD In Concert
A concert production of Stephen Sondheim's dark musical masterpiece "Sweeney Todd" will be presented at 2 and 7 p.m. Nov. 18 at Cedar Crest College's Samuels Theatre in Allentown, PA. The production, being billed as a concert event, is the first time the Friends of Cedar Crest Performing Arts will present a full-length musical. FCCPA, a group formed to support the performing arts at the college, has previously presented musical concerts involving both students and the community.
Laura Tracy-Fusco, a Cedar Crest alumni who now lives in Clinton, NJ, and who will be playing Mrs. Lovett in the production, says the group hopes "Sweeney Todd"will engage both the campus and the community with its nearly sung-through music and story of a crazed barber bent on bloody revenge.
"Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street" debuted on Broadway in 1979 and went on to win eight Tony awards, including for best musical. The show had Tony-nominated revivals in 1989 and 2005 and was made into a 2007 musical film starring Johnny Depp.
The tale tells the story of Benjamin Barker, a barber falsely accused and sent away for 15 years by an evil judge. When Barker, now calling himself Sweeney Todd, returns to London, he is determined to take revenge on the corrupt judge who has destroyed his family and now holds his teenage daughter Johanna hostage. Accompanying Todd on his return is Anthony, a young sailor who falls in love with Johanna and is determined to free her. Todd is aided in his quest for revenge by the amoral Mrs. Lovett who devises an ingenious way to dispose of the mounting bodies as well as solve the meat shortage for her pies.
Songs include "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd," "Not While I'm Around," "Johanna," "Pretty Women" and "Worst Pies in London."
FCCPA's production will be presented concert-style with minimal sets and costumes. In addition to Tracy-Fusco www as Mrs. Lovett, Matthew Geist of Alburtis will play Sweeney Todd; Cedar Crest sophomore Emma Gerstein is Johanna and Rhys Williams of Emmaus is Anthony.The cast also includes Bruce McKillip of Easton as Judge Turpin, Ben Yenser of Slatington as Beadle Bamford, Jasmyn Maree Davis, a Cedar Crest senior, as Lucy/beggar woman, Lauren Jorgensen of Quakertown as Tobias and Florence Taylor of Allentown as Signor Pirelli. Kerri-Leigh Taylor directs and Trevor Davis is musical director.
Tickets are $10, adults and $5, students. To purchase tickets, go to ticketing by Vendini at https://tickets.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&e=7dab18efd70eb0db880ca52b9ffa20cd&vqitq=2be91ca2-d651-4944-ad44-0db4df93e087&vqitp=0929bd19-9a9b-46b5-b9ae-d8981099858b&vqitts=1507386284&vqitc=vendini&vqite=itl&vqitrt=Safetynet&vqith=9fb3d13c1273e22d0f48399518a47c38 or visit Friends of Cedar Crest Performing Arts on Facebook.
Photo credit: Kathy Lauer-Williams