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'Sweeney Todd' set for April 15-18

Barry McNamara
04/08/2010
The Monmouth College Crimson Masque will perform Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” April 15-18 in the college’s Wells Theater.

Performances in Wells Theater will be at 7:30 p.m. April 15-17, with 2 p.m. matinees on April 17-18. Tickets are $4 for MC students, faculty and staff; $5 for other students and senior citizens; and $6 for adults. They may be reserved by calling 309-457-2104 or by e-mailing theater@monm.edu.

Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd,” which opened on Broadway in 1979, is arguably one of the most macabre, complex and difficult musicals around, but that does not particularly concern assistant professor of theatre Janeve West, who is directing the production.

“We are walking the line between ambitious and audacious, and I like being there,” she said.

The production will remain true to the musical’s time period of mid-19th-century London and will follow the traditional story line. When Todd, played by junior Nick Munson of Moline, learns his wife poisoned herself after being raped by the judge who wrongfully sent him to prison, he sees no other option but revenge. Todd enlists the help of his former landlady, Miss Lovett, played by freshman Emily Frazer of Jerseyville, but his plot for revenge only works for so long until many become suspicious of the pair.

Rounding out the cast are Mike Carioto of Worth, Dane Feenstra of Pittsfield, Alexis Fulkerson of Macomb, Jessie Howes of Long Grove, Iowa; Jamie Kistler of Gerlaw, Danielle Kita of Oak Lawn, Jared Leone of Lake in the Hills, Matt Shumaker of Galesburg and Jon Snowdon of Roscoe.

Theatre professor Doug Rankin designed the set, including the lethal barber’s chair, and Pat Andresen is the costume designer. Assisting West in her directorial duties are juniors Jason Magafas of Orland Park and Jenny Erbes of Warsaw. MC faculty members Stephanie Baugh and Tim Pahel are the choreographer and musical director, respectfully.

The performance includes piercing sounds, smoke, gun shots, flashing lights, action in the house aisles and the use of special effects for blood. Due to adult language and situations, viewer discretion is advised.