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Sweeney Todd: In Concert

a Musical (Concert only)
CATEGORY :
by Stephen Sondheim

COMPANY : Onstage Atlanta, Inc. [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Onstage Atlanta, Inc. (Decatur) [WEBSITE]
ID# 1026

SHOWING : October 29, 2004 - November 20, 2004

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

The rare instance of a musical thriller, Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s chilling, suspenseful, heart-pounding masterpiece of murderous barber-ism and culinary crime tells the infamous tale of the unjustly exiled barber who returns to 19th century London seeking revenge against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. His thirst for blood soon expands to include his unfortunate customers, and the resourceful proprietress of the pie shop downstairs soon has the people of London lining up in droves with her mysterious new meat pie recipe!
Sophisticated, macabre, visceral and uncompromising, “Sweeney Todd” nevertheless has a great sense of fun, mixing intense drama with howlingly funny moments of dark humor: audiences find themselves laughing hysterically one moment and gasping in surprise the next.


CAST & CREW LIST
Music Director Paul A. Tate
Director Barry N. West
Stage Manager Jared Wright
Follow spot Melissa DaPonte
Percussion L. Gerard Reid
Flute, wind controller Matthew Rose
Ensemble Ryan Alison
Ensemble Susan Atkinson
Ensemble Geoffrey M Brown
Judge Turpin John Cawthon
Anthony Ethan Foster
Sweeney Todd Benjamin Hammer
Ensemble Jennifer Hindrickson
Johanna Julia D. Jones
Ensemble Katie Keown
Beadle S. Craig McConnell
Ensemble Kathleen McCook
Ensemble Melissa Miller
Tobias Brett Parker
Adolpho Pirelli David Rosetti
Ensemble Adam Schwam
Ensemble Dina Schwam
Mrs. Lovett Allison Simpson
Ensemble David Stephens
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

[REVIEW THIS PRODUCTION]

Attend This Tale!!!
by th8rluvr
Friday, November 12, 2004
5.0
Onstage Atlanta should just can their full productions and put more effort into costuming and creating sets for their Concert series. They have again shown us the amazing talent and voices to be found in Atlanta.

Ethan Foster as Anthony was absolutely stunning. His voice is like silk!

Benjamin Hammer as Sweeney was amazingly creepy. It was nice to see a stray from the typical heavy set hulking menace of a man and see the lithe Hammer in the role.

Alli Simpson, FINALLY gets a role that shows off what an amazing talent this girl posseses as Mrs. Lovett. Her comic timing is spot on and her singing lovely.

The rest of the ensemble really posseses a powerful sound. Kudos to Paul Tate for his excellence.

Great Show!! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
so, what is a 'full' production? by tgillesp
If OSA puts more effort into costuming and sets for the concerts (having already invested in lights, cast, musicians, crew, and, oh yeah, the rights to the show), then wouldn't that amount to mounting a full production, rather than canning them altogether?
Thank you woahfred and th8rluvr! by AlliDiva
I was absolutely thrilled to get the opportunity to play Mrs. Lovett in this production, and I have loved sinking my teeth into such a meaty character (no pun intended!!) I am extremely flattered by all the positive comments from the reviewers and from the audience members. Since I have always considered myself a singer, and not really an actress, I was a bit apprehensive about playing such a complex woman, but I am truly proud of the work I have done. The praise from you all affirms that I am entitled to that feeling, and since these reviews are anonymous, I figured that this would be the best way to say a heartfelt "Thank You."

Alli
Full Productions by th8rluvr
You're right. This was about 75% a full production. So why not go the full distance. They could have with this show.

I realize that past shows like Ragtime and Titanic work well as a concert due to the huge set constraints. But shows like Scarlet Pimpernel, Sound of Music and Sweeney Todd seem anemic in this bare bones format.

The fact that the talent in these productions was so high caliber makes up (for me) the fact that it isn't a fully stage production.

:)
75% by bparker
Although I would have loved for our cast to do the full out production of Sweeney the "Concert Version" contract we had with MTI would not allow us. We took the production as far as possible without putting the show in danger.
Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd!
by woahfred
Sunday, November 7, 2004
5.0
Onstage Atlanta once again hits it big with their Concert series. This time, with the musical thriller SWEENEY TODD, one of Sondheim's most challenging scores. SWEENEY TODD takes the audience on a whirlwind journey of emotions through the music: beautiful to barbaric, creepy to caring. How refreshing it was to see so many new faces in this production. They did not disappoint.

Let's start by mentioning a few stand-outs in this production. Ethan Foster as ANTHONY was quite pleasing. Foster's voice is undeniably one of the best to be heard at Onstage. It is so soothing and gorgeous--usually what I would refer to as a "lullaby" voice: so melodic and beautiful you could just curl up and let it lull you to sleep.

Benjamin Hammer in the role of SWEENEY TODD was excellent. His voice is suited perfectly for this part--hitting those occasional notes that seem to just drop into the basment from nowhere with precision and clarity. Hammer's portrayal of TODD was definitely creepy! This is by far a very difficult role to play, but Hammer gets into every nook and cranny with ease. From the gentleness he shows when dealing with his razors, to the annoyance in the second act with Mrs. Lovett, to the murderous rage he exudes towards TURPIN and BEADLE, Hammer leaves no stone unturned.

I must admit, though these peformances were undoubtedly great, there were two others which stole the show. OSA newcomer Brett Parker as TOBIAS was incredible. This role could easily come off as being to cartoony, however, Parker embodies the role with so much realism, the audience actually wonders if he might be a troubled young boy they plucked off the streets of London. His acting is superb and where is really shines is during the second act. Probably the most secularly well known song from the score "Not While I'm Around" is breath-taking. Parker's voice and delivery are outstanding. It nearly brought a tear to my eye!

And finally, Alli Simpson, in one of the most amazing roles ever written for a female on the musical stage as MRS LOVETT is incredible. After seeing Simpson in several roles around Atlanta, this is the one that proves she is a force to be reckoned with. Simpson makes it seem so easy--she effortlessly delivers each and every note impeccably. There are just too many good things to say about this performance, so I'll just leave it at a simple "Wow."

Knowing that the cast only had about a 3 to 4 weeks to learn all of this music is incredible in itself, but the staging of Barry West and musical direction of Paul Tate undoubtedly played a large part in the success of this show. The ensemble nearly blew me out of my seat during the "Sweeney, Sweeney, Sweeney" chants that go through the stratosphere. Whoever was hitting those high notes should be very proud!! Harley Gould's lighting design was also very effective in giving me the willies during the scary parts!

The only part of this production which I feel was a teensey bit distracting was the fact that only occasional props were used: the razor, rolling pin, dough, cups, towels and even an inkwell and quill pen. However, everytime SWEENEY went to shave someone, the applicator brush was always mimed! It was like: why couldn't they just get one more prop??!! But, this is merely an observation and didn't take away from the production as a whole. Good job OSA--this will by far be the stand-out of this season's concert series. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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