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Dayton Performing Arts Alliance presents Dayton Opera’s Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

The grisly tale of a murderous barber and his deranged sidekick.

DAYTON, OH (Oct. 23, 2023) – Dayton Performing Arts Alliance presents Dayton Opera’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning hit musical thriller Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, November 4-5 at the historic Victoria Theatre. Tickets for Sweeney Todd start at $5 and are available at the Schuster Center Box Office, by phone at 937-228-3630, or online at daytonperformingarts.org/tickets.

Widely acknowledged as Stephen Sondheim’s masterpiece Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, is the tale of a murderous barber who returns to London after serving a prison term for a crime he did not commit. Enraged and bent on revenge, Todd resumes his trade and forms a disturbing relationship with his neighbor, Mrs. Lovett. Performed on Broadway and in opera houses worldwide, Sweeney Todd is a brilliant dark comedy filled with glorious music that leaves the audience wanting more!

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is based on the play of the same name by Christopher Bond, based on the 1847 penny dreadful The String of Pearls. With a book by Hugh Wheeler, Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway in 1979 and the West End in 1980, winning both the Tony and Olivier Awards for Best New Musical. It has been revived regionally, nationally, and internationally many times, most recently on Broadway with Josh Groban in the title role. A film adaptation directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp was released in 2007.

“Sweeney Todd is one of the greatest musicals ever written. To tell this incredible story through music, you need a cast of phenomenal performers who have the voices and acting ability to bring this tale to life,” says Kathleen Clawson, Artistic Director of the Dayton Opera, and Dr. Ron Anderson and Robb Sloan-Anderson Chair. “I am ecstatic about the incredible artists we’ve assembled to create this production. Making their Dayton Opera debut in the lead roles are John Moore as the cunning and blood-thirsty Sweeney Todd and Ann Toomey as Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney’s partner in crime. These are role debuts for John and Ann, and both are superlative.” The cast also includes Joseph Lattanzi* (Anthony Hope), Flora Hawk* (Johanna), Christian Sanders (Tobias Ragg), Ben Brady (Judge Turpin), Amanda Lynn Bottoms (Beggar Woman), Carl Rosenthal (Pirelli) and Logan Wagner* (Beadle); and an ensemble of spectacular singers from the Dayton Opera Chorus, led by Chorusmaster, Jeffery Powell.

“The historic Victoria Theatre is a perfect venue for this thrilling tale,” continues Clawson. “Although I have attended many performances there, it’s my first time stage-directing in the Victoria Theatre. Along with this brilliant cast of critically acclaimed singers, Dayton gets to experience this masterwork with a full, live orchestra led by Neal Gittleman, Dayton Philharmonic’s Artistic Director and Conductor, with choreography by Dayton Ballet Artistic Director, Brandon Ragland.”

Sweeney Todd’s production team consists of Kathleen Clawson, stage director; Neal Gittleman, conductor; Brandon Ragland, choreographer; Molly Tiede, lighting designer; Lyn Baudendistel, costume coordinator; Thomas Venditelli and Cass Brake, wig/makeup designers; John Lavarnway props master.  Rather than the dark color palette typical in Sweeney Todd productions, this production (originally created for Des Moines Metro Opera) features colorful sets by R. Keith Brumley and costumes by Jonathan Knipscher inspired by Victorian Era theatre posters that deliberately belie the dark underbelly of the plot.

Due to mature content, parental discretion is advised.

Tickets for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street start at $5 and are on sale now at the Dayton Live Box Office located in the Wintergarden of the Schuster Center by calling 937-228-3630 or online at daytonperformingarts.org/sweeneytodd

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance’s 23-24 Dayton Opera Series, part of the 23-24 AES Ohio Foundation season, continues with Puccini’s Tosca (April 20 and 21, 2024) and An Afternoon with Will Liverman: Opera Star Recital (June 2, 2024). Both events take place at the Schuster Center.