@ The Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St.
 

Sweeney Todd

Book by Hugh Wheeler, based on adaptation by Christopher Bond, directed by Nora Thomas

  • L to R: Shaun Hadfield (Judge Turpin), Jamie Smith (Johanna), Mario Ragazzone (Anthony), Carol Ayon (Beggar Woman), Daniel De LaRosa (Pirelli), Autry Sutcliff (Chorus), Cameron Lang (Beadle Bamford), Rafael Medina (Sweeney Todd), Vanessa Dabovich(Chorus), Chris Sedillo (Chorus), Diane Thomas (Mrs. Lovett), Xodia Choate(Chorus), Layla Jackson (Chorus), and Joseluis Solorzano (Chorus)
  • (L to R:) Joseluis Solorzano, Layla Jackson, Chris Sedillo, Autry Sutcliff, Daniel De LaRosa, Cameron Lang and Philip Alvarez (Toby)
  • (L to R:) Daniel De LaRosa (Pirelli) Rafael Medina (Sweeney Toss and the company
  • (L to R:) Quintet (Chris Sedillo, Cameron Lang, Vanessa Dabovich, Autry Sutcliff, Xodia Choate) and Sweeney Todd(Rafael Medina)
  • (L to R:) Mrs Lovett (Diane Thomas), Anthony (Mario Ragazzone) and Sweeney Todd (Rafael Medina)
  • (L to R:) Anthony (Mario Ragazzone) and Cameron Lang (Beadle Bamford)
  • (L to R:) Toby (Philip Alvarez and Mrs. Lovett (Diane Thomas)
  • (L to R:) Mrs Lovett (Diane Thomas) and Sweeney Todd (Rafael Medina)
  • (L to R:) Mrs Lovett (Diane Thomas) and Sweeney Todd (Rafael Medina)
  • (L to R:) Mrs Lovett (Diane Thomas) and Sweeney Todd (Rafael Medina)
  • (L to R:) Mrs Lovett (Diane Thomas), Sweeney Todd (Rafael Medina), Chorous (Layla Jackson, Autry Sutcliff, Xodia Choate, Joseluis Solorzano) Toby (Philip Alvarez) and Chorus (Chris Sedillo)
  • (L to R:) Bird Seller (Joseluis Solorzano) and Johanna (Jamie Smith)
  • (L to R:) Fogg's Asylum Inmates (Joseluis Solorzano, Layla Jackson, Xodia Choate, Daniel De LaRosa, Autry Sutcliff, and Vanessa Dabovich) and Mr. Fogg (Chris Sedillo)
  • (L to R:) Anthony (Mario Ragazzone) Judge Turpin (Shaun Hadfield) and Sweeney Todd (Rafael Medina)
  • (L to R:) Mrs. Lovett (Diane Thomas), Beggar Woman (Carol Ayon), Sweeney Todd (Rafael Medina), Beadle Bamford (Cameron Lang), and Judge Turpin (Shaun Hadfield)
  • (L to R:) Beadle Bamford (Cameron Lang), Judge Turpin (Shaun Hadfield) and Convict (Joseluis Solorzano)
  • ( L to R:) Sweeney Todd (Rafael Medina, Beggar Woman (Carol Ayon) and Anthony (Mario Ragazzone)
  • (L TO R:) Mrs Lovett (Diane Thomas), Sweeney Todd (Rafael Medina), Toby (Philip Alvarez) and Pirelli (Daniel De LaRosa)
  • (L TO R:) Mrs Lovett (Diane Thomas), and Toby (Philip Alvarez)
  • (L to R:) Beadle Bamford (Cameron Lang), and Judge Turpin (Shaun Hadfield)
  • L to R: Sweeney Todd (Rafael Medina) and Client (Chris Sedillo)

Oct 09-Nov 01, 2015

FRI OCT 9,16,23,30| 8:00 PM
SAT OCT 10,17,24,31| 8:00 PM
SUN OCT 18,25, NOV 1* | 2:30 PM
THRS OCT 22 | 7:00 PM
* RUN EXTENDED

Description

Attend this dark and witty tale of love, London, murder and revenge. Sweeney Todd has become a bloody, worldwide success since being awarded 8 TONY's, one of them for Best Musical, for its Broadway premiere. Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler crafted a tasty, thrilling, theatrical treat with Sweeney Todd that has simultaneously shocked, awed, and delighted audiences across the world.

Set in 19th-century London, this thrilling musical tells the story of ousted barber Benjamin Barker, also known as Sweeney Todd, and his revenge on the scheming judge who exiled him for 15 years. When the bloodthirsty Sweeney joins forces with the failing pie shop proprietress Mrs. Lovett, the two introduce a new, carnal ingredient to Lovett's meat pies that sends the people of London straight to the shop - and new victims to Sweeney's barber chair.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler, the show has become a musical theatre staple since its Broadway premiere at the Uris Theatre in 1979, directed by Harold Prince. The original Broadway production of Sweeney Todd starred Len Cariou as Sweeney Todd and Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Lovett and won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The show has been remounted multiple times, including a Tony Award-winning Broadway production in 2005 starring Michael Cerveris and Patti LuPone. The most recent London revival in 2012 featured Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton in the leading roles.

Stephen Sondheim is a name synonymous with musical theatre, as he has written the music and lyrics for a number of quintessential, award-winning works, including "Company" and "Passion" which have received recent productions in Las Cruces. Hugh Wheeler was an American playwright and librettist who is noted for both his work with Sondheim and a series of mystery novels and short stories. The duo also collaborated on 1973's "A Little Night Music."

Credits

Anthony
Beadle Bamford
Beggar Woman
Chorus Member
Chorus Member
Chorus Member
Chorus Member
Chorus Member
Chorus Member
Johanna
Judge Turpin
Mrs. Lovett
Pirelli
Sweeney Todd
Toby
Based On An Adaptation By
Book By
Director
Music And Lyrics

Reviews

'Sweeney Todd' gets extended run at Black Box Theatre
- By Mike Cook, Las Cruces Bulletin

With the excellent "Slasher" already running just down the street at Las Cruces Community Theatre, No Strings Theatre Company added to the pre-Halloween theatrical mayhem on the downtown mall with the opening of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, A Musical Thriller," on Friday night, Oct. 9, at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St. And, the show was so well received opening weekend, its run has been extended for a fourth weekend, which will include a show on Halloween night. Like just about everyone else, I had heard of Sweeney Todd - Steven Sondheim's 1979 Broadway musical and Johnny Depp's 2007 movie - but I had never seen it. The Black Box version, directed by Nora Thomas and produced by Ceil Herman, met or exceeded all my expectations; it was dark, eerie, disturbing - and a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it and I highly recommend it to long-time theatre goers and newcomers alike.

From the opening moment, you know you're in for an entertaining evening, as all 15 cast members are on stage in their fabulous 19th-century London costumes and really creepy face makeup, singing "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd" and skulking about on a stage whose walls and floor are decorated with red hand prints and lines from the show. Rafael Medina was a foreboding and mysterious Sweeney Todd, twirling his folding straight razor and commanding the stage with "The Barber and his Wife," "Pretty Women," "Epiphany" and "Final Scene," among others. He clearly delighted in his new-found way to compete successfully in the cut-throat barber trade. Diane Thomas was simply wonderful as Mrs. Lovett, Todd's partner in crime and maker of "The Worst Pies in London." Her duet with Phillip Alvarez's Toby on "Not While I'm Around" was one of the highlights of the evening. I've seen Alvarez in a lot of shows, and his energy and talent always astonish me.

Cameron Lang as Beadle Bamford was terrific. Fresh off his performance in Scaffolding Theatre Company's "Passion" (another Sondheim show) and soon to be Shrek in the eponymous musical at LCCT, he was bold and tender in "Ladies in the Sensitivities" and "Sweet Polly Plunket." Carol Ayon made you feel empathy, fear and awe all at the same time for her Beggar Woman, who has a deep secret tragically revealed at the end of the show. She blended seamlessly with other singers and sparkled on her own in "Beggar Woman's Lullaby." Mario Ragazzone and Jamie Smith were young lovers Anthony and Joanna, separated by a cruel judge and reunited in a lunatic asylum. They were lovely together in "Ah, Miss" and "Kiss Me"; splendid with other cast members in "No Place Like London" (Anthony, Sweeney Todd and Beggar Woman) and "City on Fire" (Joanna and "Lunatics"); and terrific in their solos, including "Joanna" (Anthony) and "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" (Joanna). Long-time Las Cruces theatre veteran Shaun Hadfield was a scary and menacing Judge Turpin, who joined Sweeney Todd in two renditions of "Pretty Women." The role of the judge is pivotal to the show, and Hadfield carried it off with intimidating style. Daniel De LaRosa, the first to die in the infamous barber chair, rocked in "The Contest" and "Pirelli's Death." Like Cameron Lang, Mario Ragazzone and Jamie Smith, De LaRosa is a theatre arts major at New Mexico State University. It's so great to see so many Aggies using their talents so successfully at the Black Box and LCCT.

Two members of the show's chorus, Xodia Choate and Layla Jackson, are seniors at Alma d'Arte Charter High School. Chris Sedillo, Joseluis Solorzano (also an NMSU student, majoring in elementary education), Autry Sutcliff and Vanessa Dabovich rounded out the chorus. Individually and collectively, these six performers were vital parts of this show, particularly, I thought, in the asylum scene.

Peter Herman's lighting design lent even more creepiness to the production. Marissa Bond designed period costumes that helped bring Victorian London to the stage. Ian Rankin, a double major in electrical engineering and computer science at NMSU, was an excellent accompanist on the keyboard; Brian Theodorson was the conductor; Christa Fredrickson was the chorus director.

Rafael Medina not only performed as Sweeney Todd, he also was the show's sound designer. Cassidy Nix was the stage manager. One of my favorite back-stage people, the talented and delightful Bekka Riley, was the light board operator. The backstage crew included John Cunio, Sam Read, Julie Stephenson and Zac Winchell.

I have to add that I love the new seats and risers at the Black Box. The chairs are very comfortable and I don't think there's a bad seat in the house.

With an added weekend, remaining performances of Sweeney Todd are 8 p.m. Fridays, Oct. 16, 23 and 30, and Saturdays, Oct. 17, 24 and 31 (Sweeney Todd on Halloween!), and 2:30 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 18 and 25 and Nov. 1 and 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22. Tickets are $12 regular admission, $10 for students and senior citizens over age 65 and $8 for all tickets on Thursday night.

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