published Thursday, February 14th, 2013

UTC groups present ‘Sweeney Todd’

UTC theater major Maggie McNulty, left,  as Mrs. Lovett, and UTC music major Jason Ryan O’Neal as Sweeney Todd are among the players in the production of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”
UTC theater major Maggie McNulty, left, as Mrs. Lovett, and UTC music major Jason Ryan O’Neal as Sweeney Todd are among the players in the production of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
IF YOU GO

What: “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

When: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 15; 3 p.m. Feb. 17; 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21-22; 3 p.m. Feb. 24

Where: Roland Hayes Concert Hall, UTC Fine Arts Center, 752 Vine St.

Admission: $15-$20

Phone: 425-4269

Website: www.utc.edu/Academic/TheatreAndSpeech

A razor gleams. An oven glows. What in the devil is happening on Fleet Street?

The UTC Theatre Company will kick off its spring season with the story of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” on Friday, Feb. 15. The musical thriller is co-produced by the UTC Opera.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and libretto by Hugh Wheeler, the production tells the story of Benjamin Barker, who was wrongly convicted and banished to Australia. When he returns to England, he is Sweeney Todd, the demon barber seeking vengeance for his dead wife and lost daughter.

The story, says director Steve Ray, “strikes at the heart of something that is true about human nature, how our desire for power or revenge can poison and destroy us.”

The UTC production will be “high spectacle, but with a twist, as if a fancy Victorian aesthetic meets Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty,” he says. “It will be confrontational, beautiful and, hopefully, cathartic.”

The cast of singers and actors has been drawn from both the Music Department and Theatre Department. The Music Department also is providing the orchestra, and the Theatre Department is in charge of design elements.

Perry Ward is musical director.

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