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Saturday April 19th 2014

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Sweeney Todd: Thrilling Fun

For those who haven’t purchased their “Sweeney Todd” tickets, don’t miss out on this thrilling show—just in time for Halloween.

The demon barber of Fleet Street has never sounded so good thanks to Dennis Jesse playing the title role as operatic voices sing Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway classics.

The story takes place in 19th century London, where an exiled Todd returns to society to seek revenge against Judge Turpin who ravaged his young wife and his holding his daughter captive.

Soon, his thirst for blood goes further than Judge Turpin and all of his customers become victims of his too-close shave.

As Todd’s customers disappear, Miss Lovett’s pie shop, which is below the barbershop, has all of London craving her meat pies.

“It seems an awful waste,” she sang suspiciously.

Miss Lovett, played by Elise Quagliata, offers great comic relief to the dark, tortured Todd.

The song between Todd and Miss Lovett, “A Little Priest” is so twisted, yet funny, you almost feel guilty about laughing.

And Pirelli, the flamboyant swindler played by Leo Day makes a lasting impression in his brief stage time. Even though the show is originally a Broadway musical, it does have a lot in common with operas – a lot of deaths and a very dramatic ending.

No matter how you interpret the story –Broadway, opera, movie—there’s a lot of blood. To keep the stage and production clean Pensacola Opera decided to indicate bloodshed with a loud screech and red lighting. And surprisingly, it works.

It’s refreshing to see a Broadway classic told through the voices of opera professionals, the award winning music was able to stand out rightfully. “Sweeney Todd” is perfect for opera first-timers since the music is in English and the plot is easy to follow.

As the stage was full of actors and background singers, each number filled the entire Saenger with music. You also get the pleasure of hearing the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra perfectly score the production.

Tickets are still on sale for tonight’s show as well as Sunday’s matinee. Get cultured for Halloween and listen to the “Ballad of Sweeney Todd.”

SWEENEY TODD
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. October 19, 2 p.m. October 21
WHERE: Saenger Theatre, 118 S. Palafox
COST: $30-$110
DETAILS: pensacolaopera.com