I got a chance to see the production of "Sweeny Todd" at the Hanna Theatre on Cleveland's Playhouse Square, the night before it closed its October 4th-November 2nd run. Sweeny Todd was brilliantly directly by Victoria Bussert, in her 27th season with GLTF. Bussert is also the Director of Baldwin Wallace University's Music Theatre Department, of which I am a student. Three current students of the BWMT program and three alum were also major parts of this production with additional students serving as understudies.
"SWEENY TODD", The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: A Musical Thriller, Is about a Barber who is unjustly deported to and imprisoned in Australia, who then escapes 15 years later and returns to London looking for his wife and 15 year old daughter only to find that his wife killed herself years before and his daughter was adopted by the very judge who falsely sentenced him. At this point Sweeny sets out to seek revenge at first only on the judge, but when he feels his only chance is thwarted, he then sets out to punish all men for being guilty of letting injustice stand.
Never having seen the show, I was extremely pleased in every way. The cast was dark, haunting, and engaging. Mrs. Lovett was by far my favorite character. Sara Bruner is a phenomenal actress and singer, especially considering she was extremely ill the night of the performance which I attended. Tom Ford as Sweeny was incredible. He had a mysterious darkness and pain in his soul you could see and feel through his performance. The other supporting characters such as Zach Adkins, as Anthony, and Chris Cowan, as Tobias, did BW proud, as did graduates Clare, as Joanna, and Alex, as ensemble, respectively. The music is riveting, and this show is undoubtedly one of Sondheim's best works. I enjoyed it greatly, and it was the perfect musical to see on Halloween weekend.