DANBURY, Connecticut — Western Connecticut State University presents live performances of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” at its Visual and Performing Arts Center on 43 Lake Ave. Extension, Danbury, from Feb. 25 through March 6, 2022. Tickets are $10 and up and can be purchased at www.wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com.
The WCSU production is directed by award-winning actor, singer and director Tim Howard, an associate professor and head of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre program in WCSU’s Department of Theatre Arts. The Musical Director is Dr. Justin P. Cowan, associate professor in the university’s Theatre Arts department and musical director/conductor for various New York Regional productions. “Sweeney Todd” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
“Sweeney Todd” was a successful Tony-winning Broadway musical and has been made into a movie five times since the character was introduced in the 1840s in a novella. The WCSU production relives the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim and the book by Hugh Wheeler. The musical tells the tale of the less-than-appetizing actions of a vengeful Sweeney Todd, a barber in 19th century London, and Mrs. Lovett, owner of a failing pie shop looking for that special ingredient to boost sales.
“The complexities of the beautiful, operatic score and laser sharp lyrics provide both a musical and dramatic challenge that we’re all throwing ourselves into. With 25 cast members on stage as well a 25-piece orchestra directed by Associate Professor Justin Cowan, I am hoping to scare, delight and captivate our audiences,” said Howard.
WCSU students acting and singing in main roles in this classic meaty tale (some roles are shared) include: Ulric Alfred Taylor of Brooklyn, New York, as Sweeney Todd; Chloe Kramer of Poughkeepsie, New York, as Mrs. Lovett; Berny Balbuena of Newburgh, New York, as Beadle Bamford; Bella Bosco of Delaware, Ohio, and Ariana Locascio of Southington, as Beggar Woman; Benjamin Elliot of Madison, as Jonas Fogg; Meaghan Maher of Long Island, New York, as Johanna Baker; Dean Martin of Manchester, as Adolfo Pirelli; Beckett Pais of Bethel, and Logan Farley of Belvidere, New Jersey, as Tobias Ragg; Ethan Chan of Queens, New York, as Anthony Hope; Tom O’Leary of Wappingers Falls, New York, as Judge Turpin.
The ensemble cast includes: Sophie Belkin of Branchburg, New Jersey; Kendyl Grace Davis of Cromwell; Katie Genuich of East Bridgewater, Massachusetts; Liv Hendrickson of Callicoon, New York; Amy Mandelbaum of White Plains, New York; Ben Muckenthaler of Tuscon, Arizona; Tyler Manemeit of Clinton; Khalil Mumtaz of Meriden; Antonio Porciello of Whippany, New Jersey; Alexis Reda of Trumbull; Julia Rocchio of Naugatuck; Jackson Tubis of North Haven; Sydney Maher of Milford; Michael Ramsey of Armonk, New York; A.J. Elias of Grand Rapids, Michigan; Kiernan Urso of Ridge, New York; Audrey Loverro of New York, New York; Jack Canevari of Pawling, New York; Michelle D’Amico of Dallas, Texas; and Alyssa McDonald of Nyack, New York.
Show times for Sweeney Todd at WCSU are Friday, Feb. 25, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 26, at 2 and 8 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 27, at 2 p.m.; Friday, March 4, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 5, at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, March 6, at 2 p.m.
Audience members must wear masks at all times inside the Visual and Performing Arts Center. In addition, three feet social distancing will be enforced, with seating limited to every other seat. As a result, all patrons must purchase their ticket in advance at www.wcsuvpac.eventbrite.com.
Western Connecticut State University changes lives by providing all students with a high-quality education that fosters their growth as individuals, scholars, professionals and leaders in a global society. Our vision: To be widely recognized as a premier public university with outstanding teachers and scholars who prepare students to contribute to the world in a meaningful way.