Sweeney Todd Reviews

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Sweeney Todd: A slashy smash at Candlelight

Just in time for your Halloween pleasure, the Candlelight Theatre presents the Sondheim musical “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” directed by Bob Kelly.

For those unfamiliar with the 1979 musical, set in 18th-Century Victorian London, “Sweeney Todd” plays out less like a modern Broadway musical and more like a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta – or a tragic opera complete with romance, treachery, and murder.

Because the format is quite operatic, the vocal bar is high and the cast includes several heavily-experienced actors making their Candlelight debuts, as well as some familiar faces returning to the Candlelight stage.

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Chilling ‘Sweeney Todd’ at Candlelight is the perfect show for October

Christina Perryman, Delco News Network

Patrick O’Hara as Sweeney Todd, Catherine Ard as Mrs. Lovett at Candlelight Theatre.

Patrick O’Hara as Sweeney Todd, Catherine Ard as Mrs. Lovett at Candlelight Theatre.

Before Hannibal Lector and Patrick Bateman, there was Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney Todd. Perhaps the original serial killer, “Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” is a chilling tale of revenge and love, set to a gorgeous score. The show, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler, is based on the play by Christopher Bond. “Sweeney Todd” is a perfect tale for this time of year and, under the exceptional direction of Bob Kelly, can be seen on stage at Candlelight Theatre.

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Interview with Patrick O’Hara, Sweeney Todd in Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

by Denny Dyroff, staff reporter,  Chesco Times

“The two main characters are Mrs. Lovett, who runs an unsuccessful meat pie shop, and Todd, who resumes work as a barber when he gets back to London. In the Candlelight production, Patrick O’Hara plays the title role and Catherine Ard plays Mrs. Lovett.

“I’ve been a great fan of this show as far back as I can go,” said O’Hara, during a phone interview this week. “I first saw it at the Players Club of Swarthmore a long time ago. I watched all the versions on PBS and also the movie with Johnny Depp.

“It’s a strong ensemble piece although the movie had a lack of ensemble. It’s a multiple love story but it’s also really a tragedy. It’s an actor’s dream to play these intentions. The play is so beautifully crafted the way it was written. It’s chilling. It has a haunted feel. There is a melancholy.”

 

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