Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s musical thriller, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street comes to the UTC Roland Hayes Concert Hall. Co-produced by UTC’s Music Department and the Department of Theatre and Speech, Sweeney Todd tells the story of Benjamin Barker through haunting music and sly lyrics. Wrongly convicted and sentenced to banishment in Australia by villain Judge Turpin, Barker returns as Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber, seeking vengeance for his dead wife and lost daughter.

Watch the Sweeney Todd featurette here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xfLdWIoxnM

Watch the Sweeney Todd promo here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqTw-X5lztc

“It strikes at the heart of something that is true about human nature—how our desire for power or revenge can poison and destroy us,” said Steve Ray, director and UTC Theatre Professor. “Our production will be quite unique.  It will be high spectacle, of course, but with a twist—as if a fancy Victorian aesthetic meets Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty.  It will be confrontational, beautiful and, hopefully, cathartic.”

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street runs for five performances in February.  Performance times are: February 15, 21, and 22nd at 7:30p.m. and February 17th and 24th at 3 p.m. All performances are in the Roland Hayes Concert Hall, located in the UTC Fine Arts Center, on the corner of Palmetto and Vine Streets. Free parking is available in nearby Univers ity lots.

Perry Ward, Assistant Professor for Voice in the UTC Music Department, who serves as Musical Director and Conductor for the musical, calls the production “one of the great works of American musical theater.”

“It has been a good challenge to work on this piece with a group of students.  To get them to fully buy into and take ownership of this project has been very exciting.  To see them respond and grow and bring life to the music and the story has been very gratifying,” he explained.

Ray expressed his excitement about the talent pool in both UTC departments.

“This collaboration between UTC Opera and UTC Theatre Company allows us to showcase the best from both departments.  We have a talented cast of singers and actors from both the Music Department and the Theatre Department.  The Music Department is providing the orchestra from their many talented instrumentalists and the Theatre Department is providing the design elements,” he said.

Tickets to the show are $20, $15 for Students with ID and Senior Citizens. The UTC Box Office is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before performances.

Additional faculty and staff on the creative team are John R. Burgess, UTC Theatre Professor, who created the Lighting Design and provided Technical Direction. Scenic Design is by Gaye Jeffers, UTC Theatre Professor and Costume Design is by Samantha Johnson, a UTC Junior Art major with a minor in Theatre, and Dottie May Youells, a UTC Theatre Department staff member.  Choreography is by Kristin Nalley, local choreographer and UTC staff member.

Please call (423) 425-4269 for reservations and your tickets will be waiting for you at the Will Call window. Tickets are also available online at Tickettracks.com.

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