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Sweeney Todd: A Preview

Central's stage and pit. PC: Emma Helstrom (277)

Sweeney Todd tells the tale of a tortured soul seeking vengeance with a straight razor. One of the most ambitious productions taken on by Central’s drama department thus far, Sweeney Todd will haunt your dreams and leave you wary of going to the barber shop ever again.

This play has it all; love, revenge, cannibalism, blood, pies, and a hauntingly atonal score. The set will transport you back to the sights and sounds of Victorian London, and that authentic pee smell of a London street won’t just be your imagination, for by the time the play is over you and your fellow audience members will have wet the seats out of fear.

Sweeney Todd is Mr. Kelsey’s third musical production at Central, and the first in which he has taken on a directing role. In discussing the obstacles that had to be overcome in order to make the production possible, Mr. Kelsey explained, “Many people have reminded us of the difficulty in taking on a show like Sweeney Todd; my response to them is when 100 Central students work together, anything is possible.” Kelsey emphasized the fact that Sweeney Todd is the product of the hard work and commitment that so many Central students have put into the production, and their hard work will show when the curtains part on Thursday night.

Speaking on behalf of co-director, Mary Guarnieri, a graduate of 271 who was involved in the early stages of Central’s musical theatre program in productions such as West Side Story, Kelsey said, “To see how the program has grown and to be involved in the production of Sweeney Todd, and see how many students are involved in the production, she’s extremely proud to be back at Central debuting as director of Sweeney Todd.”

According to cast member Dylan Lewis (277), who plays Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd’s lover, “So much hard work has gone into this production from every end. We’ve put countless hours into the show and we want to share what we’ve created with other people. I’m hoping that it will be an unforgettable experience for every person who comes to see it.”

Grace Del Vecchio (277), who plays Pirelli, the rival barber of Sweeney Todd, says “Taking on a show such as Sweeney Todd was definitely no small feat. But the cast, stage crew, pit orchestra, and production staff have been working tirelessly over the past three months, and I know our final product is going to be amazing.”

Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street will be presented in Central’s auditorium on Thursday April 6th at 3:30pm, Friday April 7th at 7:00pm, and Saturday April 8th at 1:00pm and 7:00pm. Tickets are available online at BIT.DO/PAYCHS, at the door, or thru the Central High School music department (215-276-5262 EXT 3240). Tickets are $5 for students, alumni, and military; $10 for general admission; and $20 for preferred seating.

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Henry McDevitt (277)
Entertainment Editor

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