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Mentor Theatre spring musical time!

“Sweeney Todd” comes to the Fine Arts Center this weekend for the very first time
Mentor Theatre is a member of the International Thespian Society as Troupe #6

For an entire century, Mentor High School has been proud to entertain its students, staff, and their families with its theatre productions. From comedies to tragedies, reviews from those involved and those who watched it are amazing, boosting confidence in the students and the general image of the activity. Now, coming this April, it’s time to be thrilled (and perhaps even spooked!) for Mentor Theatre’s production of the classic Sweeney Todd!

Students rehearsing their singing parts for the musical.

The character of Sweeney Todd, an insane barber who delights in murdering patients, was created by Thomas Rest and James Rymer, two British playwrightswho were prolific in the horror genre. Their character first appeared in the 1846 serial The String of Pearls. Sweeney Todd found his way into the movies in 1928 and 1936. Then, in 1979, Stephen Sondheim brought the character to life on Broadway, earning eight Tony Awards. Tim Burton would later bring it to life on film again in 2007, starring Johnny Depp in the main role. It was a critical and commercial success, earning an Academy Award for Best Art Direction and nominations for Best Actor and Best Costume Design.

The story follows former barber Sweeney Todd and his sailor friend Adolfo as they go on a dark adventure to kill people. But after so many mysterious losses, one of Adolfo’s assistants has the last laugh by apparently setting Todd on fire in an oven. The play is a magnificent example of a horror story and thrilling climax.

“We are thrilled to be bringing Sweeney Todd to the Fine Arts Center stage,” said Mr. Greene. “The music and story are both incredibly powerful and haunting, and our talented cast and crew have worked tirelessly to bring this production to life.”

The interesting thing about this particular musical is that, unlike most school theater programs, Sweeney Todd was never a popular high school play. This is most likely because of the story and graphic content seen, which may be considered unsuitable for the stage, particularly for children. Director Mr. Greene says, “I’m not sure when schools were given the opportunity to do the show, but the School Edition has been out since at least 2011.  Sweeney Todd has been one of my favorite musicals, so it has always been in the back of my mind.  I knew I had to wait until I was confident that we could have the perfect cast.  Thankfully, the students this year have far exceeded my expectations and the show is coming together in the best way possible.” 

The show will run from Thursday, April 18 to Sunday, April 21 in the Fine Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased online, $15 for adults and $10 for students.

The beginnings of the “Sweeney Todd” set
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