Sweeney Todd Is On Late
Summer Musical Menu
By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine
Aug. 29, 2018 — A vengeful London barber who kills people and then uses the bodies in meat pies as the subject of a musical? Not exactly easy-going fare — but legendary composer Stephen Sondheim took that twisted idea and turned it into a black comedy hit nearly 40 years ago.
In March 1979, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street debuted at the Uris Theatre in New York City.
Sweeney Todd is the fictional character who first appeared as the villain of the Victorian penny dreadful serial The String of Pearls.
Sondheim based his work on Christopher Bond’s 1973 creepy melodrama, which introduced a psychological background to Todd’s crimes. In the original Broadway production, Len Cariou played the title role, while the iconic Angela Lansbury took on the role as Nellie Lovette, a meat shop owner with whom Todd forms a disturbing partnership.
Sondheim envisioned the production as "a small horror piece" but under the direction of Broadway maestro Hal Prince the musical became a “colossal portrait of the Industrial Revolution,” according to one description. The musical went to win three Tony awards.
There have been other versions of Sondheim’s production, including a 2007 movie directed by Tim Burton.
Starting next Tuesday, Sept. 4, a stage version of Sweeney Todd will run through Sept. 16 at Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe, Phoenix. New York-based actor Tony Edgerton will play the title role. Parental discretion is advised for those 13 and younger. Tickets range from $44 to $73. To learn more about the musical or showtimes, call the HTC Box Office at 602-252-8497 or visit https://www.herbergertheater.org/calendar/sweeney-todd/
Friday, Aug. 31
The dance production Under The Covers — a tale about police officers “tangled in a web of lies, murder and deception” — will be staged at 10:30 a.m. at the Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado. Admission is $12 (students), $20 or $30. For other details, go to https://www.tempecenterforthearts.com/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/56429/5071
Sunday, Sept. 1
The Dawg Trio — featuring noted musicians David Grisman, Danny Barnes and Sam Grisman — will perform at 7 and 9 p.m. at The Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix. The trio specializes in bluegrass, gypsy jazz, Latin rhythms, klezmer music and myriad global influences. Admission ranges from $33.50 to $53.50. For other details, check out https://mim.org/events/the-dawg-trio/2018-09-01/
Sunday, Sept. 2
Based on E.B. White’s 1952 children’s novel about a lovable pig and his clever spider friend, Charlotte’s Web will be staged through Oct. 14 at Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. Tickets range from $12 to $30. For more details, visit https://www.herbergertheater.org/calendar/charlottes-web/
Minneapolis indie rock band Bad Bad Hats will play Valley Bar, 130 N. Central Ave., Phoenix. Cumulus will serve as the opening act. The show starts at 8 p.m.; tickets are $12. To learn more, check out https://www.valleybarphx.com/event/1717518-bad-bad-hats-phoenix/
Tuesday, Sept. 4
Arizona native and indie pop singer Courtney Marie Andrews — whose latest album is May Your Kindness Remain — will take the stage at Valley Bar, 130 N. Central Ave. Wheelwright is the opening act; the show starts at 8 p.m. Admission is $12. To learn more, check out https://www.valleybarphx.com/event/1714203-courtney-marie-andrews-phoenix/
Wednesday, Sept. 5
“I like it here in America …” Every theater fan knows that’s from West Side Story, the classic Broadway musical which the Phoenix Theatre is presenting through Oct. 14. Admission starts at $36; showtimes are 2 p.m. or 7:30 p.m., depending on the day. The Phoenix Theatre is located at 100 McDowell Road. To learn more or purchase a ticket, visit http://www.phoenixtheatre.com/wss
Friday, Sept. 7
Reggae band Rebelution is stopping in Arizona this summer at the Mesa Amphitheatre. Also on the bill are Stephen Marley, Common Kings, Zion I and DJ Mackie. General admission is $35 or $103 for a VIP package. For more details on the all-ages show, check out https://mesaamp.com/Online/default.asp
Rockabilly band Pat Roberts and the Heymakers, who have their roots in the Phoenix area, will play the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. Second St. They’ll perform as part of Live & Local Fridays. Admission is $12; for more details, check out https://www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org/event/pat-roberts-and-the-heymakers/
Saturday, Sept. 8
Gilbert native and teenage singer-songwriter Sophie Dorsten will perform at Last Exit Live in support of her album Roses. Opening acts are Jam Now, SugarWater and Ben Anderson. The show will start at 8 p.m.; admission is $7. The venue is located at 717 S. Central Ave., Phoenix. For more details, visit https://www.lastexitlive.com/event/1745951-sophie-dorsten-roses-ep-phoenix
They lost one of their founding members Glenn Frey two years ago, but The Eagles are still going strong and will play the Talking Stick Resort Arena. Showtime is 8 p.m., and ticket prices start at $54. For more details, check out http://www.talkingstickresortarena.com/events/detail/the-eagles
Wednesday, Sept. 12
Critically acclaimed Swedish film The Square will be screened at 6:30 p.m. at the Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave. Admission is free for museum members and $5 for everyone else. To learn more, visit http://www.phxart.org/event/acc0b659-fbba-1046-3674-e3993984bc13
Thursday, Sept. 13
Cadillac Angels, a rock band, will perform at 8 p.m. at The Rhythm Room, 1019 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix. Admission is $6; go to https://www.rhythmroom.com/event/1746162-cadillac-angels-phoenix/ for more information.
Friday, Sept. 14
Based on the 1984 blockbuster movie, the musical Footloose will be staged at Greasepaint, 7020 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale. Admission is $17; for show times or other info, visit https://greasepaint.org/product/shows/footloose/
The Get Jazzed festival will kick off at 6 p.m. at the Mesa Arts Center, One E. Main St. There will be live music on three stages by artists such as Sidewalk Chalk, the Dennis Rowland Band with Jesse McGuire, Blaise Lantana and others. There will also be live-artist demos, various food options, art activities and more. This family friendly event is free. For more details, check out https://docs.google.com/document/d/1WcfRpK08lsu2FoRVeKjP3cLvRwXhFVlao8j9ktD_9js/edit?ts=5b85cc04
The Phoenix Symphony will perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony through Sept. 16 at Symphony Hall, 75 N. 2nd St. Tickets start at $25; to learn more, visit https://tickets.phoenixsymphony.org/single/PSDetail.aspx?psn=11131
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