SWEENEY TODD at South Coast Repertory

Photo by Jordan Kubat/SCR

Ellen Dostal – Musicals in LA

Done right, the first notes of a musical will tell you exactly what kind of world you’re stepping into. When it comes to the masters, Stephen Sondheimdoes it better than just about anyone.For Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, all it takes is one crashing dissonant organ chord spitting hellfire and damnation, followed by another, and then another, to let the audience know this is not a musical about redemption. It’s about revenge.

The South Coast Repertory production of Sweeney Todd led by director Kent Nicholson and musical director David O. shrewdly hits its marks by reveling in both the sensationalism of its Penny Dreadful-inspired story and the warped charm of its irresistibly gruesome humor. Nicholson allows his actors the freedom to play the broad music hall style of comedy to its fullest yet never loses sight of its darker undercurrents. Read more…

Now running through February 16