RIO GRANDE — The cast and crew of the Riverby Theatre Guild brought the legendary story of the “Demon Barber of Fleet Street” to the local stage this weekend to the horrific delight of those who packed the University of Rio Grande John W. Berry Fine and Performing Arts Center on Saturday and Sunday.
“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” originally opened on Broadway in 1979 and has had several revival production in the both the U.S. and abroad. The award-winning musical thriller was brought to a wider audience in 2007 in the film adaption of the musical directed by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp.
The production, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and libretto by Hugh Wheeler, tells the infamous story of the unjustly exiled barber who returns to 19th century London seeking revenge against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. His thirst for blood soon expands to include his unfortunate customers, and the resourceful proprietress of the pie shop downstairs soon has the people of London lining up in droves with her mysterious new meat pie recipe.
The local production starred Seth Argabright as Sweeney Todd, Lisa Jones as Mrs. Lovett, Ben Roach as Anthony Hope, Evans Smalley as Johanna, Lucy Colley as Tobias Ragg, Jeremiah Knopp as Judge Turpin, Devin Kincaid at The Beadle, Alyssa Russell as the Beggar Woman, Steve Sisson as Adolfo Pirelli and Joseph Wright as Jonas Fogg. Appearing in the chorus were Clyde Evans, Margaret Evans, Michaela Flannery, Carly Peterson, Sophia Russell, Jess Sisson and Marissa Snyder. Additional Sweeney victims were Leo Parks and Tyler Phillips. Joseph Wright served as producer, with Maggie Roach as staging director, Nattalie Phillips as music director and Hannah Graham as stage manager.
Prior to the final performance on Sunday, staging director Maggie Roach thanked those host of volunteers who made the production of “Sweeney Todd” possible.
“This has been a huge challenge for us as a community, so we want to thank all of the volunteers for putting in so much hard work and many, many hours to make this possible,” she said.
The Riverby Theatre Guild’s next production will be “Fairy Tale Courtroom” and will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 17 and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, August 18 at the French Art Colony lawn, 530 First Avenue, Gallipolis. For more information, contact the French Art Colony at (740) 446-3834.