Long Beach Playhouse Extends Sweeney Todd For One Weekend

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Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Has met with such a resounded response that the Long Beach Playhouse has extended the run for one weekend only.

“Sweeney is enormously popular and our production has been met with critical success,” explains Andrew Vonderschmitt, executive and producing artistic director for the Long Beach Playhouse. “we want to make sure as many people that want to see the show, can see the show.”

Sweeney Todd will play two added shows on Friday, Nov, 18 and Saturday, Nov. 19 @ 8pm.

Sweeney Todd first hit the stage in 1847 in String of Pearls, but it wasn’t until the 1973 production that Sweeney was given the motive of revenge and was rehabilitated into a somewhat more sympathetic character.

“The story tells of the infamous tale of Sweeney Todd, an unjustly exiled barber, and follows his blood-soaked return to 19th century London as he seeks vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him, ravaged his young wife, and keeps his daughter a virtual prisoner in his house,” said Vonderschmitt. “In 1979, Stephen Sondheim turned it into a musical.”

To bring Sweeney Todd to delicious life, Vonderschmitt enlisted Sean F. Gray to serve as director and set designer. Stephen Olear was brought in as the music director and Halley Wright as the choreographer. All three have previous credits in tat the Playhouse including, Jesus Christ Superstar, Bat Boy, Spring Awakening, and A Christmas Carol to name a few. Donna Fritsche’s costume shop is a blur of sketches, swatches, patterns and costumes that will make Sweeney Todd a visual delight.

As is the practice of the Playhouse, the 17-member cast is a combination of returning actors and those making their debuts. Debut performances are expertly delivered by KJ Brown, Serena Bottiani-Henderson, Christopher Diem, Julia Siegel, Anna French, Kyra Kiener, George Carson and David Fairchild.

Among the returning actors to this production are Steven Shane, Harriet Whitmyer, Anissa Leeanna Loer, Robert J. Fetes, Omar Timsah, Carole Louise Duffis, Leigh Hayes, Dennis Dyck, and Noah Wagner. Incidentally, Wagner has, in the last few years at LBP, played Sherlock Holmes, The Marquis de Sade, The Tiger, and now Sweeney Todd.

For the past several years, the Studio Theatre has sought to bring edgier shows to the Playhouse patrons. Examples include Marat/Sade, A Midsummer’s Night Gay Dream, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and Spring Awakening. Sweeney Todd, with its emphasis on revenge served up in meat pies, fits the bill perfectly.

“Close shaves, razor-sharp wit, and unsettlingly delicious meat pies (with a secret ingredient), combined with Sondheim’s brilliant and disturbingly beautiful music, will be a great start to your Halloween Season ,” said Vonderschmitt.

Extended through November 19th.


Friday: Adults are $20.00, Seniors $18.00, and Students $14.00
Saturday and Sunday: Adults are $24.00, Seniors $21.00, and Students $14.00.

Tickets are available at www.lbplayhouse.org, or by calling 562-494-1014, option 1.

Long Beach Playhouse is located at 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, CA, 90804, right across from the Long Beach Recreation golf course. The Playhouse is community-supported theatre with programs and events that cut across age, gender, ethnic, and cultural boundaries.

Performances are 8 p.m. Friday, and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The box office is open Wednesday-Saturday from 3:00-8:00 pm and Sundays from 1:00-2:00 pm on scheduled matinees

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