CHICAGO – Philip Torre, a baritone who has appeared on the stages of Lyric Opera of Chicago, New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and others, has been cast in the title role of Stephen Sondheim’s SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET. The production’s Mrs. Lovett will be Jacquelyne Jones, who just completed a run in Firebrand Theatre’s acclaimed production of LIZZIE, and appeared in Theo Ubique’s HONKY TONK ANGELS as well as Kokandy Productions’ HEATHERS last season. Theo Ubique Artistic Director Fred Anzevino, who will direct the production, announced the full cast today.
Joining Torre and Jones in the cast is Cecelia Iole, reprising her role as Sweeney Todd’s daughter Johanna from Paramount Theatre’s 2017 Jeff Award-winning production of the musical. Iole also played Cunegonde in Music Theater Works’ production of CANDIDE last summer. Nathan Carroll, a Jeff Award nominee for his leading role as Molina in BoHo Theatre’s KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, has been cast as Johanna’s paramour Anthony Hope. Carroll appeared most recently in Kokandy Productions’ BONNIE AND CLYDE as the Preacher.
Frankie Leo Bennett, who played Mark in Theo Ubique’s just-closed production of ALTAR BOYZ and previously appeared as Sonny in Porchlight’s IN THE HEIGHTS, will be Tobias Ragg, the unfortunate assistant of the blackmailer Adolfo Pirelli (Ryan Armstrong of Theo Ubique’s JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, THE MOST HAPPY FELLA, and AN ANTHONY NEWLEY AND LESLIE BRICUSSE SONGBOOK). John B. Leen, last seen at Theo Ubique as Colonel Ricci in Sondheim’s PASSION, is playing the villainous Judge Turpin, along with Kevin Webb (seen most recently in BoHo’s MARIE CHRISTINE) as Turpin’s sidekick Beadle Bamford. The production’s Beggar Woman is Megan Elk, who played Hucklebee in THE FANTASTICKS for Quest Theatre Ensemble last Spring. The ensemble includes Grant Brown, Hope Schafer, Missy Wise and Trevor Vanderzee.
Top row L-R: Philip Torre, Jacquelyne Jones, Cecelia Iole, Nathan Carroll. Middle row L-R: John B. Leen, Megan Elk, Kevin Webb, Frankie Leo Bennett, Ryan Armstrong. Bottom row: Grant Brown, Hope Schafer, Trevor Vanderzee, MIssy Wise.
Anzevino says, “We’ve always wanted to do SWEENEY in the No Exit Café. The No Exit, with its long history as an intellectual’s coffee house, an illegal card gambling club men’s club, and its occasional reports of ghost sightings, will feel like a character in the show. As one of its former owners once said, the No Exit Café fosters its own brand of offbeat magic and fun. SWEENEY TODD, with its blend of comedy and the macabre, will be a great piece to serve as our last full musical theatre production in the space.” (The company’s last production in the café will be a retrospective revue, LAST CALL AT NO EXIT, to run June 15 – July 22, 2018.)
The company’s performance space, the No Exit Café’, will be transformed into “Mrs. Lovett’s Pie Shop” and meat pies will be served on the dinner menu. A vegetarian option will also be offered for the faint of heart, given the musical’s story of a serial killing barber whose victims are baked into the meat pies sold by his lover, Mrs. Lovett.
Joining Anzevino on the creative team will be Resident Music Director Jeremy Ramey, who will perform in and lead a four-piece orchestra; James Beaudry as choreographer; and Courtney Crouse as Assistant Director. The design team will include Ben Lipinski (scenic design), Bill Morey (costume design), James Kolditz (lighting design), Aji Slater (props design) and R & D Choreography (fight choreography). Mina Slater will be stage manager and Darren Hill will be dialect coach.
SWEENEY TODD has become a bloody, worldwide success since being awarded eight Tony Awards, (including Best Musical), for its Broadway premiere. Stephen Sondheim’s and Hugh Wheeler’s tasty, thrilling, theatrical treat has simultaneously shocked, awed and delighted audiences across the world in venues as large as the world’s great opera houses and occasionally as small as the 55-seat No Exit Café.
In the musical, Sweeney Todd, a barber unjustly convicted of a crime, escapes from prison in Australia and returns to his former home in nineteenth century London, seeking vengeance against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop, above which he opens a new barber practice. Mrs. Lovett’s luck sharply shifts when Todd’s thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London lining up… and the carnage has only just begun!
SWEENEY TODD will preview from March 9-11, open to the press on Monday, March 12, 2018 and close on April 29, 2018. All performances will be staged in the intimate No Exit Café., 6970 N. Glenwood Avenue in Rogers Park. Tickets for SWEENEY TODD are on sale now at www.theo-u.org.
SWEENEY TODD, THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, Book by Hugh Wheeler
Directed by Fred Anzevino
Musical Direction by Jeremy Ramey
March 9 – April 29, 2018
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 7:00 pm.
Ticket prices previews March 9-11: All seats $20.00
Ticket prices regular run: Thursdays and Sundays $39.00, Fridays and Saturdays $44.00
$5.00 discount on regular run prices for seniors and students
($5 off when ordered online through February 14 with codeword “FleetStreet” — not valid on previews or senior/student tickets)
Dinner (optional) is $25.00. Reservations required
performances will be held at the No Exit Café located at 6970 N Glenwood Ave.
More information at www.theo-u.com or by phone at 800-595-4849.
Student Rush All Season Long!
(All unsold tickets are $20 at the door with college ID. Tickets will be sold on site, cash only, at curtain. First come, first served, subject to availability.)
ABOUT THEO UBIQUE
Theo Ubique was founded in 1997 by artistic director Fred Anzevino. Productions were first staged at the Heartland Studio Theatre, and then in 2004, at No Exit Café, where the company began focusing on musicals and revues, reigniting the cabaret theatre trend in Chicago. Since then, Theo Ubique has produced more than 50 shows and received more than 40 Jeff Awards, having received more than 100 nominations. It has also received three After Dark Awards.