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ARTS: SIT DOWN WITH ‘SWEENEY TODD’

Fredericksburg Festival for the Performing Arts, in partnership with The Rude Mechanicals, is bringing Fleet Street to downtown Fredericksburg with two performances of “Sweeney Todd.”

Tonight is your last chance to catch “Sweeney Todd” at The Olde Silk Mill on Princess Anne Street. The show begins at 7 p.m. in the courtyard.

“We are delighted to have The Silk Mill terrace backdrop because it is very much like old England,” said Saundra Pearson, president of the Fredericksburg Festival for the Performing Arts. “It is an appropriate and excellent venue.”

The production, based on the original story of Sweeney Todd, follows the devious deeds of a homicidal barber who kills his victims through a trapdoor behind his barber’s chair.

“If the fall does not kill them, Todd finishes them by slitting their throats with his straight razor,” according to The Rude Mechanicals.

After killing them, Todd robs the victims. He then disposes of the bodies through his accomplice, Mrs. Lovett, who bakes their flesh into meat pies and sells them in her pie shop to oblivious customers.

Unlike the most recent iteration of the story, the 2007 Tim Burton film starring Johnny Depp, The Rude Mechanicals will not be performing the well-known Sondheim musical.

“It’s the original play, but we are going to have the music specially created for this play,” Pearson said. “It’s a melodrama, so it’s going to be fun.”

Mark Snyder, assistant professor of music at the University of Mary Washington, created original pieces for this production. According to The Rude Mechanicals, Snyder and his trio will provide the musical accompaniment for both performances.

The cast of “Sweeney Todd” is entirely composed of local talent. Keri Durrett is the production’s director, and Marcus Salley, drama teacher at Colonial Forge High School, is the assistant production manager in addition to being a part of the ensemble.

There is no price for admission to the performances. Audience members are expected to bring their own chairs, as seating will not be provided in the mill’s courtyard.

Pearson said the organizations have been trying to bring more engaging events to the area, but at low or no cost to potential audiences. The Olde Silk Mill assisted the production by donating its space.

“We’re just delighted to bring it to the audience in Fredericksburg,” Pearson said.

In case of severe weather conditions, the production will be postponed until further notice.

Dawnthea Price: 540/374-5444

dprice@freelancestar.com

WANT TO GO?

What: Fredericksburg Festival for the Performing Arts and The Rude Mechanicals present “Sweeney Todd”

Address: Courtyard at the Inn at the Olde Silk Mill, 1707 Princess Anne St., Fredericksburg

When: Tonight at 7 p.m.

Cost: Admission is free.

Info: Learn more about Fredericksburg Festival for the Performing Arts at fredfest.org or 540/374-5040, or call Fred Franklin for The Rude Mechanicals at 540/371-3850.

 

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