Hawaii Opera Theatre’s ‘Sweeney Todd’

(From FrolicHawaii.com 04/22/2015) – Amanda Stevens

Peter Kendall Clark and Buffy Baggott as Sweeney Todd & Mrs. Lovett. Photo by Thee Photo Ninja.
Peter Kendall Clark and Buffy Baggott as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett. Photos by Thee Photo Ninja.

The 2014-2015 Hawaii Opera Theatre season ends strong with the dark and twisty tale of “Sweeney Todd.” This Stephen Sondheim classic draws you in from the first act. In the lead role, Peter Kendall Clark has a commanding presence that on stage feels quite different from the Hollywood adaptation starring Johnny Depp. Without the big-budget motion picture bells and whistles, the HOT production is more visceral. That’s a good thing.

After being wrongfully imprisoned for 15 years, Sweeney Todd returns to London’s gritty streets with revenge on his mind. He has a lot to be upset about: He learns that his wife, after enduring constant harassment, has taken her own life, and his 15-year-old daughter is being raised by one of his enemies. Armed with a straight razor, Todd poses as a famous barber. What a smart way to get close to the necks of his adversaries. My favorite scenes are with Mrs. Lovett (played by Buffy Baggott), a local baker who serves meat pies and encourages Todd’s taste for vengeance and carnage.

Other actors include Hawaii-born Jamie Offenbach (Judge Turpin), University of Hawaii professor Rachel Schutz (Johanna Barker), Jesse Blumberg (Anthony Hope), Michele Sexton (Beggar Woman), Luke Grooms (Beadle Bamford), Kyle Erdos-Knapp (Tobias Ragg), and John Easterlin (Adolfo Pirelli). Conductor Adam Turner makes his HOT debut. Stage director Karen Tiller returns to HOT to lead the artistic team, joined by choreographer Minou Allemand.

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Hawaii Opera Theatre presents Sweeney Todd
Blaisdell Concert Hall on April 24, 26 & 28
Tickets start at $29 and can be purchased at the HOT Box Office at 808-596-7858 or online at www.HawaiiOpera.org

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