Special to 1812Blockhouse

Mansfield Symphony Orchestra presents a Broadway collaboration with Artistic Director Michael Thomas and a cast of Renaissance Theatre performing artists as they present Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in Concert. This finale to the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra’s 2022-23 season will begin at 8:00 PM on Saturday, May 6.

Considered by many to be Stephen Sondeim’s masterpiece, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is at once both epic and intimate. The score, equally delicate and demonic, is quite simply one of the greatest achievements in music history. On the surface, it’s remembered for its Grand Guignol dark humor and bloody carnage – but on closer inspection, it’s a deeply affecting story of love, loss, compassion and, ultimately, man’s inhumanity to man. The story of Sweeney, emotionally fractured and seeking revenge against all mankind, sadly reverberates in these times of mass shootings and gun violence. But Sondheim allows us to see what motivates Sweeney’s madness – and therefore we are oddly forgiving of the unbelievable and ghastly carnage he creates. It is an intricate weave of deep emotion and extreme violence where comedy and tragedy co-exist in a tense balance. Sondheim and librettist, Hugh Wheeler, make us aware of our own insensitivity to the suffering around us and our too-often passive tolerance of the ever-growing violence in our society.

This concert version will be a fully staged production, complete with full script and score. The actors will move among the musicians and conductor Octavio Mas Arocas, as the scenes play out. The cast includes guest artists Laura Lewis-Houck as Mrs Lovett, Mansfield’s Najee Rawls as Sweeney Todd, Colton Penwell as the Beadle, Maggie Scilia as Johanna, Lukas Chaviano as Anthony, Maddie Penwell as the Beggar Woman, Jacob Poiner as Pirelli, and Zakari Ramos as Toby. An ensemble of 40 actor/singers will join Maestro Mas Arocas in this rare opportunity to hear this groundbreaking musical accompanied by a full symphony orchestra.

Part of the OhioHealth Symphony Series, this very special performance will be directed by Mansfield Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor Octavio Mas-Arocas.  To purchase tickets to this performance, visit the Renaissance Theatre website, rentickets.org, or visit/call the box office at 419-522-2726, 138 Park Avenue West in Mansfield.

Source, Photo: Renaissance Performing Arts Association

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