The powerful musical “Sweeney Todd” will open the 43rd season of Johnson County Theatre in the Park on Friday, June 8 continuing through Sunday, June 10 and the following weekend Thursday, June 14 through Sunday, June 17. Directed by Mark Swezey, a veteran of TTIP productions, “Sweeney Todd” features the talents of many local Kansas City performers tackling the sophisticated score by Broadway legend Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler.
Show time all productions in the 2012 season is 8:30 p.m.; gates open to the theatre bowl at 7:20 p.m.
The Theatre in the Park is a program of Johnson County Park and Recreation District, and is the largest outdoor community theatre in the country. TTIP provides high-quality live theatrical entertainment including Broadway style musicals and a host of special events.
“Sweeney Todd” is the rare instance of a musical thriller. It is a chilling, suspenseful, heart-pounding masterpiece of murderous barber-ism and culinary crime that tells the infamous tale of the unjustly exiled barber who returns to 19th century London seeking revenge against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. Todd’s thirst for blood soon expands to include his unfortunate customers, and the resourceful proprietress of the pie shop downstairs- Mrs. Lovett – soon has the people of London lining up in droves to sample her mysterious new meat pie recipe!
“Sweeney Todd” won eight Tony Awards in 1979 including Best Musical. This production is rated R because of adult themes; parents are advised to learn more about the show before taking their younger children with them.
“At the show’s core is a challenging musical score of epic proportion,” said Swezey in describing the production. “Sondheim’s musicals are known for their layers and layers of motifs and meanings. ‘Sweeney Todd’ is no different. It makes social commentary about who we are as a society, today. This is Sondheim at his best,” he said.
“Sweeney Todd’s” production team includes Kristi Mitchell as musical director and conductor and Andy Parkhurst, choreographer.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for children (ages 4-10); children under age three are free but do require a ticket for entrance. Tickets may be purchased on line or at the theatre prior to performances. New this year is Thrifty Thursdays; for all Thursday night performances receive 20 percent off your ticket price; you must purchase your ticket at the box office, and you have to see the show THAT Thursday evening.
Following “Sweeney Todd” is a full plate of entertainment including:
- “Legally Blonde” – June 22-24 & June 28-July 1;
- Disney Double feature of “Jungle Book” and “Sleeping Beauty” - July 6-8 & 12-15;
- “Urinetown” – July 20-22 & 26-29; and
- “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” – August 3-5 & 9-12.
The Theatre in the Park 2012 season is sponsored in part by ENTERCOM ENTERTAINMENT, SPRINT, SHAWNEE MISSION MEDICAL CENTER & JOHN DEERE. To learn more about Theatre in the Park, please visit www.theatreinthepark.org
For more information, call the TTIP office at (913) 236-1237 or visit www.theatre in the park.org