Sweeney Todd

Music and Lyrics by STEPHEN SONDHEIM
Book by HUGH WHEELER
From an Adaptation by CHRISTOPHER BOND
Originally Directed on Broadway by HAROLD PRINCE
Orchestrations by Jonathan Tunick

August 22nd through September 8th , Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM

Originally Produced on Broadway by Richard Barr, Charles Woodward, Robert Fryer, Mary Lea Johnson, Martin Richards In association with Dean and Judy Manos

Directed by Alice Levitt
Assistant Director - Avalon Kann
Music Direction by Wayne Hobbs
Produced by Kathi Kiernan
Sounds - Tom Walters
Light - Don Mersereau
Costumes - Carol Loysen, Jo Caycedo
Special Effects - Jana Beagley
Properties - Evelyn Wermer Frey
Stage Manager - Genevieve Gagnon

The year is 1745. Barber-surgeons have just been barred from practicing their bloody trade in London. Ours is a different take on Stephen Sondheim's classic musical thriller, with a focus on the sometimes-sordid history of medicine and the thin veil between life and death.

~ Photographs by Jonathan Couture ~

 

Peter

Peter Bowley (Tobias)
lives in Burlington and will be a high-school sophomore this fall. Having started his drama career at a young age, with Don Wright at Edmunds Elementary School, Peter has loved the theater more than almost anything. As he has developed his talents, and gotten larger roles, it has only become more fun! His dream is to someday make it to Broadway. He is very excited to be part of STG’s production of Sweeney Todd.

Maddy

Maddy Brookes (Johanna)

is so excited to be in her first Stowe Theatre Guild production. She has appeared in several Flynn Center and Very Merry Theatre shows. One of her favorite roles was as Cosette in Les Miserables through Very Merry Theatre, and she is thrilled to be playing Johanna in one of her favorite musicals with such an incredible cast. Maddy will be a senior at Burlington High School in the fall, and when she is not doing musicals, she is usually drawing or painting or eating cupcakes. She would like to thank her family for always encouraging and supporting her love of musical theatre.

James Blanchard

James Blanchard (Anthony)

has numerous privileges this fall: his third consecutive year performing in Stowe, his second production of Sweeney Todd, and his first time acting under the guidance of his favorite visionary, Alice. Recent Stowe appearances include the lovestruck Italian lad Fabrizio in The Light in the Piazza and the domestically abusive clown Burrs in The Wild Party. Thanks to Mom and Dad, Olive, and to Wayne, Kathi and the Guild for helping to bring Alice's vision to the stage.

 

 

Kathleen Buckley ( Ensemble)
Kat is excited to be making her Stowe Theatre Guild debut this summer in two fantastic shows! Some of her favorite local theater credits include Judy in White Christmas, Joy in Cinderella, and Smitty in How to Succeed (Lamoille County Players). When not on stage, she can often be found behind the scenes directing high school theater or being theatrical in her social studies classroom. She would like to thank everyone at STG for the wonderful experience and her friends for coming to see these productions!

Victoria

Victoria Campomanes (Ensemble)

Has loved music and musicals ever since she was little, starting by singing the commercials for Apple Jacks and "the softer side of Sears." Disney started her love for musicals such as Peter Pan and Beauty and the Beast. Vicky was in every theater, chorus, drama club and musical in school, culminating with a choral competition during ex-president Bush's second inauguration in Washington D.C. She says, "My mother is very supportive of me and I thank all my music teachers who made me a better singer every day! To my family: I would like to say that we have all been through hard times but we made it through them and I love you all."

 

Josephine Caycedo (Costumes)
has been passionate about theater since she was young. She founded the Colchester Middle School Theater Company and directed plays for 17 years. Jo has worked with local theater
companies including Lyric, Essex Players, Equinox Theatre Company and STG. Jo has a drama degree from Queens College, specializing in costume design and construction, and
makeup. Her heart is always with her family, especially her two sons, Philip and Nick, who are in NYC, and her husband of 38 years. A great big "thank you" to the terrific Sweeney Todd cast and crew! Break a leg!!

 

Patrick Clow (Sweeney Todd)

lives in Williston and by day is a manager at LPA Design in South Burlington. He recently appeared in Vermont Stage Company's As You Like It as both 'Dukes' and 'Audrey.' Patrick was last seen on this stage as 'Jerry' in 2009's The Full Monty and has been involved in many other STG productions. He directed Hairspray in 2011, The Full Monty in 2009, and played 'Smee' in Peter Pan in 2010 for Lyric Theater Company.  Love to 7-year-old Elliott who endures daddy's wacky theater schedule, and thanks (again) to Elliott's mom, Kristen, for enabling such. 

Chris Demars

Chris Demars (Beadle)

lives with his wife and children (well, one teenager and another in college) in Morrisville, Vermont. He works as a video producer and dabbles in theater. Though he can be a bit of a nuisance, he is generally a decent fellow and occasionally well-mannered. He has performed in several productions with the Lamoille County Players, but this is his first with the Stowe Theatre Guild.

Bre

Bryanna Doe (Ensemble)
is a proud alumni of the Peoples Academy Stage Company and is looking forward to branching out with her theatrical experience. This is her first production with the Stowe Theatre Guild.

Chris

Chris Dueker (Judge Turpin)

moved to Randolph, Vermont with his wife and two sons a little over a year ago. As a teenager, Chris happened to see a local production of The Fantasticks while he was on vacation in Stowe. Chris was so inspired that he went home to Missouri and started auditioning for musicals. Later in life Chris put theater life on hold to work on his art history degree and have a family. He’s thrilled to be returning to the stage in Stowe as a performer this time. Loving thanks to Pam, Timothy, Nathaniel, and the cast and crew of Sweeney Todd for making this possible.

Margaret Garofalo

Margaret Garofalo (Mrs. Lovett)

is thrilled to be in her first STG production. After appearing in Lyric’s Titanic earlier this year she is incredibly happy to be sharing the stage with some of her previous cast mates! Margaret has an MA in Classical Theatre from Kingston University UK and a BFA in Dramatic Writing from SUNY Purchase. She loves Sondheim and adores this role! “The secret is in the sauce!”

Phillip

Bastian Gadouas (Pirelli)
is returning after a five-year hiatus from theater to perform in his first show with STG. His last time on stage was playing Prince Dauntless in the Essex Players' production of Once Upon a Mattress in 2007; prior to that, he was in a variety of high school and community productions, including Brigadoon, Godspell, and Crazy for You. Bastian works in support and maintenance for Vermont Information Processing. His hobbies include karaoke, digital illustration, online gaming and generally being a geek (he attends San Diego Comic-Con every July, for instance).

 

Justin Gates (Ensemble)
is 17 and lives on organic dairy farm in Franklin, VT. A soon-to-be high school senior at MVUHS, he plans to attend college for composition and/or musical theater next fall. He is excited to be part of the Sweeney Todd cast and to be able to add this show to the list of many musical experiences he has had, most recently as Frederick Fleet in Lyric Theater's Titanic and Perchik in Fiddler on the Roof at the Enosburg Opera House. Justin thanks his parents and everyone for their support. A special thanks Wayne and Alice for helping him to become part of this terrific ensemble.

 

Kathryn Gates (Ensemble)
is 17 and will be a senior at MVU in the fall. She has been in the last five MVU musicals, most recently as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, and in the last three summer shows at the Enosburg Opera House. She has been singing as long for as she can remember, and will find a way to continue in the arts no matter what. A huge thanks to everyone involved supporting the show and the actors!

 

Wayne Hobbs (Music Director)
has sung with opera companies in the United States, Canada, Italy, Germany and England including the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, La Scala, Nationaltheater Mannheim, New York City Opera, McGill Opera Vermont Opera Theater and the Vermont Mozart Festival. In 2007, he made his Broadway debut singing the role of Piangi in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera. He has extensive experience as a soloist. In the last year, he has sung recitals and chamber music concerts in Germany, Switzerland, New York City and Vermont.

 

Avalon Kann (Assistant Director)
is very excited to be working with the Sweeney Todd crew! This is her first show with STG, but she is no stranger to the stage. Originally from Iowa, Avalon caught the theater bug as a little girl, when her dad let her tag along to rehearsal. She holds a BFA degree from the University of South Dakota, where she studied theater with an emphasis in musical theatre performance. Most of her work has been on stage (favorite roles include Sheila in A Chorus Line, and Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream'. She has also worked in props, set construction and painting, and direction.

Alice Levitt

Alice Levitt (Director)
As a food writer for Seven Days newspaper, a lifelong Sondheim obsessive and an avid student of anatomical history, Sweeney Todd brings together all of Alice’s major interests. She appears weekly on the “Charlie, Ernie and Lisa Show” on WVMT and every other Friday on WCAX’s, “The :30”, discussing what’s new in the Vermont food world. Last summer she tread the boards as Ado Annie in Stowe Theatre Guild’s Oklahoma! Other recent roles include Jenny in The Threepenny Opera and Magenta in The Rocky Horror (Puppet) Show. Many thanks to James for his superhuman support.

 

Carol Loysen (Costumes)
Happily back at the sewing machine, Carol is delighted to work on this classic show with a great cast and crew. That is, as long as it doesn't take time away from her perfect grandson, Isak.

 

Don Mersereau, Lighting Designer - Sweeney Todd, Next to Normal
Don is back with the STG for two shows this season. He previously designed Oklahoma, Songs for a New World, The Full Monty and Footloose. He has also designed shows for Lyric Theatre Company, including Chicago, Beauty and the Beast, and Peter Pan. He has done design for many other TV and theater projects and is consulting on a college theater renovation. Don lives in Williston and owns The UPS Stores at Taft Corners in Willison and North Avenue in Burlington. He is an avid skier and enjoys riding his motorcycle during the warmer months.

   
Alexandra

 Alexandra Seiler (Ensemble)
is excited to be taking to the stage in her first Stowe production. She is a rising senior at Essex High School and is a permanent fixture in the music and theater departments there. When she’s not onstage, behind it, or working at her part-time job, she enjoys reading, writing, following politics, and spending time with her awesome friends and family.

Tom

Philip Seiler (Ensemble)
is thrilled to be making his debut with the Stowe Theatre Guild alongside his daughter, Alexandra. He's previously performed with Lyric Theatre in their productions of Chicago, Cinderella and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. He's also appeared with Essex Community Players, Catalyst Theatre and in the original production to benefit the Henry Sheldon Museum: Remember Me to All Good Folks. When not on stage, he works as the director of software quality for PKC Corporation and enjoys gaming, running, cooking and spending time with his extremely supportive family.

Adam Silverman

Adam Silverman (Ensemble)
is thrilled to return to the Stowe stage after playing Albert Einstein in last year's Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Long a fan of Stephen Sondheim, Adam is appearing in his third musical in Vermont (and first Sondheim show ever) - which for those who know him is really saying something! Favorite roles have included Lt. Daniel Kaffee in A Few Good Men, Garry/Roger in Noises Off, Edward Rutledge in 1776 and Barrymore in I Hate Hamlet. By day, Adam works as an editor at the Burlington Free Press. Many thanks and much love to Kristin!

Kristin

Kristin Silverman (Ensemble)
is a huge Sondheim fan. Doing this show is a dream come true because it is her first time being in a Sondheim show (finally!). This is Kristin's fourth appearance on the STG stage. Past shows were Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Germaine), Annie (Grace Farrell) and Urinetown (Hope). Kristin was most recently in Rent in Stowe and Plainfield. Other favorite roles: Betty Haynes in White Christmas, Martha Jefferson in 1776 and Corie in Barefoot in the Park. Offstage, Kristin makes hats and is a makeup artist. Love to Adam, Kat, Aaron and Becca.

 

Carol Spradling (Beggar Woman)

Marc

Marc Tischler (Ensemble)
is making his first appearance on the STG stage. An academic cardiologist at Fletcher Allen Health Care and Associate Professor of Medicine at UVM College of Medicine, he has appeared in 6 Lyric Theatre productions including Fiddler on the Roof, Chorus Line, West Side Story, Hello Dolly, Peter Pan and the recent production of Titanic during which he gallantly went down with the ship. The father of two incredibly talented sons (who taught him everything he knows), he lives in St. George with his beautiful wife, Sarah, Debbie the wonder-dog, Chauncey the adorable but less-than-brilliant dog and a mixed flock of chickens and turkeys and miscellaneous animals. Thank you Sarah for helping me to realize this dream.

 

Tom Walters (Sound Design)
For 40+ years, Tom has been involved with theater and sound productions. Tom’s first role was at the age 8 in a water ballet production of The King and I. In the 90’s he was chief recording engineer at White Crow Audio in Burlington, VT. A graduate of The Hartt School of Music, Tom has taught music and audio production at several high schools and colleges. Tom’s first production with the STG was Bat Boy, which was presented in 5.1 surround sound designed to bring the audience into the “cave.” Sweeney Todd is Tom’s fifth production with the STG.

 

Rob Weiss (Ensemble) is excited to be in this production of Sweeney Todd for the Stowe Theatre Guild! He has been active with the Lamoille County Players but this marks his first appearance with the Guild. Rob is grateful for the chance to be in this production and to be a part of enriching the community with such a vibrant community partner.

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And thanks! to our Show Sponsor - Prohibition Pig in Waterbury Vermont

Prohibition Pig

 

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Here's what Charles Sides, visiting Stowe from Massachusetts, had to say about the show:

REVIEW: SWEENEY TODD
STOWE THEATRE GUILD

Few local theatre groups could dare to attempt Stephen Sondheim's tour de force, Sweeney Todd, but the Stowe Theatre Guild pulls off the feat with technical precision and a keen ear to the humor of the play. The show maintained a coherent fast pace throughout its 2 1/2 hour length, as talented players enveloped the audience with their craft.


Among the generally strong cast, several individuals stand out. Patrick Clow was a superb Sweeney. His strong voice and excellent acting technique were consistent throughout the demanding performance. Maddy Brookes (Johanna) is also notable for the accuracy of her vocals and her ability to capture the innocent-to-aware arc of her character's development. But without a doubt, Margaret Garofalo (Mrs. Lovett) gave the memorable performance of the evening. Her Mrs. Lovett was a wonderful combination of innocence, humor, and the necessity for survival in the down-and-out London of the show's setting, delivered with wonderful facial expressions that played particularly well in the small venue.


One of the challenges of Sweeney Todd is the ability required to speed through both dialog and vocals, and to do it in such a way that the audience can understand what is being said or sung. Clow and Garofalo were brilliant in this, especially Garofalo with her lines about making meat pies out of pussycats, with only six or seven pies per cat.


Additionally, the chorus was consistently strong, and Sondheim's choral pieces in the show are especially demanding of a singer's vocal range. All were delivered with accuracy and strength, without apparent strain.
Despite the show's numerable strengths, it was not without a few shortcomings. At times the orchestra overwhelmed the softer-voiced singers, but undoubtedly orchestra-vocal balance is a challenge in a theatre lacking a traditional pit. The orchestra for Sweeney Todd was by necessity staged on one side of the audience, and if it was overly loud at times across the full width of the theatre to my seat, it must have been louder for audience members directly beside it. In addition, at times the audio system seemed to fail to pick up actors' voices when they were high in the barbershop itself.


But these are minor concerns in an otherwise excellent rendition of one of community theatre's greatest challenges. The production team is to be congratulated for a job very well done, and readers should think about adding this show to their week's events. Those familiar with Sweeney will find much to be satisfied with, and those not, will have a wonderful romp through the dark humor of the show that the entire cast portrays so well.

 

SWEENEY TODD
Is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).
All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.
421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019
Phone: 212-541-4684 Fax: 212-397-4684
www.MTIShows.com

Cast

  • Grave Digger: Rob Weiss
    William Smellie: Marc Tischler
    William Hunter: Philip Seiler
    John Hunter: Justin Gates
    Sweeney Todd: Patrick Clow
    Anthony Hope: James Blanchard
    Beggar Woman: Carol Spradling
    Mrs. Lovett: Margaret Garofalo
    Judge Turpin: Chris Dueker
    Beadle Bamford: Chris Demars
    Johanna: Maddy Brookes
    Bird Seller: Victoria Campomanes
    Tobias Ragg: Peter Bowley
    Adolfo Pirelli: Bastian Gadouas
    Jonas Fogg: Adam Silverman
  • The Choir Eternal:

    Kathleen Buckley
    Victoria Campomanes
    Bryanna Doe
    Justin Gates
    Kathryn Gates
    Alexandra Seiler
    Philip Seiler
    Adam Silverman
    Kristin Silverman
    Marc Tischler
    Rob Weiss

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