ProMusica Arizona's Chorale & Orchestra along with professional artists in lead roles presented Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on October 5th. Sondheim’s chilling masterpiece of murderous “barber-ism,” vengeance, and culinary crime is considered by musicologists to be Sondheim's greatest work.
The production featured Sweeney Todd and a resourceful pie shop proprietress who had customers clamoring for her mysterious new meat pies—blissfully ignorant of the creation process and the recipe. It told the infamous tale of the unjustly exiled barber who returned to 19th century London seeking revenge against the lecherous judge who framed him. In his barbershop above Mrs. Lovett’s pie shop, Todd’s thirst for blood soon expanded to include his unfortunate customers. Mrs. Lovett, the resourceful, comic proprietress of the pie shop downstairs, soon took advantage of the barber’s deeds, and had the people of London lining up to sample her new meat pies. As the complex tale of deceit unfolded, nearly every character met their ultimate demise.
Sophisticated, macabre, and visceral, the cast of ProMusica Arizona's production of Sweeney Todd delivered an entertaining evening of fun, mixing intense drama with funny moments of dark humor. The audience was on its feet with a resounding standing ovation and cheers for their favorite characters. ProMusica’s innovative performance was conceptually staged with costumes, props, and platforms surrounding and throughout the orchestra during the entire performance. The mood was further enhanced by dramatic, intense lighting to augment the beautiful and haunting music. This uniquely staged production was made possible, in part, through assistance from the Scottsdale Cultural Council.