Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Buck Creek Players
Directed by D. Scott Robinson
Through June 19
Buck Creek Players closes out their 31st Killer Season with Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the Stephen Sondheim musical about a 19th century barber gone mad and the pie maker who capitalizes on it. The story opens with Todd returning to London under an assumed name after having been banished to Australia on trumped up charges. He finds that his wife was violated and subsequently killed herself, and their child, now 16, is the ward of Judge Turpin, the man who accused him in order to get to his wife. Todd's obsession with vengeance eventually drives him mad.
Michael Davis as Todd does a good job of evoking his character's complicated mindset. When Todd starts offing people willy-nilly, you have seen Todd's progression to these acts because Davis delineates the steps. Davis reacts to each encounter, each new piece of information in such a way that we can see his mind's disintegration, as well as his consuming preoccupation with the judge. Davis' songs are strong, and handled well.
Cindy Collins-Mollencupp as Mrs. Lovett is the comic half of the deranged couple. After justifying Todd's first kill, she is the one who comes up with the idea for the mystery meat, which launches her pie shop into prosperity. Collins-Mollencupp is subtle to outrageous, with perfect timing.
Ably supporting the killer duo is a large cast, with standouts including Carrie Neal as the mysterious Beggar Woman; John Sparkman as Anthony, the love interest for Todd's daughter; and Matthew Konrad Tippel as Toby, the kitchen boy.
Aaron B. Bailey's set design is intricate and complex, while remaining uncluttered, so the cast isn't hindered by the multiple locations it suggests, and costumes by Valerie Holt are spot-on.
Sweeney Todd continues through June 19 at Buck Creek Players, 11150 Southeastern Ave. Call 862-2270 or go to www.buckcreekplayers.com. Tickets are only $14.