Kamiak’s “Sweeney Todd” is to die for

By Meredith Pechta, Theater Reviewer | May 01, 2013
Courtesy of: Sam Freeman/NWPhoto Trevor Eaden (Sweeney Todd) and Anna Vara (Mrs. Lovett) star in Kamiak High School’s production of “Sweeney Todd,” which opens May 3.

Kamiak High School’s “Sweeney Todd” pushes the envelope of acceptability when it comes to musicals. But for those who don’t mind the twisted morality and morbidity of the show – it’s a good one.

The story opens in 1846. A man traveling under the name of Sweeney Todd sails back home. He has a score to settle. Almost two decades ago, he was accused and sentenced to time in prison under false charges by a wicked judge who wanted his wife for himself.

His wife killed herself after the incident, leaving behind their daughter. The judge kept the daughter and raised her, not as his own daughter but as property.

When Sweeney Todd comes back to town, all he wants is vengeance against the judge. His plan is quite clever.

He sets up a barbershop above Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies shop. She recognizes him from the old days and agrees to help him get revenge.

Sweeney plans to wait for the judge to come in for a close shave. He will then slit his throat with the razor.

Mrs. Lovett adds to the plan by coming up with a highly gross yet creative way to dispose of the body without getting caught. She bakes them into her pies!

Needless to say, you have to have a strong stomach and an open mind to enjoy this play.

“Sweeney Todd” is an interesting and controversial choice for Kamiak’s spring musical. This is a school version, but the cast still uses fake blood to tell the story, so be aware.

The cast of Kamiak has done a great job, from the costumes and sets to the performances. Some parts are shared, so you’ll see different actors on different nights.

Trevor Eaden takes the title role as the vengeful barber. This is his last play at Kamiak before graduation. He gives an intense performance.

Sweeney’s fellow conspirator, Mrs. Lovett, is played by both Anna Vara and Jazmine Wells. They both cook up terrific performances, complete with cockney accents. Just don’t try their pies.

The horrifying Judge Turpin is played by Riley McKinley, who also played the villain in Kamiak’s production of “Much Ado About Nothing.” He too is moving on after graduation.

Jacqueline Tardanico plays the long lost daughter Johanna. She too was last seen in Kamiak’s production of “Much Ado About Nothing,” where she played the delightful Beatrice.

Nick Hart Reynolds plays Anthony Hope, Sweeney’s friend and potential boyfriend of Johanna. He doesn’t know his friend’s dark history or his plan, but tries to help the girl nonetheless.

Ryan Anderson, Michael Christopher Profitt, Ryan Toye and Gavin Quedall Wilson all give good supportive performances. Don’t miss “Sweeney Todd” – it’s to die for.

“Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” is playing at Kamiak High School on May 3,4,10 and 11 at 7 p.m. A matinee performance is also scheduled for 2 p.m. on May 11.

The show is rated PG-13 for blood and mature scenes. It is not recommended for young children.

For tickets, go to http://schools.mukilteo.wednet.edu/Staff/levinelt/SweeneyToddTickets.pdf. For assistance, call 425-366-5514.

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