Thursday, November 7, 2013

Clandestine-ARTS "Sweeney Todd" Auditions

On September 30th, I went to Lake Howell High School Oviedo, FL to sketch Clandestine-ARTS auditions for the upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street"auditions. Derek Critzer the director, had given me the green light to come out. Music Direction in the show will be by Colton Brooks.  Auditions were by appointment only.As I walked towards the High School Theater, I passed a Drum Corp rehearsing.

Sweeney Todd is a 1979 musical thriller with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and libretto by Hugh Wheeler. The musical is based on the 1973 play Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Christopher Bond. Set in 19th century England, the musical tells the story of Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd, who returns to London after 15 years' transportation on trumped-up charges. When he finds out that his wife poisoned herself after being raped by the judge who imprisoned him, he vows revenge on the judge and, later, the whole world. He teams up with a pie maker, Mrs. Lovett, and opens a barbershop in which he slits the throats of customers and has them baked into pies.

Chris Leavy was at the piano. Most of the actors auditioning were young women who would be auditioning for the part of  Joanna Barker, (a Soprano, 18-early 20's) who is Sweeney Todd's daughter, a ward of Judge Turpin. Beautiful and pure-hearted. The actress I sketched that was wearing the red dress had a very sweet voice. Monica Titus ultimately got the part. Wyatt Glover will play Sweeney Todd and Jessica Hoehn will play Mrs. Lovett. The other actress I sketched in the yellow dress was wearing high heel shoes and the director asked her to take them off when she performed her second song. Another actress was so nervous that Derek felt bad for her. He tried to get her to relax. It is hard to be on your top game when there are butterflies in your stomach. Auditions must be nerve wracking for any performer. Any slip up could result in their not getting the part. Everything is on the line.

Performances will be being held at The Venue, (511 Virginia Dr  Orlando, FL). January 9,10,11,12,16,17,18, and 19th. Sweeney Todd will be presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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