Utilizing individual mics donated through Carmel Repertory Theater, the wonderful singing voices of the actors and the excellent recorded orchestral accompaniment fill the theater. While the clear, amazing strains of Brook-Glen Gober’s voice, as Johanna, will not be easily forgotten, the voices of Dana Stone’s Beggar Woman, and Mindy Morton’s Mrs. Lovett are right there as well. Edward Paul Fry as Sweeney ranges from demonic to lighthearted, tragic to comic, while Sean-Michael Johnson as the oily, evil Beadle Bamford surprises in song.
Expect some great duets. Daniel Erwin is an earnest, besotted Anthony, whose voice tenderly wends with Gober’s winsome and fretful Johanna, in “Kiss Me.” “Pretty Women,” with the almost unlikely pair of Sweeney and Turpin, and the comic “A Little Priest” with Lovett and Sweeney are absolute winners.
Edward Paul Fry’s Sweeney really comes into full character through song, whether lovingly singing enrapt to his “friend,” the barber’s blade, or as he diabolically prepares to give the judge a “shave.”
Mindy Morton easily lays claim as a star in this play as Mrs. Lovett. Morton delivers her character on point in every department from her speaking accent, to her expressions, to her singing.
The story often progresses on a darkened stage lit only by spotlights, and occasional murderous red lighting, making for intense, high contrast visuals that perfectly underscore all the creepiness of the story.
Costuming, makeup and hair lend so much to the feel of this production, from the Londoners to the flambouyant, mustachioed Italian barber Pirelli (defined by Zachary Ryan Allen).
While Mainstage has consistently delivered excellent performances throughout the 2013 season, “Sweeney Todd” memorably puts a luscious bow on the whole thing. You’d be wise to reserve tickets early. Community theater in Anderson is strong, full of talent, visionary and progressive – an absolute jewel for Madison County.