The Demon Barber Comes to RFH

by Devan Cappelli

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This year, the Tower Players performed Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street during the last weekend of March.  Hailed as one of the best and most interesting of musical selections, the show was decidedly a success for those who participated and watched.

The Players practice their positioning during rehearsal

The cast and crew were full of many talented and dedicated individuals.  For months, the actors rehearsed 3 and 4 days a week, memorizing lines, choreographing their movements on stage, and learning difficult music.  Behind the scenes, the stage and tech crew worked to seamlessly create the dark and dreary world of Sweeney Todd, including the elaborate and terrifying barber’s chair.

The show went off without a hitch, but let’s take a look at some of the work done prior to the show’s opening night.  The set in progress and the practices in motion show the cast and crew were more than ecstatic. Glancing around the room I noticed many of the cast members shine with energy. Mrs. Sweeney, play director and English teacher, is the woman who makes these performances possible. With her artistic personality and dramatic knowledge, each musical is a success.

What will make this play very popular is the fact that there are many talented cast members this year.  The cast featured Austin Ryan (senior) as Sweeney Todd, Kevin Karol (senior) as The Judge, Emma Loughran (junior) as Mrs. Lovett, Jack Newsome (freshman) as Toby.  Many of the performers have been working hard for a moment like this their whole lives.

Loughran and Ryan rehearse a scene

“I became interested in drama at an early age. I was brought up with classic Broadway music. I also hope to go to college and work on acting and performing,” said Austin Ryan.  Ryan continued to discuss the audition process, stating, “I was really hoping for Sweeney Todd or The Judge since it’s my senior year. But I would have been happy to have any role.”

Kevin Karol also had much to say: “In 5th grade with Mr. Talmage at Knollwood, I got to perform in The Wizard of Oz. I hope to go on later in life performing for community theater, but nothing professional.”

While this year’s Tower Players performance is over, there are many other competitive opportunities for this group of talented actors, musicians, and tech crew members.  We wish them the best of luck as they compete against other drama clubs in the area.

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Pictures courtesy of Jeanne Johnson

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