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“Sweeney Todd” to close season at Moonlight Amphitheatre

VISTA, Calif. – “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street” will slice its way to the stage of the Moonlight Amphitheatre as the final production of Moonlight Stage Productions’ 32nd summer season with performances Sept. 19 through Oct. 6.

Tickets are on sale now and cost $15 to $50. To purchase tickets or for more information, call 760-724-2110 or click HERE. The show recommended for mature audiences.

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, “Sweeney Todd” is considered to be Sondheim’s masterpiece and his most operatic score utilizing a creative friction in the music and lyrics.

The musical (or is it an opera?) is based on the 19th century legend of a London barber driven to a life of crime after a malevolent judge takes his wife and child from him. Sweeney’s plan for revenge includes a cutthroat partnership with Mrs. Lovett – an enterprising businesswoman – who is soon producing the tastiest meat pies in London.

“Sweeney Todd” premiered on Broadway in 1979 and in London’s West End in 1980. The show won the Tony Award for Best Musical and the Olivier Award for Best New Musical. It has since been revived on Broadway twice, presented in concert formats with major orchestras and televised, and adapted for film by Tim Burton.

Starring as Sweeney Todd is Robert J. Townsend, returning to the Moonlight after starring in “Beauty And The Beast” in 2005. His New York credits include “The City Club,” “Really Bad Things” and “National Pastime.” His national touring credits include “Radio City,” “Mamma Mia,” “Camelot” and “Grease.”

Co-starring as Mrs. Lovett is Bets Malone, one of Moonlight’s most revered actresses having appeared in more than 30 productions for the company. Her Moonlight credits include starring roles in “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Evita,” “Oklahoma!” “Carousel” and “Into the Woodss”. She last appeared on the Moonlight stage in last year’s staging of The “Marvelous Wonderettes,” a show she helped originate.

Completing the trio of leading actors is Randall Dodge, stepping into the shoes of the Judge Turpin. Dodge is best-known to Moonlight audiences for his appearances in “Annie,” “Crazy For You,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “The Sound Of Music,” “Seussical,” “Beauty And The Beast,” “The Pirates Of Penzance” and “The Most Happy Fella.”

Also featured in the cast: Jordan Aragon as Tobias, Jessica Bernard as the Beggar Woman, Anthony Carillo as Anthony Hope, Joanna Holliman as Johanna, Jason Maddy as Pirelli, and Jason W. Webb as Beadle Bamford.

Directing “Sweeney Todd” is recently appointed artistic director-designate Steven Glaudini. Recent Moonlight directing credits include “Hairspray” (San Diego Critics Award nomination for Best Director), “Miss Saigon” (San Diego Critics Award nomination for Outstanding Musical), “Cats,” “Les Misérables” (2008 San Diego Critics Circle Award for Best Director), “West Side Story” (2007 San Diego Critics Award for Outstanding Musical), “Cabaret” and “Children of Eden.”

Glaudini comes to the Moonlight after having directing the critically-acclaimed hit “Spamalot” for Musical Theatre West in Long Beach, Calif., where he also staged “Annie (starring Andrea McArdle), “Little Shop Of Horrors,” “All Shook Up,” “The Pajama Game,” “The Pirates Of Penzance” (starring Rex Smith) and “The Full Monty.”

Rounding out the creative team are lighting designer Jean-Yves Tessier, sound designer Christopher Luessmann, costume designers Roslyn Lehman, Renetta Loyd, and Carlotta Malone, stage manager Stanley D. Cohen, properties coordinator Suzanne Asebroek, and assistant stage manager Jenifer Raub.

The details

“Sweeney Todd”

Moonlight Amphitheatre, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista

Sept. 19 to Oct. 6

Wednesday through Sunday nights (no performances Oct. 3 and Oct. 7)

Curtain at 7:30 pm.

Gates open for picnicking and dining at 6 pm

Web: moonlightstage.com

Phone: (760) 724-2110

Ticket price range: $15 to $50

Ticket deals: Family Nights at the Moonlight are Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday nights. On these nights, lawn tickets for kids 15 and younger are just $10 when accompanied by an adult. Family Night tickets are available on night of show at the Amphitheatre box office beginning at 5:30 pm. The Moonlight offers rush tickets for college students on the lawn beginning 30 minutes prior to every performance. Tickets are $15 with a valid student identification card. Single ticket discounts for seniors and military are available.

Picknicking at the Moonlight: One of the most unique theatre-going experiences found anywhere is Moonlight’s lawn seating allowing patrons to bring their own picnic suppers into the theatre and picnicking before the show. Lawn ticket holders receive a chair as part of their ticket upon entry to the theater. Gates open for picnicking and dining 90-minutes before curtain. Non-alcoholic beverages and food may be brought into the Amphitheatre.

Artisan Café at the Moonlight: The Moonlight’s new restaurant, the Artisan Café, is operated by Chef David Krohn. The Café offers pre-show dining outdoors on the Moonlight Patio where glimpses of the sunset can be seen before patrons take their seats for the show. The Café also offers delicious snacks to all theatre-goers including beverages. To view the Café’s menu, visit the website. For information and reservations, call 760-828-0596.