Acclaimed Prog Metal Version of Sondheim's Sweeney Todd Returns to DC
The Landless Theatre Company announces the return of it's award-nominated Sweeney Todd Prog Metal Version at Atlas Performing Arts Center in July, 2015. The production garnered 2015 Helen Hayes Award Nominations for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Director of a Musical (Melissa Baughman), and Outstanding Music Director (Charles W. Johnson).
Stephen Sondheim granted Landless permission to orchestrate the Progressive Metal Version of his musical masterpiece in December, 2013. "Yes, I did indeed give them my okay," Mr. Sondheim was quoted in NY Times. "Since I believe that what keeps theater alive is its openness to reinterpretation from generation to generation, I look forward to seeing (and hearing) what they do."
Mark E. Horowitz of The Sondheim Review wrote: "I was more than pleasantly prised to how well the new arrangements and orchestrations worked. They were particularly effective in the underscoring, by turns thrilling, funny and frightening... the range of colors available in the electronic instruments resulted in several hair-raising moments. This was also the fleetest production of Sweeney Todd I've seen, with many numbers seemingly performed at twice their typical tempos. I don't know whether this was part of the prog metal aesthetic or a separate directorial choice, but it certainly energized aspects of the show."
"We were very lucky not only that Sondheim have us his permission, but that he was willing to provide feedback and advice to our team of arrangers The Fleet Street Collective," said director Melissa Baughman. "We've had a chance to work out the bugs in the arrangement and production, and now we're ready to unleash the production in the larger Atlas Theatre."
The original workshop production was presented at DC's Warehouse Theatre in August, 2014. Metal (Metaldisciple.com) described the production as "A bloody good time." The Metal Maiden (themetalmaiden.net) wrote "You couldn't have put this project into more capable hands, or imaginative minds."
The cast includes an diverse mix of metal musicians and musical theatre actors. Returning performers include Nina Osegueda (A Sound of Thunder) as Mrs. Lovett, Andrew Lloyd Baughman (Diamond Dead) as "Sweeney Todd," and Robert Bradley (Aries) as "Pirelli." New cast members include classical vocalist Shaina Kuhn as "The Beggar Woman," Mikey Cafarelli as "Anthony," and 10-year-old newcomers Alexis Turbat and Dylan Ngo (Winner of 2015 Olney Idol) sharing the role of "Tobias."
Sweeney Todd (Prog Metal Version) is the first installment in Landless Theatre's MetalTheatre Series. The company has just announced development of The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Symphonic Metal Version) for Summer 2016 workshop production, with special permission from Tony Award Winning author and composer Rupert Holmes. Drood is a "choose your own ending" musical based on Charles Dickens', winner of five 1986 Tonys including Best Musical. The show was revived on Broadway in 2012 by Roundabout Theatre Company.
Sweeney Todd (Prog Metal Version) plays from July 9-August 2, 2015 at Atlas Performing Arts Center's Lang Theatre-1333 H Street, NE, in Washington, DC. Tickets $29, purchase them online. For more information, visit Landless Theatre Company's website.