Sweeney Todd’ to thrill audiences at CenterStage Oct. 23

Revenge is a dish best served … in a meat pie!

CenterStage and J. Michael Spa and Salon present “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” The show will bring murder and mayhem to the stage, along with some singing, dancing and much laughter.

The 1979 musical is based on a 1973 play by Christopher Bond about a 19th century London barber who goes on a murderous rampage and the baker who helps him by baking his victims into pies. Written by Stephen Sondheim with libretto by Hugh Wheeler, CenterStage will present “Sweeney Todd” at the Jewish Community Center Oct. 23-Nov. 9.

The show has won Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Musical Score and Best Producer. Since its debut in 1979, the show has had two revivals in 1989 and 2005, has had several staged concerts and was made into a movie starring Kentucky’s own Johnny Depp.

CenterStage director John Leffert described the show as “a dark comedy and a satirical social commentary. While the show is for an adult audience, it won’t be gory,” he said. There will be no blood on the stage.

The CenterStage version will combine the revival version with a nod to the original play, Leffert said. The set will have an industrial, asylum-like feel designed by Karl Anderson, he added.

The role of Sweeney Todd is played by Austin Lauer, who also wowed audiences as Melchior in “Spring Awakening.”

“On a personal level, this is one of my bucket-list shows,” Leffert said. “I’m really excited to be directing this show. It’s brilliantly written, and is a director’s and designer’s dream to bring to life on the stage.”

CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center, 3600 Dutchman’s Lane, Louisville, KY 40205. Tickets are $20 in advance, $22 at the door. Call (502) 238-2709 or go to CenterStageJCC.org for tickets.

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