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The Villages

Talented company of actors makes ‘Sweeney Todd’ a must-see at State Theater  

Don Simson

“Sweeney Todd” by the Bay Street Players at the State Theater in Eustis is a production to see. For a small theater the actors and staging are as good as some professionals.

Sweeney Todd (Kyle Stone) is an escapee to London from prison in Australia to see his wife and daughter. On arrival on Fleet Street he is told his wife is dead and the daughter was taken in by a questionable character Beadle (Andre Provencher).

“Sweeny Todd” runs through April 1 at the State Theater in Eustis.

The Beadle has promised Sweeney’s daughter Johanna (Therese Smith-Levin) to the Judge (Travis Eaton) who convicted Sweeney Todd. Todd is befriended by Mrs. Lovett (Leesa  Castaneda) who runs a “Meat Pie” shop and he restarts his trade as a barber over the pie shop and seeks revenge on those who wronged him. Mrs. Lovett just makes ends meet and could use a more reasonable supply of meat. Johanna is in love with Anthony Hope (Peter Linschoten)  and so the plot thickens. Sweeney devises a plan to execute his enemies while in his barber chair, dropping them down a trap door, and providing Mrs. Lovett with “Fresh Meat.”

The play is a must see for the ending. The set is well designed to accommodate all scene locations by using a revolving platform for the pie shop, living room, and basement oven. The singers and ensemble work well together and some of the action takes place in the aisles. Music on occasion overpowered the soloists and some of the chorus numbers were distorted by over modulation. This company of actors is very talented and many have professional credits which is demonstrated by their performance. The play runs through April 1 and is worth the drive to Eustis.

Villager Don Simson reviews local theater for Villages-News.com

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