The audience may feel a part of the dark comedy/horror/musical that is the Minot State University Campus Players production of "Sweeney Todd," said Peg Morris, who plays Mrs. Lovett in the production.
"It's such an intimate space," Morris said. "It's in the Black Box. It's sort of a dream (that) worked for everybody."
Brett Olson, who plays Sweeney Todd and also produced the play as his senior project, said there are only 60 seats in the intimate Black Box theater, so audiences will be able to feel part of the story and see the emotions on the faces of the actors. Olson said his theater professors suggested holding the play in the larger Aleshire Theater, but Olson wanted the more intimate Black Box theater. The production may not be as big a fundraiser for the theater department, but it should be that much more special for those who do get seats, he said.
Terry J. Aman/MDN - - Brett Olson, left, and Peg Morris scheme as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett, respectively, in the Minot State University Black Box theater production of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.” All three performances are sold out, but waiting lists are being compiled.
"I think the thing people are going to enjoy the most is the music," Olson said. "It's one of the most popular Broadway shows of the past 30 years."
Olson said the combination of the beautiful music by Stephen Sondheim and bright humor in what is essentially a very dark show will make it a fun show to attend.
Todd is also known as "The Demon Barber of Fleet Street." He was sent away on false charges to a prison camp, where he developed a thirst for vengeance. Upon returning home he seeks revenge on the judge who ruined his family and his life.
Brett Olson as Sweeney Todd
Peg Morris as Mrs. Lovett
Jason Gaarder as Anthony Hope
Terri Rubbert as Johanna
Brittany Armstrong as Tobias Ragg
Daniel Johnson as Judge Turpin
Joe Janowski as The Beadle
Courtney Johnson as Beggar Woman
Chris Stroschein as Adolfo Pirelli
Joshua Snyder as Jonas Fogg
Grant Johnson as Man
Morris's character is a brassy pie-maker who owns a pie shop on Fleet Street and has a history with Todd. She helps him with his vengeful plans.
The production is for mature audiences only. Sweeney Todd's weapon of choice is a straight-edged razor, said director Chris Stroschein, and Olson said there is a lot of stage blood. Some productions of "Sweeney Todd" use red ribbons, but he said the blood looks pretty realistic in this one.
Stroschein said Olson brings just the right air to the role. "He's been very good to work with," Stroschein said.
The play will run at 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday in MSU's Black Box Theater. All three performances are sold out. Waiting lists are being assembled starting at 6:30 p.m., and unclaimed reservations will be reassigned after 7:20 p.m. in the order received. Tickets are $10 for general admission.