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Coshocton Footlight Players to present ‘Sweeney Todd’

| April 18, 2019

Michelle Kittel and Nick Fischer practice for the upcoming Coshocton Footlight Players presentation of Sweeney Todd, a dark musical comedy, that will be at the Triple Locks Theater the first three weekends in May.

COSHOCTON – For the last 40 years, composer Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Sweeney Todd” has been considered a Broadway classic and one of his greatest works. For three weekends in May, the Coshocton Footlight Players will be presenting this dark comedy at the Triple Locks Theater.

Sam Servais is the director and she is also playing Johanna, Sweeney’s daughter. “It’s a dream role to play,” she said. She also directed “The Sound of Music” and played Maria, so this isn’t her first time with dual roles. The play is set in Victorian London and is the story of a barber who seeks revenge on the people he believes has wronged him.

“The audience can expect laughs and exquisite music. This is one of the greatest musicals,” said Servais. “The stage version is much more enjoyable than the movie. This is definitely a black comedy and parents should be aware of the subject matter. It may not be appropriate for children.”  She also said audiences love humor and that the story also has a wonderful moral.

“I directed ‘Sweeney Todd’ in Cambridge about 10 years ago and a group from the Coshocton Footlight Players came to see it,” said Servais. “They wanted me to do it here, too, and we’ve finally the chance to do it. The cast is large with 18 people and some are driving from Mount Vernon, Millersburg and Dresden to be part of the play.”

Sweeney Todd is played by Nick Fischer. “It might be different for people to see me in a role like this. I’m nervous about it. It took a lot of encouragement from Sam to do this. It’s a tough show musically and people might be shocked if they don’t know what’s coming. Everyone works so well together. It’s a beast of a show.”

Ruthie Cameron, who plays Tobiass Ragg, is excited to play a boy. “He wasn’t treated well and now he has good intentions, but he’s unstable. I like working with Sam and I wanted a challenge to play a boy – a character that’s kinda crazy, kinda not. It’s a great experience for me.”

Mrs. Lovett is played by Michelle Kittel. “This is a musical theater masterpiece. Underneath the music, the acting, the technical, is a real story of the struggle of the working class. I was surprised to be offered this role. It’s a great role and I’m extremely grateful to have it.” Kittel said she was also excited to be in the play because her daughter is in the ensemble.

Ian Ernsberger is one of a group of five that are traveling from Mount Vernon to be part of the play. “I play Beadle – one of the bad guys. I’m one of the two big baddies and we cause some ruckus. Playing bad guys is the most fun because there are no rules. Bad guys don’t think they are bad in their own heads, they are just making choices, not to be bad, but doing what they think is right.  Even if they aren’t good choices to others.”

The play will be presented on May 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. each day and a matinee will be at 2 p.m. on May 12. Tickets are $12 for adults and students (through grade 12) $7 and may be ordered online at www.footlightplayers.com or by calling the box office at 740-622-2959.

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Category: Arts & Entertainment

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