Friday, February 18, 2011


If you love Stephen Sondheim as much as I do and if you love a juicy, gory story, then get on over to Kean University for their production of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. It may not star Johnny Depp as Sweeney, but the music will be glorious and interesting, and the actors will be superb:

The Theatre Department at Kean University presents

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
By Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler
Directed by Holly Logue 

WHEN: February 25 through March 5
The Zella Fry Theatre on the Kean University campus, Union, NJ
TICKETS: Tickets for Sweeney Todd are $15 standard, $12 for faculty, staff, seniors and alumni and $10 for students. Call the Kean University box office at 908.737.SHOW (7469) or visit For further information on the College of Visual and Performing Arts, visit

sweeney aThe Tony Award-winning musical tells the story of Benjamin Barker, alias Sweeney Todd, who returns to London after 15 years' exile on false charges. When he learns from his former landlady, Mrs. Lovett, of the atrocities committed against his wife by the very judge who wrongly transported him, Todd vows a bloody revenge. Opening in 1980 with Broadway veterans Angela Lansbury and Len Cariou, and popularized for modern audiences by the 2007 movie version with Johnny Depp in the title role, the piece brims with humor and a resplendent score despite its macabre premise.

“In the style of the Grand Guignol, it’s both horrific and hysterical,” said Holly Logue, Acting Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and director of the production. “And in the intimacy of the Zella Fry Theatre, people can experience a front row splash!”

SWEENEY 5Joey Morales is a second year theater major at Kean who portrays the murderous Sweeney Todd. Regionally he has played in Ragtime, Showboat and Secret Garden and can be heard in professional recordings of Little Shop of Horrors as Audrey II and South Pacific.

Mrs. Lovett is played by theater education major Robyn Lee, who has performed at Paper Mill Playhouse in Children of Eden and at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey in Carnival. She’s been seen in productions around the country that include Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Mrs. Walker in Tommy and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors.

The cast includes the gifted ensemble of Kean students: Allison Cloonan (Middletown), Elio E. Llleo (West New York), Lissette Valentin (Kearny), Samantha Mellina (Westfield), Katelyn Morgan (Phillipsburg), John Kushnerick (Edison), Cassandra Otten (Shrewsburg), Zach McCullough (Matawan), Travis Morgan (Carteret), Cara Ganski (Vineland), Anthony Crouchelli (New Milford), Greg Scalera (Colonia), Krystle Haliotis (Linden), Josh Schnetzer (Asbury), Ryan Kaczynski (Edison), Emily Deluca Daly (Manalapan), Patrick Getty (Metuchen), Tony Mowatt (Union), Abby Nadel (Springfield), Lauren Sodono (Colonia), and Jonathan Wells (Middlesex).

Founded in 1855, Kean University has become one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, boasting a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment, offering more than 50 undergraduate degrees and more than 45 options leading to a master’s degree, doctorate, professional diploma and/or state certification(s). Five undergraduate colleges and the Nathan Weiss Graduate College now serve more than 15,000 students.