Arts and Entertainment

Whidbey Center for the Arts announces casting and events for 'Sweeney Todd'

Whidbey Island Center for the Arts has announced the cast for the first show of the theater season.

The Stephen Sondheim masterpiece and Tony Award-winning musical, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler, has been called one of the greatest musicals ever written for the American stage. The sweeping, epic tragedy with its strange and morbid edge features the sinned-against and sinner, Sweeney Todd.

This "demon barber of Fleet Street" returns to London bent on inflicting vengeance against those who falsely imprisoned him and took his young wife and daughter.

Jason Dittmer, who was last seen at WICA as the Emcee in "Cabaret," will play the title role; Suzanne Kelman, of "Girls Gone Wide" fame will take on the role of Mrs. Lovett.

The cast also includes Max Cole-Takanikos (Anthony Hope), Dana Linn (Beggar Woman), Rob Prosch (Judge Turpin), Jim Scullin (Beadle Bamford), Sommer Harris (Johanna), Andy Walker (Tobias), K. Woodzick (Pirelli) and Rob Scott (Jonas Fogg).

The ensemble includes Bob Atkinson, Megan Besst, Jennifer Bondelid, Nick Dushane, Debby Elwell, Evan Elwell, Dorothy Ferguson, Barbara Fine, Jonathon Fine, Seth Fine, David Gray, Dinah Hassrick, Richard Korp, Darlene Milne, Frank O’Brochta, Samantha O’Brochta, Ryan Xavier Saenz, Nicholas Schneider, Kenton Therien, Jennings Watts and Joy Williams.

The play will be directed by Deana A. Duncan with musical direction by Dana Linn and Robert Marsanyi.

The creative team includes choreographer Art Anderson, scenic designer David Gignac, costume designer Valerie Johnson, lighting designer Ann C.W. Deacon and an orchestra led by Chris Harshman.

Performances are at the South Whidbey High School auditorium Friday, Oct. 17 through Saturday, Nov. 1.

Tickets range in price from $12 to $20, with discounts available for students and groups. Visit www.WICAonline.com or call 221-8268 for more info.

An opening night reception, hosted by the Edgecliff Restaurant, is Friday, Oct. 17 at WICA following the performance.

Other events surrounding the production include a "Post-Play Talk" at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 26. Patrons should visit www.WICAonline.com for updated information on talks.

WICA Conservatory will present "Sweeney Todd: The Concert" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27.

The concert will feature Whidbey Island students under the musical direction of K. Woodzick.

An "Angels and Demons" special Halloween night will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31. Audience members are encouraged to come dressed as their favorite Sweeney "Angel" or "Demon" character. Following the performance, Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett will present prizes for the best costumes.

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