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Patio Playhouse Community and Youth Theater Presents “Sweeney Todd School Edition”

Cast members of “Sweeney Todd.”

A talented team of youngsters brings the bloody, worldwide success of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd School Edition to Patio Playhouse, running March 23 to April 8.

Patio Playhouse Youth Theater will present the school edition of “Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” appearing through April 8 at the intimate Kalmia and Grand theater.

“Sweeney Todd,” with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler, is darkly witty and, in its original Broadway premiere, was awarded eight Tony Awards (including Best Musical). Since then, the show has become a worldwide success and this school edition adaptation, presented by Patio Playhouse’s talented youth, is a treat to behold!

This dark musical tells the tale of Sweeney Todd, a nineteenth-century barber who has been exiled unfairly after having been framed by a corrupt local judge in order to take advantage of Todd’s wife. Upon his return to London, a vengeance-fueled Todd meets the Mrs. Lovett, a baker who runs a local, faltering pie shop downstairs of Sweeney Todd’s new barbershop. Working together, the duo find a new, spooky ingredient to add into her meat pies… which quickly become the pride of London.

Patio’s production of this beloved musical stars a troupe of talented young performers, aptly led by Zane Stewart (Sweeney Todd) and Sierra Weis (Mrs. Lovett). The show also features Gabe Rasmussen (Judge Turpin), Karen Nolte (Beadle Bamford), Luis Sherlinee (Anthony Hope), Catalina Colby (Johanna Barker), Michael Moreau (Tobias Ragg), Kaivan Mohsenzadeh (Adolfo Pirelli), Lillian Broschart (Beggar Woman), and Ni’Shelle Evans, Rayne Gonzalez, Jenna Heidemann, Dylan Lally, Belle Morelock, Christian Reyes, and Paige Townsend rounding out the ensemble.

Patio Playhouse Youth Theater productions are always free from audition to curtain, and the theater has produced over 80 youth plays and musicals. As an additional enrichment opportunity, Patio Playhouse also hosts a summer Acting Academy, a day camp for young kids (age 6-14) to learn about theater and to get a chance to perform.

This week-long program trains participants in audition preparation, stage presence, singing, learning choreography, character development, and improv. The program ends with a Talent Revue that is open to friends and families. Any donations collected during the run of the show will help to provide scholarship funds so that more local Escondido youth are able to participate in this valuable arts camp.

Patio Playhouse is also a partner of the San Diego Theatre Connection, a group that fosters and supports service opportunities between arts organizations and nonprofit partners around San Diego County; the San Diego Theatre Connection can be found on Facebook and Instagram.

Tickets: Performances of “Sweeney Todd School Edition, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” will begin on Friday, March 23 and continue through Sunday, April 8 on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, and for Sunday matinees. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening performances are at 7 p.m. with afternoon performances on Sundays at 2 p.m. The theater will be dark on April 1 in observance of the holiday.

All shows will be presented at Patio Playhouse, located at 116 South Kalmia Street, Escondido (between Vinz Wine Bar and Continental Deli).  Tickets are available for  $17 for Adults over the age of 17 and $13 for Youth 16 and under. Group rates are available for groups of 10 or more. For reservations, contact the Patio Playhouse box office at 760-746-6669, via email, or via the website at www.patioplayhouse.com. Directed by Laurissa Rudgers. Produced by Brenda Townsend. Music Direction by Emily Awkerman.

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