‘Sweeney Todd’ comes to CSUN

David MacNeal

The blood-thirsting musical ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street’ is back and in new form for a special one-day engagement this Sunday at CSUN’s Plaza del Sol Performance Hall.

Tony Award-winner John Doyle led the original direction and design of the 10-member cast in his 2005 revival. It won the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Revival of a Musical after its Broadway opening.

The tale of Sweeney Todd is one of a London barber driven to homicidal revenge after a malevolent judge takes away his wife and daughter. The musical-horror plays out with psychotic tunes that are memorable and haunting.

But don’t expect the stage version of Tim Burton’s film adaptation, or, for that matter, the original theater production. John Doyle’s visionary interpretation turns the orchestra into actors or, perhaps, vice versa.

While Sweeney Todd is on stage in the middle of a blind, vengeful, crooning number, you might see Mrs. Lovett in the background, picking up the tuba or accordion part. John Doyle believed this approach would force audiences to listen to every note being played instead of being swept away by a grandiose orchestra.

Should anything happen to one of the 10 actors/musicians, there are four back-ups to take the part. They’ve designed certain plans and procedures to solve these problems, kind of like stabilizing a power plant.

People searching for a more holistic approach to theater should this check out’mdash;it promises equal parts of sardonic roar and musical viscosity.

Tickets are available from $20 to $60 with limited availability of $20 student tickets (limit two per student). The two performances on Dec. 7 are at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Parking is $5.