Mike Uncorked: Sweeney Todd and Charley’s Aunt: Demonic Barber and Classic Romp Hit Valley Stages
By Mike Butler
So, there’s back to school stuff going on and the general autumn prep, which means we all need a little break with something to do, right?
This September the Valley theatre scene is exploding with two terrific productions covering all genres and you should mark your calendars to catch both!
Up first, for all you devilish musical fans, the Valley premiere of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street comes to the Al Whittle Theatre and it’s going to be a cut above the rest!
Sweeney Todd first premiered on Broadway with Angela Lansbury in 1979 and it blew audiences away with it’s unique take on horror, music and dark humour. The Stephen Sondheim musical thriller went on to win 8 Tony awards including Best Musical and hasn’t stopped captivating audiences wherever it runs. The fictional tale of love and revenge with razors and pies was turned into a Golden Globe and Academy Award-winning film starring Johnny Depp, bringing a new audience to this fantastic piece.
Now, Side by Side Productions (Halifax) and The Wolfville Theatre Collective are excited to bring their version to the stage here in Wolfville, for a premiere gathering. Directors Thea Burton and Becca Guilderson have assembled a stellar cast and crew of local actors, including Alan Slipp, Steve Roe, Erin Gaudet, Paula Rockwell, Scott Mckinnon, Thea Burton and Justin Brown (pictured), and more, to bring this vast show to the stage. You will not be disappointed! Come to the Al Whittle Theatre and have a visit with Sweeney Todd… if you dare!
Performances of Sweeney Todd are Thursday September 13 to Saturday September 15 at 7:00pm, doors open at 6:30pm. And there’s also ONE matinee performance on Saturday September 15 at 2 pm (doors open at 1:30pm). Tickets are available at The Box of Delights Bookshop, on eventbrite.ca or at the door and you better get yours fast! Tickets are $20.00 for adults and $15.00 for seniors and students.
Something special to note: There is a pay-what-you-can preview performance of Sweeney Todd on Wednesday September 12, with first-come first-served entry. This macabre musical classic is sure to have audiences singing, laughing, and thinking twice about their next close shave!
Are you a fan of classic comedies? Well, Charley’s Aunt by Brandon Thomas, a perennial favourite, comes to CentreStage Theatre in Kentville for a month long run and audiences will be howling with laughter!
Jack Chesney loves Kitty Verdun and Charley loves Miss Amy Spettigue. They invite the ladies to meet Charley’s wealthy aunt from Brazil, “where the nuts come from.” Cancelling her visit at the last minute, the millionaire aunt sends the boys into cataclysmic confusion. What do they do now? They MUST have a chaperone, or the girls can’t visit! The problem is solved by drafting their feckless Oxford undergrad pal into a black satin skirt, bloomers and wig. As Charley’s Aunt, this charming frump is introduced to the ladies, to Jack’s father and to Stephen Spettigue, Amy’s guardian. When the real aunt turns up, classic comic confusion ensues as Fancourt Babberley, posing as Charley’s Aunt, tricks Spettigue into agreeing to the marriage of his ward, the real aunt marries Jack’s father, Jack gets Miss Verdun, and Fanny Babs regains the fortune he lost at gambling as well as the girl he loves. This classic farce has been performed high and low all over the world and never disappoints.
Charley’s Aunt is directed by Chantal Murphy and the cast, in order of appearance, includes Regis Irvine, Bob Cook, Ryan MacNab, Jenna Newcomb, Keira Melanson, Marc Charrier, Dylan Salmon, Gwenyth Dwyn, Kaitlyn Thompkins, and Kenzie Melanson. Performances dates are evenings (7:30pm start) September 14, 15, 21,22 , 28 ,29, and October 5 ,6 , 12, 13, with matinees on September 23, and 30 at 2pm. Front of House opens at 6:45pm for the evening performances and 1:15 pm for the matinee. Tickets are: adults $15, seniors/students $12, children, age 12 and under, $5. CentreStage takes cash or cheques only. Reservations are recommended and are held until 15 minutes before show time, and you can call 902-678-8040 for reservations. Visit centrestagetheatre.ca for all the information regarding upcoming shows, special events and audition notices. Enjoy the shows!