Murderous mesmerization

Fargo Moorhead Community Theater’s ‘Sweeney Todd’ is to die for

Sweeney and the ensemble sing here in the first scene.

The perfect show for Halloween and a must-see for theater lovers of all kinds; there is so much to die for in Fargo Moorhead Community Theater’s (FMCT) feature show “Sweeney Todd”.

Many students are likely familiar with Johnny Depp’s ability to camouflage himself into any role he is given. One of his most notable is that of “Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street”.

What is interesting about the FMCT’s production is seeing someone else in the role and finding a new appreciation for the same plot.

The actor cast as Sweeney gives us a fresh take on him, turning away from the gauntness of Depp’s portrayal and offering a more fulfilling, vengeful psychosis.

Alongside him, the ensemble builds onto this image in a satisfying way. The varying demeanors of every single member of the society of Fleet Street and surrounding London are so thoroughly developed, it was easy to get sucked into the show and forget that it is a play.

As for the music itself, each song had the rich and full sound that would be heard on Broadway. The only trouble was with the balance of the microphones. At times, it was hard to hear the lead voices over the ensemble and at others, the words were simply lost in a jumble of chords.

Although the overall balance needs tweaking, the concepts still come through completely by the end of each song. Thankfully, the pit orchestra knew their stuff and was always in tune.

One of the most important parts is, of course, the scenery. Through the creative use of moveable stairs and platforms that could be easily turned, Fleet Street and beyond come to life.

One small note was the annoyance of the chain stair railing clanging during scene transitions. The transitions themselves ran smoothly, but some of them seemed to take just a little too long.

On the other hand, there were many small decorations that needed to be moved with care. Thus, the careful transitions make sense.

Overall, ‘Sweeney Todd’ at FMCT was well cast and directed. The amount of effort and consideration put into it by cast and crew alike comes through very plainly. Not one person seems out of place and even if something went wrong, the audience was oblivious.

So, with careful steps and a quick flick of the wrist, let Sweeney Todd seal your fate and see this marvelous show.

Go, if you dare:

Where: The Stage at Island Park, 333 4th Street South

When: Oct. 31–Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Admission: Halloween only $10, Nov. 1–2 $15 for students

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