Party Play: "Sweeney Todd"

Beth Fhaner
 | Jan 29, 2019

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning masterpiece, launched the new year on the Segerstrom Stage, much to the delight of the First Night audience. Sweeney Todd captivated the attention of theatregoers and never let up, delivering dazzling performances, razor-sharp wit, a live band and extraordinary songs such as “Pretty Women,” “Johanna” and “Not While I’m Around.”

Along with plenty of laughter, the First Night audience showed their appreciation for this musical thriller with enthusiastic applause and a full, immediate standing ovation. Led by Kent Nicholson’s expert direction, the entire ensemble created a truly memorable evening that transported First Night attendees to the seedy underbelly of Victorian London.

The buzz was overwhelmingly favorable surrounding both the play and the performances of the talented cast: David St. Louis (Sweeney Todd), Jamey Hood (Mrs. Lovett), Devin Archer (Anthony), Erica Hanrahan-Ball (Beggar Woman), Juliana Hansen (Johanna), Conlan Ledwith (Toby), Robert Mammana (Judge Turpin), Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper (Beadle Bamford), Roland Rusinek (Adolfo Pirelli), Brent Schindele (Jonas Fogg) and Katy Tang (ensemb​le roles).

First Night attendees and Honorary Producers Sophie and Larry Cripe found Sweeney Todd to be highly entertaining. "We loved the play--it's a tasty treat you can really sink your teeth into. A well-directed, glorious cast with rich voices and a stunning set. It's a don't-miss!" they said.

Honorary Producers James, Kimberly and Kolby Jacobs greatly enjoyed the performance. "The show was amazing," the Jacobs said. "The combination of Sweeney's dark, tortured soul and Mrs. Lovett's melodramatic style really created a unique and special energy that worked so well! We all loved it!"

Rick Smetanka, with Corporate Honorary Associate Producer Haskell & White, said, "I'll be sure to skip that shave next time I'm in the barber's chair! The suspense kept us on the edge of our seats and we really loved the characters, despite some of their horrific qualities. The actors and musicians clearly rose to the challenge that Sondheim put forth. Congratulations to SCR and the talented cast of Sweeney Todd!"

Guests who attended the celebratory soiree, which was co-sponsored by The Westin South Coast Plaza, were welcomed to a stylish, romantic backdrop. Vertical buffets set with ​champagne and wine, along with floral décor ​including ​black magic roses, transformed the Westin’s rooftop Terrace Pavilion into an elegant landscape.

Partygoers feasted on a menu inspired by the play that featured an assortment of mini pies including meat, chicken and vegetables​ and a mashed potato station, with an array of toppings such as parsley, butter, chives and sour cream​. All of the foot was a hit with the festive crowd.

In a nod to the musical’s titular character, the evening’s signature cocktail was “The Close Shave”—a delicious drink comprised of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, cranberry juice and a maraschino cherry, garnished with a red-sugar rim.

For a sweet finish to the evening, guests indulged in a decadent selection of miniature desserts including crème brûlées, tarts, cookies and brownies—all delicious treats that few could resist!

First Night theatregoers were delighted to have the opportunity to meet and mingle with director Kent Nicholson and the entire cast at the rooftop Terrace Pavilion’s sophisticated setting. All the while, lively conversation and laughter continued to swirl around the worldwide phenomenon known as
Sweeney Todd, Sondheim’s award-winning musical thriller about the “demon barber,” who plots revenge, one shave at a time.

Learn more about Sweeney Todd and buy tickets.