Puttin' on the Ritz, Inc. is putting on Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award winning Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, running at the Ritz Theatre in Oaklyn, NJ April 11-May 10.
"Not your ordinary little musical" is how Clive Barnes of the NY Post referred to Sweeney Todd, the powerful and bloody musical revealing the English legend of the mad barber. On Broadway, Todd featured Len Cariou in the title role and Angela Lansbury as Ms. Lovett, his pie making companion. Art McKenzie and Carol Furphy will play those roles in this production.
Sondheim collaborated with librettist Hugh Wheeler on Todd,, basing their musical on the London stage play, one of seven about the dark hero. The score includes Sondheim favorites such as "Johanna," "Not While I'm Around," "Pretty Women," and "A Little Priest."
Demon barbers may not be a suitable subject for children, but children will (hopefully) not be frightened by Ritzy the Wolf, who stars as the fairy godmother and narrator in Oaklyn's Cinderella.
Ritzy is the Ritz's very own well loved character, who will lead the improvisational Children's Theatre Troupe in this participatory staging of the fairy tale. He'll also host the traditional "library corner" pre-show, in which he invites youngsters to tell their favorite story and why they like it. Youngsters will be selected to play dress up and join the actors. Audience participants will play Cinderella, as well as a king and a queen who will don capes and sit on thrones, help the actors to transform into white mice, become ball guests and construct the golden coach.
Advance reservations are recommend. For information or tickets to Todd or Cinderella, call (609) 858-5230.
--By Blair Glaser