Club & Greek
- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 08 February 2017
- Written by KAYLA CARDONA | CONTRIBUTING WRITER
Monmouth University’s student-run theatre company, Boom Roasted Productions, will be performing the musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, this coming April in the Lauren K. Woods Theatre.
The production will have a total of four performances, premiering on Friday, Apr. 14 at 8 p.m. The show will have additional performances Saturday, Apr. 15 and Monday, Apr. 17 at 8 p.m., with a special matinee performance at 12 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets will be available mid-March and will cost $5 for all students, faculty and community members.
Sheri Anderson, a specialist professor of Theatre Arts at Monmouth University and advisor of Boom Roasted Productions said, “This will be a spectacular event and I cannot wait for everyone to see what our students have to bring to the stage.”
Boom Roasted Productions broke the news via their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts on Dec. 5, unveiling that the Spring musical choice would be Sweeney Todd, the Tony award–winning Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim. On Jan. 18, the first production meeting occurred to discuss the details of assembling the production.
According to Anderson, the complexity of the Sondheim musical is what really what drove the decision. She said, “During Theatre Fest last semester, the company really excelled during their performance of Spring Awakening. In that moment, I knew the students would be able to conquer the challenge of a Sondheim musical.”
Auditions for the production took place on Feb. 3 and 4 in the Lauren K. Woods Theater and the group encouraged all students to participate. Molly Huber, junior history and theater student, and President of Boom Roasted Productions said, “The audition turnout was much better than expected. We had a record amount of people come out to audition. We now have a cast of about 27 people, which is phenomenal.”
Within the musical rendition, the main character, Sweeney Todd is a barber who relentlessly murders his victims in his barber shop. After Todd robbed his dead victims of their possessions, Mrs. Lovett, his partner in crime and lover assists him in disposing of the bodies by baking their flesh into meat pies and selling them to the unsuspecting customers in her pie shop.
The musical consists of a series of melancholy melodies and dramatic plot twists to create a story unlike any told before. Bryan Jenner, professor of music appreciation and Director of Instrumental Ensemble at Monmouth University will be conducting the orchestra for the production. Jenner said, “My vision is to have the orchestra do what they can to enhance the production and be there to showcase even more student talent. I look forward to having the students present a top quality and strong musical product.”
More recently, Sweeney Todd was made into film directed by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp as Sweeney Todd and Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett.
The film received two Golden Globe Awards – one for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical (Johnny Depp) and one for Best Picture, Comedy or Musical, according to imdb.com. However, Anderson stressed the distinction between the movie and the production. She said, “Burton really cut out the special musical numbers that the original play had, and therefore the movie lost a lot. Our production will ensure to bring those moments back to the stage.”
Trevon James, a sophomore sports communication student, said, “I would definitely go see it. I have seen bits and pieces of the movie, so it would be interesting to see how the students will portray this play in their own style.”
Boom Roasted Productions is the newest and only student-run theatre company at Monmouth University. Since the theatre department only organizes two shows during the academic year, the club’s mission was to do more than that.
Instead of a limited number of big productions, Boom Roasted Productions puts on various shows and events throughout the semester – such as, musicals, karaoke, and cabaret.
“Boom Roasted Productions is the ultimate expression of real life,” Huber said. “We have a familial quality that is all about creating something unique and beautiful. I do not know where I would be without my theatre family.”
In the past, Boom Roasted has produced many successful musicals at Monmouth University, including Spring Awakening, Rent and The Adamms Family. Their positive feedback from students and faculty has encouraged them to provide abundant and exclusive entertainment on campus.
According to Anderson, the last two events sold out of tickets long before the event took place. She said, “We are very pleased with the success of the company and we cannot wait for more events to come.”
For tickets, call 732-263-6883, visit www.monmouth.edu/arts or go to the Monmouth University Box Office. Boom Roasted Productions welcomes all majors and all levels of experience. If you want to get involved email, contact Molly Huber firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo taken from Boom Roasted Facebook Page