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A New Interpretation Of 'Sweeney Todd' In White Plains

Cassie Hohn (Mrs. Lovett) and Steven C. Rich (Sweeney Todd) in "Sweeney Todd."
Cassie Hohn (Mrs. Lovett) and Steven C. Rich (Sweeney Todd) in "Sweeney Todd." Photo Credit: Alex Cutrone, WPPAC

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Expect a twist on the traditional when "Sweeney Todd" opens at the White Plains Performing Arts Center (WPPA ) on Friday, Oct. 10. Though the music and lyrics are the same, the play starts where the classic tale ends and is told in flashbacks. It takes place in an insane asylum where Toby is taken after he kills Sweeney. There, he recounts the story, using the inmates and other members of the asylum to re-tell his history.

For those not familiar with this musical thriller, "Sweeney Todd" tells the story of an unjustly exiled barber who returns to 19th century London seeking vengeance against the judge who robbed him of his family. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop, above which he opens a new barber practice.

“We didn’t want to remount the same production,” explains Yonkers resident and director Jeremy Quinn of the 35-year-old play. “We’re not Broadway and we don’t have the budget to copy what they did on Broadway so why not do the show in a more provocative way that can really excite our audience?” he says. For them that means exposing the audience to something they’ve never seen before and never thought possible.

That includes an up-close viewing of Toby in the lobby where the audience is held until right before curtain up to watch the character being led through in a strait jacket. “Asylum” hours are highlighted to coincide with the performance times.

“It’s my sincere hope that the audience will appreciate what we’ve done, whether or not they have ever seen a production of Sweeney Todd or have seen it multiple times because it’s their favorite show,” adds Quinn. “I hope, at the very least, that people are intrigued and curious enough to see what true theatrical artistry is all about.”

The show runs through Oct. 26 with 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. performances (depending on the day). Tickets are $50 for adults; high school students and younger are $35. Use code MEATPIE15 for a 15 percent discount; this offer is good through Oct. 7 at midnight. For more information, call 914-328-1600 or go to the website .

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