THEATER REVIEW: “Sweeney Todd”

By Joe Izenman on June 11, 2011


Is it wrong that I secretly wished Lakewood Playhouse's production of Sweeney Todd would be a little bit more like a GWAR concert? My instincts say yes, but my heart says no.

Not that I wanted a horde of spastic metalheads kicking me in the head, but if there is one tale of musical theater well-suited for a good, strong arterial spray, it's that of the Demon Barber.

Fortunately, it turns out there are a good many ways to make a play violent and disturbing without literally drenching your audience in red food coloring.

First, get yourself a creepily intense lead. Glenn Guhr, in the title role at Lakewood Playhouse, has this locked down. When you walk in the front door (I know you will, because I'm going to tell you to before this article is through, and I'm pretty convincing) take a look at his headshot. It's impossible not to, because his steely stare is already burning a hole in the side of your head.

To read Joe Izenman's full review of Sweeney Todd click here.

[Lakewood Playhouse, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, through June 26, $25-$19, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd., Lakewood, 253.588.0042]