Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

SF Bay Area Theater Company and 4th Walrus Productions

at the Exit Theatre, San Francisco (July 2015)

 

Directed and Set Design by Ken Savage 

Music Directed by Joel Chapman

 

Inspired by the slums of London and the Tenderloin of San Francisco, our production of Sweeney Todd explored how a microcosm of people, within a metropolitan city, struggles against the corrupt justice system run by the social elite. It is a bloody show about the cycle of violence sparked by love and perpetuated by our human desensitization to punishing the guilty. To do this musical right now in the Exit Theatre within this community that has been marginalized and branded as a containment zone in San Francisco has been a serendipitous experience. Historically a neighborhood to contain San Francisco's various "unwanted" populations, the Tenderloin is not only a hotbed of crime but also and most admirably a proud community of survivors: refugees, the homeless, various elderly, veterans, the mentally ill, prostitutes, drug dealers, struggling business owners, juvenile delinquents, etc. The Tenderloin is the closest thing we have to Sweeney's London. Sweeney Todd is a reminder that no one is safe from the cycle of violence and any of us given extraordinary circumstances and intense passion can become either a hero or a murderer. Sometimes the line between the two is blurry.

 

Full Company in Opening Ballad
Full Company in Opening Ballad
Street view of Tenderloin-sidewalk
Street view of Tenderloin-sidewalk

Set design by Ken Savage © Frank Chen

Beggar Woman
Beggar Woman

© Alvaro Ponce

"Poor Thing"
"Poor Thing"

Dumb show depicting the rape of Lucy, Sweeney's wife © Frank Chen

"My Friends"
"My Friends"

Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney Todd © Frank Chen

Signor Pirelli
Signor Pirelli

© Alvaro Ponce

Tobias Ragg
Tobias Ragg

© Alvaro Ponce

"Kiss Me"
"Kiss Me"

Johanna and Anthony flee tonight © Alvaro Ponce

"A Little Priest"
"A Little Priest"

Sweeney and Mrs. Lovett © Alvaro Ponce

Sweeney kills the Beggar Woman
Sweeney kills the Beggar Woman

© Frank Chen

Sweeney kills Judge Turpin
Sweeney kills Judge Turpin

© Frank Chen

Johanna and Toby in Finale
Johanna and Toby in Finale

Continuing the cycle of violence as the next Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney © Frank Chen