Come to the best pub in London for Pioneer Players’ production of ‘Sweeney Todd’

Sweeney Todd

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Department of Performing and Visual Arts-Theatre and Pioneer Players will continue their 2018-2019 season with the sinister and popular musical “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”

Performances are Friday, April 5; Saturday, April 6; Thursday, April 11; Friday, April 12; and Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 7 and Sunday, April 14 at 2 p.m. There also will be a special matinee at 11 a.m. on April 10. All performances will be held in the Brodbeck Concert Hall at the Center for the Arts, UW-Platteville.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the original production premiered on Broadway in 1979. With a book by Hugh Wheeler and music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the demon barber has been a musical theatre staple for decades. The story follows Sweeney Todd’s path of rage and vengeance as he seeks to reunite with the family he lost 15 years ago and to destroy all those responsible. Along the way, he meets Mrs. Lovett, a shop owner selling the “worst pies in London,” and the two of them hatch a twisted plan that is beneficial to both of their interests.

“The tale of Sweeney Todd and this musical are well-known, and there have been many successful versions over the years,” said Ann Farrelly, associate professor of theatre at UW-Platteville and director of the production. “We thought it would be interesting to see the show in a new way, emphasizing the meta-theatrical and the overt storytelling aspects that are a hallmark of much of Sondheim’s work. Our show takes place in a Victorian London pub, and the characters are merely amateur actors and musicians putting on a show for themselves. They are ‘attending the tale’ just as we, the Platteville audience, will be. It creates a very interesting dynamic.”

The cast includes Ian Duff as Sweeney Todd, Blair Schuler as Mrs. Lovett, Andrew Arevalo as Anthony, Lili Pierce as Johanna, Kiley Schulz as Beggar Woman/Lucy, Jon Hutson as Judge Turpin, Corbin Schroeder as Beadle Bamford, Logan Eigenberger as Tobias, Nathan Greve as Pirelli, and Cameron Tieman as Jonas Fogg. Members of the ensemble include Briley Fenner, Maddie Harbour, Adisyn Hoff, Darren Johnson, Leah Kubasta, Charles Roltgen, Morgaine Schroeder, Megan Behrens, Lyrica Daentl, Jason Hackbarth, Jolene Servais and Connor Feyen. Behrens, Daentl, Hackbarth, Servais and Feyen also serve as musicians, led by UW-Platteville staff and conductor, Rob Shepherd.

“I am so proud of this cast,” said Farrelly. “This concept requires them to be a strong ensemble, and they don’t disappoint. Everyone is onstage the entire show – and much of the pre-show. I am also excited to have such talented musicians be a part of this world. They are not a pit in the traditional sense. They are characters in the story, too.”

Joining Farrelly on the production team are UW-Platteville faculty and staff Connie SaLoutos Furlan, choreographer; Jeffrey Strange, scenic designer, and Sarah Strange, costume designer. UW-Platteville theatre alumna Lizzie Haller serves as the music director. Abigail Wagner, lighting designer, Taylor Tieman, stage manager, and Samuel Klaas, technical director, are the student members of the production staff.

“This team is incredible. I am so lucky to have such talented colleagues and students,” said Farrelly. “As with all of our productions, students from all over campus, in all three colleges, are represented both onstage and backstage. Of the over 50 students involved in ‘Sweeney Todd,’ almost half represent the College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture and the College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science while the remaining students represent a variety of majors from the College of Liberal Arts and Education. It truly is one of the largest cross-campus collaborations. Non-majors continue to make a major impact, and that is something that sets UW-Platteville apart from other schools – the opportunity for all students to participate in a variety of interests, regardless of their degree pursuits.”

Tickets and fees for the production are $14 for general admission, $12 for faculty/staff/seniors and $7 for students. For tickets and information, contact the University Box Office at 608-342-1298 or online at