Local Theatre

Story by Eric Larson

Off campus this weekend:
Sweeney Todd

Ah, “Sweeney Todd” – the classic tale of love, lust and bloody revenge. First appearing in the 1979 play, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” it has since been made into a feature film starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

“You, sir! Too, sir! Welcome to the grave!” Depp ferociously sings in the movie adaptation, moments after his revelation to slit the throats of barber shop patrons as revenge for his wife’s death. “I will have salvation!”

Although Depp won’t be making it to Eau Claire anytime soon (that we know of, at least), the Chippewa Valley Theatre Guild will be performing their own adaptation of the cynical cult classic from Oct. 7-10 at the State Theatre.

Packed full of beautiful music, haunting melodies and gasp-worthy surprises, audiences will also find themselves laughing as much as sitting on the edge of their seats.

(To those with weak stomachs, not to worry. The website says the show will be completely blood free, will special effects in place of gore).

This off-campus production is stacked with talent from our campus, with Music and Theatre Arts Department Chair Bob Knight starring as Sweeney Todd himself. Seventeen other UW-Eau Claire students contribute to the cast, orchestra and crew.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $8 for youth/students. Curtains open at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 7-9, and 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 10.

Stop by for a night of laughs, thrills and close cuts!


On campus next weekend:
Anatomy of Gray

The 2010-11 University Theatre Productions will open up the season with the production of Jim Leonard’s, “The Anatomy of Gray” (not to be confused with the Ellen Pompeo drama on ABC) at the Riverside Theatre.

The play, directed by Jennifer Chapman, is set in the late 19th century. It tells the story of June, who prays for a healer to come to her small town of Gray, Ind. after her father dies. Before long, a tornado hits the state, and a man in a balloon blows into town claiming to be a doctor.

At first, June’s prayers seem answered as the new doctor is able to cure every case presented; soon, however, the town’s preacher becomes ill with a mysterious plague, which begins to spread beyond his control.

Leonard, who also wrote “The Diviners,” “They Dance Reel Slow in Jackson” and “Crow and Weasel,” describes Gray as “a children’s story for adults,” full of death, love and healing in a unique coming-of-age tale.

Performances start at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 14-16 and 20-23, and 1:30 p.m.
on Oct. 17.