Auditions | Sweeney Todd
Date: Saturday, August 7
Time: 1 to 4 PM
Players by the Sea
106 6th Street North
Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Callbacks will be held on August 8
Show dates: October 8 - 31
Directed by: Jereme Raickett
Musical Direction by: Jeff Clayton
What to prepare: Please prepare 16-32 bars of 2 different contemporary musical theatre songs that shows off your range.
Show Description: One of the darkest musicals ever written, Sweeney Todd: A Musical Thriller is the unsettling tale of a Victorian-era barber who returns home to London after fifteen years of exile to take revenge on the corrupt judge who ruined his life. When revenge eludes him, Sweeney swears vengeance on the entire human race, murdering as many people as he can, while his business associate Mrs. Lovett bakes the bodies into meat pies and sells them to the unsuspecting public. Perhaps composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s most perfect score, Sweeney Todd is lush, operatic, and full of soaring beauty, pitch-black comedy and stunning terror. It’s one of the signal achievements of the American musical theater of the last fifty years.
Sweeney Todd - Sweeney escaped from prison after being wrongfully accused and jailed for fifteen years. Formerly a proud barber, a loving husband and a happy father, Sweeney is now consumed by loss and revenge. He has returned to London to right the wrongs committed against him, his wife, and his daughter. Sweeney is charming but hot-tempered, ferocious yet vulnerable. Strong baritone/bass who can whistle. Speaks with an Estuary or London dialect.
Mrs. Lovett - An entrepreneurial meat pie shop owner who will do whatever it takes to survive. She is in love with Todd and hopes that he’ll forget the past and build a new life with her. At first, shocked by Sweeney’s bursts of violence, Lovett turns his desire for revenge into a profitable business venture. She is resourceful, ambitious, charismatic, and has great comedic timing. Mezzo with belt. Speaks with a Cockney accent.
Anthony Hope - A youthful sailor who helps Sweeney return to London and unexpectedly falls in love with Johanna. He is idealistic, romantic and a little reckless. His passions sometimes get the better of his reason and his enthusiasm sometimes makes him unintentionally comedic. Over the course of the show he awakens to the horrors around him and becomes disillusioned with London. Tenor. Speaks with a standard British accent.
Johanna - Todd's long-lost daughter and Judge Turpin's young ward. Homeschooled and largely homebound. She has a rebellious, subversive and romantic streak and longs to escape her confinement. Johanna is aware that Judge Turpin isn’t her real father and suspects that he might be a predator. Like her father, she has experienced trauma and possesses a buried capacity for violence. Although described as “pale” and “yellow haired,” we are not taking this literally. Soprano. Speaks with a standard British accent.
Tobias Ragg - A poor youngster apprenticed first to Pirelli and then to Mrs Lovett. He is industrious and eager to please, with a good sense of humor. Uneducated, but innately clever and observant, Tobias responds quickly to the kindness of Lovett but grows increasingly suspicious of Sweeney. After a betrayal, Toby experiences the violence and terror of this world and snaps. Or maybe he just becomes like everyone else. Tenor. Speaks with a Cockney accent.
Judge Turpin - A lecherous public official who portrays himself as a sanctimonious authoritarian. He takes advantage of his position to imprison Todd, assault Lucy, and take Johanna in as his ward. He is aware that what he wants and what he’s done is wrong, yet chooses to ignore or push against his conscience. Embodies Puritanitcal hypocrisy: he lusts after Johanna, even as he professes to keep her innocent. Bass/baritone. Speaks with a standard British accent.
Beadle Bamford - A pompous public official who is responsible for the health and safety of London. He possesses a dry, deadpan sense of humor and enjoys wielding his power. He is not a snivelling civil servant. He is deeply loyal to Turpin, though in his heart of hearts he believes he’s better than the judge. The Beadle loves singing children’s nursery rhymes, which remind him of his youth. Tenor with a strong falsetto. Speaks with a standard British accent.
Beggar Woman / Lucy Barker - An eerie, poor soul living on the streets of London. She supports herself by begging and prostituting herself to sailors. The Beggar Woman is Sweeney’s wife, Lucy, who lost her mind after being assaulted by Turpin and taking poison. She has occasional flashes of lucidity and distrusts Mrs. Lovett. Like the oracle Cassandra, She is the only one who sees what’s happening but no one will listen to her. Mezzo. Speaks with a Cockney or Estuary accent.
Adolfo Pirelli - An Irish former employee of Sweeney’s who has since developed a public persona as a flamboyant and flashy world-famous Italian barber. A charlatan who sells fake medicine and challenges other barbers to shaving contests. Pirelli is charming, calculating, and over-the-top comedic. Possess some anti-English sentiments and does not take lightly to being publicly embarrassed by Sweeney. High tenor. Speaks in both an Italian and Irish accent.
Jonas Fogg - The owner of Fogg's Asylum. Fogg sells the hair of inmates to wigmakers. Considers the inmates “children” and takes pleasure in showing them off to visitors. Chooses to ignore the human rights of his patients in the name of scientific progress. An authoritarian who is really a coward at heart. Speaking role who sings with the ensemble. Speaks with an Estuary dialect.
Ensemble - They are the show’s chief storytellers, taking on the roles of customers, townspeople, police, inmates at the insane asylum, Sweeney’s thoughts, and Sweeney’s victims. The ensemble gets ample opportunities for vocal challenges and is showcased with solos and harmonies throughout the show. Sopranos, altos, tenors, baritones, and basses. Accents not necessary.