Michael Jones, Director and Music Director for the Scarborough Music Theatre
“I love that the group is doing Sweeney. I think they are really brave for doing it, because cannibalism isn’t the easiest subject in the world; most people don’t consider that your normal happy musical,” titters Michael Jones, director and music director for the Scarborough Music Theatre’s production of Sweeney Todd. “It’s a great piece — it’s a really, really important piece of theatre . . . but it’s not The Sound of Music; I don’t have a whole group of charming little children running around dressed in draperies,” says Jones.
Sweeney Todd is Stephen Sondheim’s tale of a man on a rampage of homicidal vengeance. He disposes of bodies by having Mrs Lovett bake them into meat pies — a great boon for her business. Johnny Depp plays Sweeney in Tim Burton’s 2007 film version.
“I’m one of the few people who really likes the movie version, but it’s not a complete version of the story; they really took out a lot of the subplot stuff, and you lose a lot of the connecting music. It is a lot more moving and immediate on stage,” says Jones. The show will take place on a "full thrust" stage, which means the audience surrounds the performance on three sides, creating a rare intimacy. “It’s always good to see something in a group of people — even a group of people you don’t know — there’s a sort of synergy being with others and feeling the same things at the same time,” says Jones.
Jones has been all but obsessed with Sweeney Todd since he was 14 years old, but that isn’t his only reason for being jovial: “I’ve been 21 for many years, and I’m still 21. The show closes on my 21st birthday this year! So if Fab readers want to come and wish me a happy birthday, bring it on!” –Jeremy Willard
Sweeney Todd is Thurs, Feb 7 to Sun, Feb 10; Thurs, Feb 14 to Sun, Feb 17; Thurs, Feb 21 to Sat, Feb 23 at Scarborough Village Theatre, 3600 Kingston Rd, Scarborough. theatrescarborough.com