Sweeney Todd | Raleigh Little Theatre | Stage | Indy Week

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Sweeney Todd

When: Feb. 12-28, 8 p.m. 2016

SWEENEY TODD

What is it about a bad guy who dispatches his enemies with a culinary flair? Two years before fava bean-and-Chianti enthusiast Hannibal Lecter first appeared in the pages of Red Dragon, a murderous barber who served up his victims in a decidedly less highbrow fashion was the toast of Broadway. When the Todd character first appeared, he was a base creature. But the 1973 retelling by Christopher Bond, on which Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler based their 1979 Tony-winning musical, began with a backstory that makes the singing psycho sympathetic, enabling us to both side with him and even take some delight in his handiwork. Denying us the expected uplift of a musical comedy, Sweeney Todd shines a light on the essential squalidness of human nature and hinges upon the involuntary ingestion of human flesh. Stepping into the blood-soaked shoes of the title shaver is David Henderson, who has some familiarity with playing men with moral failings through his signature role as Jacob Marley in Theatre in the Park's A Christmas Carol. —David Klein

RALEIGH LITTLE THEATRE, RALEIGH

Various times, $13–$27, www.raleighlittletheatre.org SATURDAY, FEB. 13

Price: $13-$27

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