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20131127 Sweeney-Todd Prints PBA-63Sets are under construction, props gathered, costumes tailored, and rehearsals underway for the most ambitious undertaking yet for the Veterans Memorial High School (VMHS) Harlequins Drama Club. For two weekends in December, the curtain will go up on their production of “Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”

Performances of the musical thriller will take place the first two weekends on Dec. 5, 6 and 7 and 12, 13 and 14 at the VMHS Theater, located at 700 E. Two Mile Road.

Advanced tickets will be sold Monday throughThursday, beginning on Dec. 2 at 4:30 p.m. at the theater or during traditional office hours at the VMHS front office. All performances will begin at 7 p.m. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Student tickets will cost $5. Adult tickets will cost $10.

The musical thriller is set in 19th century England and tells the story of Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd. After being released from prison, the falsely accused man opens a barber shop above the pie shop of Ms. Lovett. The two team up in a plot for revenge against those who have done them wrong and hurt loved ones.

The very successful Broadway play was also adapted for a movie in 2007. The VMHS production is being produced with special permission from Music Theatre International. It is directed by James Hodgson. It is based on the book by Hugh Wheeler; adapted by Christopher Bond. The music and lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim.

The VMHS Sweeney Todd production cast and crew includes Alex Hinojosa, Karla Gastel, Micaela Cantu, Mark Stuart, Alex Hernandez, Nicko De La Garza, Jose Garcia, Marisol Cervantes, Sara Olivares, Nate Garza, Sofia Puga, Alyssa Guajardo, Megan Bledsoe, Arjon Bashiri, Estefany Mendez and Jennifer Gonzalez.

Also, Miranda Morales, Debanhi Cespedes, Clarissa Garza, Jule Salinas, Kimberly Stuart, Emily Cantu, Andrea Garcia, Karina Gamboa, Joel Ocanas, Johnny Platas, Brittany Bazaldua, Carlos Tello, Brittney Schmidt and Reeda Salazar.

The VMHS Harlequins have a growing reputation for quality stage productions. Their work in UIL One Act Play competitions has earned them district championships for six years in a row, first place at regional competitions two years in a row and state competition qualification the past two years.

Most of the Harlequin’s past productions have been stories familiar to general audiences. Cast members said they were looking forward to providing the community with a show that will provide some real surprises, and that they are also enjoying the challenges the production is providing them.

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