Giving up watching football and venturing over to Asheville Community Theatre to see a play is not a typical way to spend a Sunday fall day for me. Although I have seen a number of plays in New York, London and Los Angeles over the years, [outings to see] plays in Asheville have been few and far between. After viewing Sweeney Todd this past Sunday afternoon, taping football just might be an option.
From the opening number to the closing epilogue, Sweeney grabs you and won’t let go. The set design dazzles before you can get comfortable in your seat. The orchestra, with only seven pieces, feels like a Fourth of July celebration with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops.
The actors, from support staff to Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney himself, set the stage ablaze in every scene. They have a rare and special connectivity not often found in musical theater. During postshow discussion, I learned that all cast members were local Asheville residents. The talent within our wonderful city truly overwhelms.
At $25 a ticket, this production might fetch nearly 10 times that on big-city venues. I urge all of Asheville and Western North Carolina to see this spectacular production. Taping the Bills, Brady and the Broncos never felt so rewarding.
— Rob Lipsett