December 21, 2009
Contact: Sara Leonard
Concert and Production Manager

AMHERST, Mass. — The Amherst College Department of Music presents Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street as its 2010 annual musical, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. Performances will take place at Buckley Recital Hall in the Arms Music Center Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 28 to 30 at 8 p.m., with a special half-price preview performance on Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. The musical is directed by New York City Opera veteran A. Scott Parry, with musical direction by Mark Lane Swanson. The Amherst Symphony Orchestra will be “in the pit.”

Based on a popular Victorian-era “penny dreadful melodrama,” Sondheim’s masterpiece of musical theater Sweeney Todd tells the tale of an unjustly imprisoned barber who, upon his release, is hellbent on revenge.  His indiscriminate lashing out at society by slashing the throats of his customers is abetted by a loony, lovelorn bakeshop owner, Mrs. Lovett, who grinds the bodies of Sweeney’s victims into meatpies. Sweeney Todd won numerous Tony awards on Broadway in 1979, including Best Musical, and was recently transformed into a Tim Burton motion picture with Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

Tickets for Sweeney Todd may be reserved by email at or by telephone at (413) 542-2195. Tickets are $8 for the general public, $4 for students with ID, and free to AmherstCollege students. They may be paid for at the door with cash or check. All tickets for the Wednesday preview will be half-price. Early reservations are strongly recommended, as the annual musical often sells out and seats are assigned on a best-available basis. Viewer discretion is advised due to violent situations and sexual innuendo.

Sweeney Todd is generously sponsored by the Association of Amherst Students (AAS), the Five College Interterm Fund, and the Department of Music.