Attend the tale, bitches: Drury Lane announces ‘Sweeney’ casting, and I’m excited


The recent casting announcement of Drury Lane‘s Sweeney Todd only heightened my excitement of this upcoming production (running August 11 – October 9).

First, we get Gregg Edelman, a four-time Tony Award nominated actor with Chicago roots. Some of my friends think he might be a little too tame for the monomaniacal barber based on his past performances. I’ve never seen Edelman onstage, but have enjoyed his performances on various cast recordings, particularly City of Angels. I think he’ll bring it.

And, in bit of a surprising casting choice, considering the number of Chicago actresses who’d be delightful in the juicy role of Mrs. Lovett, we get Broadway actress Liz McCartney, whose credits include Mama Mia and Carlotta in Phantom of the Opera. In addition, she also had the best number in the failed Boy George/Rosie O’Donnell musical Taboo:

If anything, McCartney will most likely offer one of the best sung Mrs. Lovetts I’ve heard. And, in reading this interview, it’s a dream role of her’s.

There’s also some tasty casting in the supporting roles — Chicago favorite Heidi Kettenring will play the Beggar Woman and Kevin Gudahl sounds like perfect casting as the lecherous Judge Turpin.

Also, with Rachel Rockwell directing and Kevin Depinet designing, this production will hopefully bring the grand to the Grand Guignol spirit of this Sondheim masterpiece. I mean, it’s about time we saw a big, exciting production of a Sondheim musical, and not some scaled down actor marching band performing in cocktail dresses, or, worse yet, a “chamber piece” reduction. I want big, bold and bloody, dammit.

Looking forward to August!

(Now, for the love of Baby June and her newsboys, who has casting gossip for Drury Lane’s Gypsy? Spill! Or, if nothing’s been decided yet, consult me. I’ve ideas.)

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