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There Will Be Blood

Stephen Sondheim’s blood-dripping and murderous tale of the vengeful barber Sweeney Todd is coming to Cal State Northridge.

The musical, presented by CSUN’s Department of Theatre, will be at Nordhoff Hall’s Campus Theatre starting March 28.

“Sweeney Todd is my favorite musical of all time,” Musical Director and CSUN Music Professor David Aks said. “I think it’s the greatest musical ever written. I’ve always wanted to do it here.”

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and the lyrics.

“He’s really considered the greatest musical theatre composer of our generation,” Aks said. “He led musical theatre in a direction and really no one followed him, because it’s so sophisticated and so complex and he’s such a genius. He’s kind of in a world by himself.”

The musical was first produced on Broadway in 1979. It won eight Tony Awards. Movie director Tim Burton made a film version in 2007, starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

“I’ve referred to all the different productions,” director Ken Sawyer said. But he said he wanted to do the play in a way that had not been done before, and he told the actors he wanted them to try and come up with their own style. “I have really challenged them to use it as background, but make it your own. Really personalize all of this and bring what you have to it.”

Aks said that the leading role of Sweeney Todd is a particularly difficult role to play. “It’s a big, huge part for a bass baritone, who’s got to have great singing chops and great acting chops and gravitas,” he said. “…We did stumble across someone, Robert Collins…As soon as I heard him, I said ‘I think it’s time to do Sweeney Todd.'”

Theatre major Carina Sapiro is playing Todd’s conniving partner, Mrs. Lovett.

“I cast {Carina} in Cabaret several years ago as a member of the chorus,” Sawyer said. “…and she’s turning into this really amazing actress in those three years. And then she came in and auditioned for this.”

Sapiro said she is excited to play Mrs. Lovett. “She’s a very practical lady, and she’s also completely enamored with the lead character of Sweeney Todd,” Sapiro said. “Without giving too much away, I will just say that. She’s very much kind of icy, and like a humorous side, but still very dark.”

“People go to the theatre not to see the ordinary and the mundane, but to see the bizarre and the wicked and the strange, and the things they don’t see anywhere else in life,” Aks said. “And this is definitely bizarre, wicked and strange.”


Producer: Evanne Robinson

Moderator: Natalie Palacios

Anchor: Esmi Careaga

Reporters: Dylan Connolly, Alex Milojkovich and Jennifer Rufer



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