Dee Roscioli and William Michals, two recent Broadway stars, are now scheduled to appear in leading roles at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival this summer in Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street.
Roscioli, an Easton native known for her long run as Elphaba on Broadway, and in the Chicago, San Francisco, andnational touring productions of the hit musical Wicked, will play Mrs. Lovett, the meat pie-making accomplice of Sweeney Todd.
Arriving last summer directly from the Tony Award winning landmark Broadway revival of South Pacific to play the same role, Emile DeBecque, at PSF, Michals returns this summer to take the title role in Sweeney Todd. Variety proclaimed that he has “a voice that knows no boundaries” – an ideal match for Stephen Sondheim’s brilliant, tantalizing score.
Originally produced in 1979, Sweeney Todd is an uncompromising musical thriller about a barber who has returned to London after 15 years in a penal colony. Working with his landlady, Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney plans his revenge upon the Judge who falsely convicted him and destroyed his family.
The production opens June 15 on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts on the DeSales University campus in Center Valley and continues through July 1. Previews are June 13 and 14. Tickets are available at the PSF box office, by calling 610.282.WILL , or online at www.pashakespeare.org.
“We are fortunate that the same voice that has reverberated in Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and in symphony halls across the nation will once again echo in Labuda,” says Dennis Razze, associate artistic director and director of Sweeney Todd. Michals’ credits include both the Beast and Gaston in the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast, and the national tours of Les Miserables (Javert), The Scarlet Pimpernel (Chauvelin), and The Music Man (Harold Hill).
“Working at PSF was a dream last summer during South Pacific, and I am really excited to be working with Dennis Razze again,” says Michals. “I am looking forward to his guidance on this beautifulproduction.”
Roscioli holds the distinction of having played Elphaba in more performances in various North American productions than anyother actress. A DeSales University graduate, Ms. Roscioli’s national tour credits also include the principal role of Grizabella in Cats. “I can’t think of a better way to start out my summer than playing Mrs. Lovett at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival,” say Roscioli. “The possibilities with this character are limitless. I am like a kid on Christmas Eve wondering what is going to develop with this awesome cast.”
Sweeney Todd opens the 21st season that includes three plays by Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest, and King John, Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and two children’s plays, Shakespeare for Kids and Snow White and the SevenDwarfs.
Production Sponsor of Sweeney Todd is Alvin H. Butz, Inc. The Season Sponsor is The Rider-Pool Foundation. Associate Season Sponsors are Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth, Lutron Electronics Company, Inc., and the Harry C. Trexler Trust. Season Media sponsors are The Morning Call and Service Electric Cable TV & Communications.