CONCOCTING A PLAN: Sweeney Todd, played by Ransom Young, talks with Mrs. Lovett, played by Laura Hiers about their plan to dispose of the bodies in her meat pies.

THE CLOSEST SHAVE YOU’LL EVER HAVE: Sweeney Todd (Ransom Young) gives a shave, resulting in the untimely death of Judge Turpin (JW Watson).

By Jill Holloway

Jul 30, 2023 Updated Aug 3, 2023

THOMASVILLE- Viewers enjoyed laughs and a little priest on Sunday night as the Young Actors Program concluded the regular season at Thomasville On Stage and Company with their rendition of Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street School Edition.

The story of Sweeney Todd is a famous one for many and one of the reasons director Cameron Parker chose it.

“Sweeney Todd was one of the first pieces of musical theatre I fell in love with,” Parker said. “The music of this show is very near and dear to my heart.”

The musical thriller centers around an exiled barber known as Sweeney Todd (Ransom Young), who returns home to London after being imprisoned in Australia for 15 years. Todd is seeking vengeance against the judge (JW Watson) and his spineless beadle (Ben Horton) who framed him.

Todd was helped in his escape from Australia by a virtuous and naive sailor, Anthony Hope (Carson Chapman).

Although seeking revenge, Todd’s main goal is to once again be reunited with his wife Lucy (Ava Bass) and daughter Johanna (Moss Musselwhite).

While looking for Lucy, Todd meets up with Mrs. Lovett (Laura Hiers), who has a failing meat pie shop, where his barbershop once stood.

Much to Todd’s disappointment, Mrs. Lovett informs him the judge ravaged Lucy, who consequently poisoned herself, before taking Johanna as his ward.

Todd vows to get revenge and reopens his barbershop, attempting to kill the judge.

When his plan originally fails, Todd decides to take revenge on more than just the judge. As he continues to go mad, Todd begins to kill everyone in his wake.

Mrs. Lovett, who has become enamored with Todd during the months he has spent with her hatches a plan to help dispose of the bodies. The plan includes putting them in her meat pies.

As business begins to boom, cracks in the plan begin to show, especially when a young Toby (Mark Russo) questions where his boss Adolfo Pirelli (Stephen Sykes) has gone, after he was last seen in Todd’s barber shop.

In attempt to keep Toby quiet, Mrs. Lovett takes him in, hoping he can assist her in baking.

As Toby uncovers more than he ever imagined, Todd is driven to the brink of madness when he kills a beggar woman (Marion Rose Young) who is not what she appeared.

As Todd mourns over his latest conquest, he soon learns Mrs. Lovett knew the beggar woman all along, keeping it from him so she could be with him instead.

Todd and Mrs. Lovett have no time to argue though, as both of them must endure Toby’s wrath for the death of many.

The epic final scene delighted the crowd, as they cheered on the actors and actresses who had poured their heart and soul into the show.

Parker explained they had seen slightly smaller crowds than normal due to a postponement after a lighting mishap.

“We ended up having to do a Thursday, Friday, two Saturday shows and two Sunday shows,” he said. “We saw kind of a lull on Thursday and Friday when people were still trying to move their tickets, but once we started picking up speed, we started growing our crowd.”

The crowd was treated to stage regulars, but also the return of Horton, who had not performed in shows at TOSAC in quite some time.

“He stopped doing shows in early high school, but he finally had some free time and I told him he had to audition for the show because he’s a phenomenal actor and singer,” Parker said. “I’m so glad we had him because he not only rounds out the cast, but is great to work with backstage.”

Viewers will have the opportunity to hopefully see Horton and many of these young actors one last time this summer, when they present their showcase on August 5.

The showcase will feature actors and actresses, from this musical, along with many others, performing songs from musical theatre hits.