OHS’ “Sweeney Todd” a scream for audiences, students

Leah Mullen and Nolan Callahan, center, take curtain call with other members of the cast of Oswego High School’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” which ran this past weekend. Mullen and Callahan played lead roles of Mrs. Lovett and Todd, respectively.The Robinson-Faust Theatre for the Performing Arts at Oswego High School was transformed into the dingy streets and seedy back alleys of Victorian London this weekend as crowds packed for the OHS Music Department’s groundbreaking performance of “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.”
Led by Seniors Nolan Callahan and Leah Mullen playing the murderous Todd and his accomplice Mrs. Lovett, the cast of more than 60 Buccaneer actors and actresses earned standing ovations for their performances on Friday, Feb. 9 and Thursday, Feb. 10.
“We are incredibly proud of all the hard work our cast, crew, volunteers and families have put into making this show something show truly special,” said stage director Garrett Heater.
Heater said the production was extremely ambitious, citing the complexities of the vocal score, mature subject matter, and the mechanical necessities of a barber chair that sends victims down a trap door and chute.
The size of the cast, orchestra, and detailed bi-level set design rank as the largest in the 6 year history of this particular musical production staff, which includes music director Robert Dumas, choreographer Amanda Kurey, costumers Jeanette Reyner and Pat Van Wie, and the OHS technical staff and student crew.   
The show’s challenging music and acting demanded a rigorous rehearsal schedule which paid off on opening night.
Heater said the skills students learn from taking part in a production like “Sweeney Todd” will stay with them long after they leave the halls of OHS.
“Everyone is learning how to collaborate and communicate more effectively, how to work as a team toward a goal – it’s getting them a little more prepared for when they enter the ‘real world’,” Heater said.