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October 04, 2013
Vol. 55 No. 5

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Courtyard Theater opens

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street will bring his revenge to the Susquehanna Valley Mall during the new Courtyard Theater's premier performance of the musical "Sweeney Todd." The show will run on Oct. 11, 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26 at 7 p.m., and matinees will be held on Oct. 13, 20 and 27 at 2 p.m.
The management team for the musical consists of Producer Art Lieberman, Artistic Director Bob Taylor, Technical Director Nick Buckman and Musical Director Michael Blaustein.
Lieberman said that he and Taylor decided that Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd" should be the Courtyard Theater's first production almost immediately upon hearing that there could be a theater in the mall.
"Our reasoning," Lieberman said, "was our mutual love of the play and the challenge that this particular play represented. It is 80 percent music and only 20 percent dialogue, and as its author has stated, even half of the 20 percent has music in the background. We felt we needed an 'impact' musical to open our theater with."
The group of "talented amateurs" for "Sweeney Todd" was cast in early August, according to Lieberman. Unfortunately, he said, Susquehanna was not in session - and therefore, the students were not on campus - at the time of casting.
"SU has such a marvelous theater program, and we would have loved to see some of the students in the play," he said.
The titular character will be played by Matthew Fulkerson, whom Lieberman described as having a phenomenal voice. Mrs. Lovett will be played by Gloria Lehman, who Lieberman said is very experienced in local theater. Lovers Anthony and Johanna will be played by Ethan Boone, a newcomer to the theater, and 16-year-old soprano Hannah Hook, respectively.
Additionally, Buckman will double both as the technical director and the actor playing Judge Turpin in the musical.
Lieberman, who has spent 45 years as a worldwide piano entertainer and has appeared in several plays, said that he met Taylor, an actor and director in local theater for 35 years, when he produced "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in Williamsport. The two hit it off immediately.and the team that created the Courtyard Theater was born.
The Courtyard Theater is located by the JCPenney at the Susquehanna Valley Mall. Tickets for "Sweeney Todd" are $15 and can be purchased by phone at 570-374-0060 or online at thecourtyardtheater.com.

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