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From the Studio: Stage Left's "Sweeney Todd"

Performers and creatives preview the music and murders of the darkly comic musical

Troy Nickerson, Jerrod Phelps, Erik Contzius and Bridget Pretz joined E.J. Iannelli in the KPBX studio—plus Tonya Ballman in the Spokane Public Radio performance space—to chat about and perform selections from Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

A new production of the acclaimed musical by Hugh Wheeler and Stephen Sondheim opens at Stage Left Theater this Friday.

Nickerson is directing the show and Ballman is its musical director. Contzius, Pretz and Phelps are appearing as Sweeney Todd, Mrs. Lovett and Anthony Hope, respectively.

The actors and director talked about why they toned down the gore, their characters' obsessions and the challenges of Sondheim's music.

Before, during and after the interview, the cast members and Ballman performed three selections from the musical live in the SPR performance space: “My Friends,” “Johanna” and "The Worst Pies in London" (each link will open a video of the live performance).

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street opens Feb. 3 at Stage Left Theater and runs there until Feb. 26.

For tickets and more information, visit the Stage Left Theater website.

E.J. Iannelli is Spokane Public Radio's Arts and Music Director