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Maria Talbert
IU Auditorium

Jennifer Piurek
University Communications

Last modified: Thursday, September 25, 2008

Free shaves from IU Auditorium in honor of upcoming show ‘Sweeney Todd’

Sept. 25, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In honor of the barber shop-themed musical thriller Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, fans of all ages can get a free straight-razor shave at IU Auditorium between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29.

IU Auditorium will host two performances of Sweeney Todd, both at 8 p.m., on Tuesday, Sept. 30 and Wednesday, Oct. 1.

"This is the perfect show leading up to Halloween, with an incredible musical score by Stephen Sondheim," said IU Auditorium Director Doug Booher. "Sweeney Todd is a powerful story -- people who see this show will still be thinking about it days later."

Sweeney Todd is based on the 19th-century legend of a London barber who kills his clients as he seeks revenge on the evil Judge Turpin, who has taken his wife and child away.

Directed and designed by John Doyle, this Tony Award-winning show is a revival of Stephen Sondheim's and Hugh Wheeler's Broadway blockbuster, which debuted in 1979. That show, with a cast led by Angela Lansbury, won eight Tonys, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. This new production, a spare re-imagining that retains Sondheim's musical masterpieces, has been a blockbuster in its own right, winning the Drama League, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Revival of a Musical in 2006.

Justin O'Neill, the show's publicist, says the current cast "brings this piece to life in a way that no one has ever seen before. Not only have they memorized their lines, blocking and can sing, but they also double as the orchestra and play their own instruments while onstage," O'Neill said.

Of Sweeney Todd, the Wall Street Journal wrote: "The greatest musical of the past half-century has returned in a staging of the utmost force and originality!" Time Out New York calls Doyle's revival, "the most addictively delicious dish on Broadway in years."

The free shaves, by College Town Cutters Barber Shop, are sponsored by WBWB-B97 and IU Auditorium. B97 will also be on-site and will have a limited number of show tickets for on-air giveaways. Josh Dodd from B97 plans to grow his beard until the Sweeney Shave. His facial hair progress can be viewed on the B97 Web site,

Tickets for the show are available at the Auditorium Box office, by phone at (812) 855-1103 and online at The IU Auditorium is located at 1200 E. Seventh St. in Bloomington.