Preview: Avonworth rehearses ‘Sweeney Todd'

by: Kim Raguza Updated:

The entire cast of "Sweeney Todd."

PITTSBURGH - The students of Avonworth High School will perform “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” this spring.

From the moment I walked in, I knew this wasn’t going to be a typical high school musical. “Sweeney Todd” will surely be a chilling experience for the entire audience, thanks to the dedication of the cast. Even when offstage, the students stayed in character. Rather than pose for a funny picture, they stayed solemn and demon-like.

The cast’s dedication to stay in character seems to stem from their overall happiness with the musical choice.

“I know that not a lot of high schools can get this experience to perform ‘Sweeney Todd.’ The challenge is so great and it makes what we’re working for even more treasurable,” said Brooke Tate.

Tate, a senior, plays lead role Mrs. Lovett. Her character is incredibly dynamic, which poses challenges when playing the role.

“Getting the comedic timing right is difficult. It’s also difficult keeping my accent understandable,” said Tate.

Nathan Pool, who stars as Sweeney Todd the demon barber, also finds his role challenging.

“The vocals are very difficult. There’s a lot more singing than I had ever expected,” said Pool.

Pool has a strong passion for singing. In addition to the school musicals, he has been playing the guitar and taking vocal lessons.

What Pool loves most about working on the musicals is working with his cast.

“We have some incredibly talented and devoted actors and actresses, and it’s an honor to work with them on and off stage,” said Pool.

Director Deborah Frauenhollz, who is in her  15th year directing at the high school, had a little bit more to say about the cast.

“They are exceptionally dedicated, extremely devoted and uniquely talented. This allows me to work ‘at the top of the game’ as one would in the industry,” said Frauenhollz.

Sweeney Todd will run April 20, 21, 27 and 28.