Open Auditions for the RFA Summer Musical- Sweeney Todd

Sunday, March 29, 2:00 PM
RFA Lakeside Theater

Sweeney Todd auditions are open to those entering 9th grade thru adults.
Sweeney Todd rehearsals will run from April 5 through July 2. Rehearsals will be 2 nights a week through April and May, and 3 times a week in June, with more rehearsals as we get closer to performance week.

Performances will take place July 4, 6, 7, at 7:00 pm, and July 5 at 4:00 pm.

Synopsis-

“One of the darkest musicals ever written, Sweeney Todd is the unsettling tale of a Victorian-era barber who returns home to London after fifteen years of exile to take revenge on the corrupt judge who ruined his life. When revenge eludes him, Sweeney swears vengeance on the entire human race, murdering as many people as he can, while his business associate Mrs. Lovett bakes the bodies into meat pies and sells them to the unsuspecting public. Perhaps composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s most perfect score, Sweeney Todd is lush, operatic, and full of soaring beauty, pitch-black comedy and stunning terror. It’s one of the signal achievements of the American musical theater of the last fifty years, and it’s the high water mark of Sondheim’s six remarkable collaborations with director Harold Prince.”
– StageAgent.com

The audition process-

  • Together, we will sing an excerpt from the opening song, The Ballad of Sweeney Todd. 
  • Anyone interested in auditioning for principal roles- prepare one of the song selections listed in the character descriptions, and a monologue (selections below). These will be performed in a closed audition with the Production Team.  You will (most likely) NOT sing the entire song. You may choose which part of the song you sing, or you can start at the beginning and we will stop you when we’ve heard enough.
  • Call-backs may occur, if necessary, on Monday, March 30 at 6:00 pm.

The Production Team-
Co-Directors- Erin Smith and Timothy Straub
Music Director- Sue Downes-Borko
Producers- Valerie Zapolsky and Millie Hoekstra

Character Descriptions-

The age ranges listed are the characters’ ages, not necessarily the ages of the actors.
Scroll down to find individual monologues for each character.

Sweeney Todd
A wrongfully imprisoned barber seeking to right the wrongs committed against him. He is Johanna’s father, singularly focused on taking bloody revenge. He is powerful, vengeful, hot-tempered, intelligent, forceful, terrifying, brooding and morose with a certain cynical charm. He must have a commanding presence.
British accent
Age: 40 to 55
Vocal range top: Gb4
Vocal range bottom: F2
Audition Song- No Place Like London (measure 202-end) (Starts at 3:28-ish)
Practice Track- No Place Like London- Sweeney practice (Starts at 3:28-ish) 

Mrs. Lovett
An entrepreneurial and amoral meat pie shop owner. She falls in love with Todd and turns his desire for revenge into a profitable business venture.  She is talkative, cheerful, manipulative, devious and ambitious with a sexual prowess. Great comedic timing is necessary.
Cockney accent
Age: 35 to 50
Vocal range top: Mezzo with belt.  E5
Vocal range bottom: G3
Audition Song- Worst Pies in London
Practice Track- Worst Pies practice track

Anthony Hope
A naive and youthful sailor returning to London. He helps Todd return to London and unexpectedly falls in love with Johanna.  Strong, brave and full of the joys of the world. He has yet to inhabit the cynical qualities of Todd. He grows more and more terrified of the world around him.
British accent
Age: 20 to 30
Vocal range top: F4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Audition Song- Ah Miss
Practice Track- Ah, Miss

Johanna
A spritely girl, full of innocence, but with a flirtatious demeanor, constantly yearning for freedom. Todd’s long-lost daughter and Turpin’s ward.
British accent
Age: 18 to 21
Vocal range top: A5
Vocal range bottom: Bb3
Audition Song- Green Finch and Linnet Bird
Practice Track- Green Finch and Linnet Bird 

Tobias Ragg
A poor simpleton youngster apprenticed to Pirelli and who finds a surrogate mother in Lovett. He is loyal, truthful and innocent to a fault with a heart of gold and a sharp eye. He does not trust Todd.
Cockney accent
Age: 15 to 20
Vocal range top: Ab4
Vocal range bottom: Bb2
Audition Song- Pirelli’s Magical Elixir
Practice Track- Magical Elixir 

Judge Turpin
A lecherous, corrupt, evil public official who portrays himself as a sanctimonious authoritarian. He takes advantage of his position in the city and is responsible for imprisoning Todd.  He lusts after Johanna.
British accent
Age: 50 to 65
Vocal range top: Gb4
Vocal range bottom: E2
Audition Song- Pretty Women
Practice Track- Pretty Women Practice

The Beadle
A pompous public official. He is deeply loyal to the corrupt Turpin.  Will break the law to keep people in line. His corruption makes him blind to true good and evil. A respected citizen not worthy of respect.  He is eager, violent, unscrupulous and terrorizing.
British accent
Age: 40 to 55
Vocal range top: D5
Vocal range bottom: D3
Audition Song- Ladies in Their Sensitivities
Practice Track- Ladies in Their Sensitivities

Beggar Woman
A deranged and schizophrenic woman who harbors a dark, surprising secret, making her living prostituting herself to sailors at London docks.
Cockney accent
Age: 35 to 50
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: Ab3
Audition Song- No Place Like London (measure 28-43) Starts at 1:32
Practice Track- No Place Like London Practice

Adolfo Pirelli
An Irish charlatan and former employee of Todd’s who has since developed a public persona as a flashy and flamboyant Italian barber. He is crooked, calculating and conniving with a hot temper. A comedic role.
Italian and Irish accent
Age: 30 to 45
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: B2
Audition Song-Contest Part I
Practice Track- Contest Practice

Jonas Fogg
The owner of Fogg’s Asylum. He sells the hair of madmen to wigmakers.
Gender: male
Age: 35 to 60

Ensemble

Male & Female Ensemble: A strong ensemble needed for this show. They act as a Greek Chorus commenting on the action and augmenting the story. Some of the roles they will portray include; Storytellers, Townspeople, Police, Lunatics and Customers. The Ensemble gets ample opportunity for vocal challenges and is showcased throughout. 

 

Monologues – to be presented at Auditions

Sweeney Todd-

It is here we go our several ways.  Farewell, Anthony, I will not soon forget the good ship “Bountiful” nor the young man who saved my life.  There’s many a Christian who would have let me drown and not lost a wink’s sleep for it, either. I beg your indulgence, boy.  My mind is far from easy, for in these once familiar streets I feel the chill of ghostly shadows everywhere. Forgive me. Now leave me, Anthony.  There’s somewhere I must go, something I must find out. Now. And alone.

Mrs. Lovett-
That’s all very well, but all that matters now is him.  Listen! Do you hear me? Can you hear me? Get control of yourself!  What are we going to do about him? And there’s the lad downstairs. We’d better go and have a look and be sure he’s still there.  When I left him he was sound asleep in the parlor. (Checks, comes back) No problem there.  He’s still sleeping.  He’s simple as a baby lamb.  Later I can fob him off with some story easy.  But him! What are we going to do with him? Well, of course, we could bury him.  I don’t suppose there’s any relatives going to come poking around looking for him.  But…you know me. Sometimes ideas just pop into me head and I keep thinking…seems a downright shame…

Anthony-

Oh, Mr. Todd.  I have so much to tell you.  I have found the fairest and most loving maid that any man could dream of!  And yet there are problems. She has a guardian so tyrannical that she is kept shut up from human eye.  But now this morning this key fell from her shuttered window! The surest sign that Johanna loves me! That’s her name, ma’am, and Turpin that of the abominable parent.  A judge, it seems. But, as I said, a monstrous tyrant.

Pirelli-

(Italian accent) Good morning, Mr. Todd—and to you, Bellissima Signorina.  A little business with Mr. Todd, Signora. Perhaps if you will give the permission. (Irish accent).  Ow, call me Danny.  Daniel O’Higgins the name when it’s not perfessional.  I’d like me five quid back, if’n you don’t mind. It’ll hold me over till your customers start coming.  Then it’s half your profits you’ll hand over to me every week on a Friday, share and share alike. All right…Mr. Benjamin Barker?

Judge Turpin-

(Sees Anthony) You!  There is indeed a Higher Power to warn me thus in time.  Johanna elpe with you? Deceiving slut-I’ll lock her up in some obscure retreat where neither you nor any other vile, corrupting youth shall ever lay eyes on her again!  And as for you, barber, it is all too clear what company you keep. Service them well! And hold their custom- for you’ll have none of mine!

Tobias-

Oh, you’re so good to me, ma’am.  Sometimes, when I think what it was like with Signor Pirelli—it seems like the Good Lord sent you for me.  You know, ma’am, there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you. If there was a monster or an ogre or anything bad like that wot you don’t know was after you, I’d rip it apart with my bare fists, I would.  Or even if it was just a man…a man wot was bad and wot might be luring you all unbeknownst into his evil deeds, like.

Johanna-

(After having witnessed the Judge’s murder, she is dressed in disguise, as a man)

Oh, dear.  Er-excuse me, sir.  I saw the barber’s sign.  So I was thinking to ask for a shave.  I- Oh sire, I beg of you. Whatever I have seen, no man shall ever know.  I swear it. Oh, sire, please, sir…