Millennial Theatre Brings a Bloody ‘Sweeney Todd’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Millennial Theatre Company will present “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” at the Hopewell Theatre, 702 Mahoning Ave., with nine performances – including one on Halloween night – over the next three weekends.

Joe Asente, director of the macabre musical, took on the project under one condition: It had to be bloody.

“I have seen many productions of ‘Sweeney Todd’ where the blood was very subtle,” he said. “A line of red magic marker would have been more convincing than what was used. I knew that if we were to do it, I needed it to be bloody.”

Asente is a horror fan whose introduction to “Sweeney Todd” was not the Broadway musical but the extremely bloody 2007 film version.

“I wanted to carry that over into our production,” he said.

To bring Asente’s bloody vision to life, Millennial worked with Pittsburgh-based Tolin FX, which has developed special effects for major motion pictures and television shows, including “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Mindhunter.”

“Sweeney Todd” is a tale of a vengeful barber, driven by a desire for justice and retribution. Joined by the cunning and resourceful Mrs. Lovett, they embark on a chilling scheme.

The cast of the Millennial production includes Tyler Stouffer, Brandy Johanntges, Hannah Marzano, George Maillis, Finn O’Hara, Sydney Campbell, Chris Harben, Ben Doss, Edward Bazzell, Andy Scott, Aubrey Vernon, Roz Blystone, Landon Eli, Michelle Jalbert, Lexie Dumbrowski, Jackson Linko, Josh Cummings and Hannah Derenzis.

Musical directors are Cari Auth and Rosie Bresson.

Asente said the cast includes many new faces for the company.

“I was thrilled at auditions to see so many new faces for our theater,” he said. “We have a rich talent pool that returns time and time again for auditions, but we are so excited to bring in new faces, as well as some community theater regulars who are making their MTC debut.”

Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20-21, 27-28 and 31, and Nov. 3-4; and at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 22 and 29.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at

Pictured at top: Tyler Stouffer plays the title role in Millennial Theatre’s production of “Sweeney Todd.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.