Hymes a longtime ’Sweeney Todd’ fan


Carmel Symphony Orchestra Music Director Janna Hymes remembers her introduction to “Sweeney Todd” as a youngster.


“What is so tremendous is, this is not only a great acting show, but the music is incredible,” Hymes said. “I saw the original (Stephen) Sondheim version on Broadway with Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury. My parents thought the story content might scare me, so they were reluctant to get me tickets, but they did. It’ didn’t (scare me). It remained my whole life my favorite show. I couldn’t believe how beautiful the music was. I liked how dark and funny the story was.

“I always compare every show. I really love it so much.”

Carmel Symphony Orchestra and Actors Theatre of Indiana are presenting “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” at 8 p.m. Feb. 21-21 at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

“My parents were good friends with the set designer of the show, which is probably why I got to see it,” Hymes said.

Hymes said a collaboration with ATI had been discussed since she joined CSO in 2017.

“We had a couple of meetings, and they (ATI co-founders) kept going back to ‘Sweeney Todd,’ and, of course, I was delighted,” Hymes said. “That’s the show we ended up picking. They’re terrific performers. They have great energy and great voices.”

Hymes said she hopes the show will lead to more collaboration productions.

“We want that to be the norm,” Hymes said. “We are looking to do something with some of the other resident companies as well. That’s something I’d like to see happen.”

Hymes said it will be a semi-staged production with costumes and light staging, with the Indianapolis Arts Chorale joining the CSO on stage. Hymes said the show has taken more preparation than the average CSO production.

“There is a choir up in the choir loft and the orchestra will be at the back of the stage towards the choir loft,” she said. “The 11 actors and singers will be behind me in the front of the stage. We won’t have a giant set. We really wanted it to be more of a semi-staged production.”

For more, visit carmelsymphony.org.


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