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Director’s Brief: I can’t believe the season is over.

by Karen Azenberg

Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd

After a week of Sweeney auditions, I have finally been able to get “Waterloo” out of my head—though now that I’m back in Salt Lake, it may creep back into my consciousness.

It is absolutely fascinating to me that both here in Salt Lake and in New York there is so much interest from actors in Sweeney Todd. Yes, it is definitely one of Sondheim’s most beloved musicals (although, the idea of the Demon Barber being “beloved” is somewhat ironic—not to mention that it’s hardly a feel-good musical), but, turnout at our auditions was tremendous. We saw about 130 people here in Salt Lake City and then another 150 people in New York. And, in New York, that number had been culled down from an initial 1,000 submissions to our casting director!

It was very exciting and I’m sure our cast will be phenomenal.

I was also able to see four shows in New York. And after Mamma Mia! closes this weekend, I’ll head back to see seven more—including Part I and II of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child and Angels in America.

I promise to give a full report on the Broadway season, along with a few Tony Award predictions, after I’ve seen everything.

I can’t believe the season is over.

It has been a busy one. And a memorable one. Carmen Cusack in Bright Star; the world premiere of “i”; the terrific ensemble in Curious Incident; our dancing boys in Newsies; and, of course, our dancing audiences for the curtain call of Mamma Mia!

But there’s no time for sentiment in my office. I’m on to next year. Dialect work for Oslo. Concept meetings for Once. Calendars and tech schedules abound. And there are more auditions next week. Summer is here.

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