The Making of Sweeney Todd, Pt. 3

Cast Profile: Orlando Grant

This week The Chronicle sat down with the man himself: Sweeney Todd. Orlando Grant, the student behind Sweeney, spoke openly about the challenges and triumphs of playing one of the most infamous men in musical theater history. As Grant describes, Sweeney Todd is “a man with obsessions, obsessions for his possessions, for revenge and for killing itself. But all of his obsessions are fueled by his… desire to love and be loved.”

In playing this role, Grant has to find “a balance between Sweeney’s obsessions. You simply can’t be murderous because that would be untruthful to the story, but you also can’t just be a loving guy because that just negates the fact that Sweeney is a murderer.” This, he says, is the most difficult part of the role, but “it’s also hard because so many people have played this role throughout history and you want to be true to it, but also find your own stride.”

Despite the challenges, Grant seems very enthusiastic overall about the chance to play the part, noting that his “favorite part of the role is the singing. I’ve been in a few musicals before but never have I had to sing such challenging and beautiful music… it’s really something spectacular.”

Though the music may be beautiful, the show is still “very real. It does not shy away from… brutal reality… it embraces it… it’s a show about real people who end up on the wrong path. I think that anyone who watches this show should hopefully come out disturbed but also enlightened by its dark and timeless themes of love, oppression and repression.”

Sweeney Todd will be performed here at U32 on Friday, November 13th and Saturday, November 14th at 7 p.m; and on Sunday, November 15th at 2 p.m. There will also be a matinee for high school students during the school day on Thursday, November 12th.

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