The last time a Nashville-area theater company took on Stephen Sondheims ghoulish masterwork, Jamey Green directed a marvelous 2004 Boiler Room Theatre production that took advantage of its intimate space, transforming the spectacle into something akin to a chamber opera. Tennessee Repertory Theatre opens its 24th season with a similar idea, exploiting the cozy black box of TPAC&'s Johnson Theater to tell the story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. In fact, the Johnson may be simply the perfect spot to mount the grim musical--larger but not grandiloquent, and just flexible enough to whet the creative appetite of crafty all-world set designer Gary Hoff. Lane Davies tackles the challenging title role, the gifted Martha Wilkinson stars as Mrs. Lovett--a role which holds the potential to be a magical marriage of actress to character--and the two are backed by a strong supporting cast. Rene Copeland directs.
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Tuesdays-Thursdays, 6:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 11, 2:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 18, 2:30 p.m. Starts: Oct. 4. Continues through Oct. 18, 2008