Lehigh Valley

DeSales ready to stage 21st season of Shakespeare Festival

DeSales ready to stage 21st season of Shakespeare Festival

A musical thriller is about to take the stage at the annual Shakespeare Festival at DeSales University. 

69 News got a sneak peak Wednesday of the opening performance.

The 21st season of the Shakespeare Festival is opening with a production of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street."

"It's a story about a man who's been so horribly wronged by the system, by a corrupt system," explained actor William Michals.

The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, AKA Sweeney Todd. He sets up a barber shop in London that becomes the basis for his plans of revenge. And they tell us it's going to be bloody.

"I think that's fun. That's awesome. It's melodramatic. It's gory," said actress Dee Roscioli. "It's Sweeny Todd. There should be some shock to it."

"Kind of rattling and shocking us into remembering and realizing what it is to be moral in society," said Michals, who recently starred in "South Pacific" on Broadway and will be playing the role of Sweeney Todd.

It's been challenging putting the show together in three weeks, said Michals.

"It's a big sing, a lot of words. You really have to plum some depths of darkness," Michals said.

Roscioli said she feels right at home returning to her alma mater at DeSales University after being on the national tour of "Wicked."

"There's no stress to it, it's just about telling the story and developing these characters and I've really enjoyed that part," said Roscioli, who agreed the performance is extremely difficult. "It's testing everything I am music-wise as a musician and also as an actress I'm out of my comfort zone with everything as this character."

The Pa. Shakespeare Festival will present seven shows this year, starting next week and lasting through August 5.

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