September 2, 2014  

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‘Sweeney Todd’ Production Moves to Hattiesburg's Saenger Theatre March 6-7

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The University of Southern Mississippi's School of Music will present "Sweeney Todd" on March 6-7 at the Saenger Theatre. (Submitted photo)

The University of Southern Mississippi School of Music has announced that the upcoming production of “Sweeney Todd” will take place at the historic Saenger Theatre in downtown Hattiesburg.

New performance dates are March 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. Because of the venue and date change, patrons who have already purchased tickets may use those tickets for the Thursday, March 7 performance. All tickets will become general admission. Proceeds from the event will benefit the recovery effort for the School of Music from the Feb. 10 tornado.

Anyone who cannot attend the Thursday performance, may swap tickets for the Wednesday, March 6 performance by calling the Southern Miss Ticket Office at 601.266.5418. Similarly, those unable to attend either performance, may donate tickets to aid in the relief effort by calling the ticket office. Refunds may be requested in the same manner.

Tickets are now on sale for the Wednesday, March 6, 7:30 p.m. performance at the ticket office. Limited seats remain for the Thursday show.

“Sweeney Todd” has been one of the most anticipated shows in recent memory. With just moments to go before completing the set, the cast and crew evacuated to the basement of the Mannoni Performing Arts Center as the devastating tornado unleashed its fury on the Southern Miss music buildings.

Thankfully, no one was harmed, but the Mannoni Performing Arts Center and the elaborate set was in shambles. With a cast in shock, performers who had literally lost everything, facilities destroyed and music classes spread across campus and into portable buildings, the fate of the musical seemed dire.

Dr. Michael Miles, director of the School of Music and music director of the show, worked diligently to get students and faculty back in classrooms, that now meant finding space around campus and bringing in portable buildings.

“Initially, knowing our performance and rehearsal spaces were going off-line for an extended period of time led to the initial cancellation of the show,” said Miles.

Musical Director Dr. Mike Lopinto understood that continuing the production might be a stretch given that so many across the Hattiesburg area were in such dire need. As the days went by, a resilient attitude came along with the much-needed sunshine.

“I think we all knew that the best way to recover is to do what we do best – perform,” said Lopinto.

Soon, Miles gave the go ahead noting, “We needed to do this to move forward and be certain that the students didn’t lose an opportunity to perform the show on which they had worked so hard.”

For more information and tickets, please call 601.266.5418.