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The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

The Student News Site of Van Nuys High School

The Mirror

Music, melodies, magic and more: “Sweeney Todd” week two

In a week filled with learning music and bonding with the cast, the crew of “Sweeney Todd” is knee-deep in work for this year’s spring musical.
From+L+to+R%3A+Olivia+Klipstine%2C+Maddie+KC-Jordan%2C+Ami+Singer+and+Ellie+Steinberg+hold+their+scripts+while+singing+out+loud+in+rehearsal.+
THE MIRROR | CHRISTOPHER MONTERROSA
From L to R: Olivia Klipstine, Maddie KC-Jordan, Ami Singer and Ellie Steinberg hold their scripts while singing out loud in rehearsal.

Stephen Sondheim is well-known throughout the theater community for his incredibly well-written historical musicals, including “Into the Woods,” “Company” and “West Side Story.”

Sonheim’s beautiful music is also infamous for being some of the toughest music an actor can learn.

“Sweeney Todd” follows this trend exactly, with the extremely complex and rhythmic music filling the show. Because this technically classifies the musical as an opera, the show is seldom performed at the high school level.

Yet music director Mr. Shawn Wilson has the utmost confidence in the student actors. 

They are a very talented bunch,” he said. “As long as everyone practices hard, it’ll all be great.

Due to the fact that there is just under eight weeks of rehearsals left before the show opens, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Justin Baldridge are both working hard each day to ensure all of the music gets learned in time. 

I’m handling the crazy ensemble numbers and Baldrige is working with the leads so a lot of our work is separate but together,” Mr. Wilson said. “Staging is where it comes together. I haven’t had a chance to see it yet, but I’m very excited to.”

In the past week of rehearsals, the cast continued learning song after song.

Junior Addison Cudd believes that whenever a new show begins, it takes a few rehearsals to form a bond between cast and directors, allowing them to begin developing a routine. 

“Rehearsals started off a little messy, but we are definitely getting the hang of it now,” she said. “We’re speeding up more and we’re starting to get into the groove of things. We’re finally starting to build the songs, story and show.”

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About the Contributor
Madison Thacker
Madison Thacker, Arts/Entertainment Editor
Madison Thacker is junior who's embarking on her first year in journalism. Her journey through the performing arts started at just 5 years old, and today, she's ever-present in the performing arts magnet at VNHS. Beyond the spotlight, Madison has dedicated over eight years to the Girl Scouts, earning both bronze and silver awards for her commitment. As high school nears its end, Madison's plans point to a UC education, where she plans to major in education and minor in child development, shaping young minds for a brighter future.
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