Feb. 2 2011 12:00 AM

New visions of classic tragedies

Director Tony Caselli knows that “Oedipus” may be a hard sell to mainstream audiences. After all, most people only know Sophocles’ classic tale for its most sensational element: the title character’s murder of his father and marriage to his own mother. Still,
Caselli is hoping audiences embrace the full scope of the story in
the Williamston Theatre production.

“This is a story about truth,” he said. “It’s a story about light versus dark and about hope and faith.”

The cast includes Barton Bund, John M. Manfredi, Brandon Piper and Jamie Weeder.

Caselli created this adaptation with Annie Martin, in which King Oedipus attempts to outrun his foretold destiny amid a backdrop of personal and political intrigue in the ancient city of Thebes.

For Caselli, the story is, at heart, about a “guy who desperately wants to do the right thing. As he goes about it, he refuses to listen to the people around him, and everything falls apart.”



8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; 3 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 5; Thursday, Feb. 10; Saturday, Feb. 19

Theatre, 122 S. Putnam St., Williamston

$24 Fridays and Saturday
evenings, $20 Saturday matinees and $18 Thursdays. (

517) 655-7469

’Sweeney’ at Ruhala

For Celina Ruhala, directing Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” was the culmination of a long love affair with the play.

“I’ve known the show forever,” Ruhala said. “It was the first Sondheim show I really delved into and memorized the whole show.”

“Sweeney Todd” bows at the Ruhala Performing Arts Center Saturday.

Sondheim’s musical thriller tells of Benjamin Barker, a.k.a. Sweeney Todd, a naïve barber whose lust for revenge after the suicide of his wife leads him to murderous extremes. Despite its reputation as a macabre piece, Ruhala says “Todd” contains a lot of humor — albeit dark humor.

“It’s really a love story,” Ruhala said. “(Todd) has such integrity, and it’s really just his inability to achieve justice for his wife that pushes him over the edge.”

’Sweeney Todd’

p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5; 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 6

Performing Arts Center, 1846 Haslett Road, East Lansing

$18 adults; $12
children under 12

(517) 337-0464