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March 12, 2009 - Image 52

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-03-12

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Danny
Raskin

Detroit Jewish News

.

.

,

Suzanne Chessler
Special to the Jewish News

p

amela Weiner walks
around with blood
on her hands — fake
blood. That's because she's in
charge of props for the touring
production of Sweeney Todd, and
she needs lots of the mixture that
tends to stain.
The musical, in a new minimal- Pamela Weiner with some Sweeney props
ist staging developed in London
and recently seen on Broadway,
Maryland household where pets and
runs March 17-April 5 at the Fisher
foster dogs were important. That home
Theatre. With music and lyrics by
now holds her personal furnishings
Stephen Sondheim and script by Hugh
so she won't have to pay rent while on
Wheeler, it is based on the 19th cen-
the road.
tury legend of a London barber falsely
"I worked in the prop and costume
imprisoned by an evil judge in love with
the barber's wife. Returning to England, shops while I was in college:' says
believing his wife is dead and seeing his Weiner, who later found work at the
Wolf Trap Opera Company, Denver
infant daughter now grown and being
Center Theatre Company, Santa Fe
raised by the judge, a revengeful Todd
Opera and the Colorado Shakespeare
begins to slit the throats of his custom-
Festival.
ers in his barber chair and partners
"I got hands-on training with the
with Mrs. Lovett, who helps him dis-
professional companies and learned
pose of the bodies by having their flesh
how to use different tools to fix things
baked into meat pies that she sells in
in a hurry. I went to college with the
her pie shop.
stage manager of Sweeney Todd, and
"I take care of everything that the
she gave me the contact information
actors touch onstage as well as set
for getting this job."
dressings and furniture," says Weiner,
Generally, people looking for prop
24, who was on her way to handling
real blood until her sophomore year in work find lists of openings by sub-
scribing to Web sites that serve theater
college, when she switched from vet-
applicants.
erinary goals to theater aspirations.
"My favorite part of this job is watch-
"I received a package when this tour
ing faces in the audience light up or
went out so basically the set, props
and costumes are all from the original hearing someone gasp or cry because
of something that I helped with',' says
Broadway production. I didn't have to
Weiner, who always has liked making
shop for anything or build anything,
things and knits for a hobby.
but I do have to care for it all."
"I hope to get work in more of a
Weiner, who holds a degree in tech-
shop environment, where I can build
nical theater from the University of
props, find props and set props from
Maryland, was given a binder with
the beginning to the full realization of
prop pictures and directions for plac-
a production."
ing them. She regularly repairs chairs,
buckets, razors and even rosaries
Sweeney Todd runs March 17-
— anything that can come apart.
April 5 at the Fisher Theatre in
"In this production, the actors play
Detroit. Performances: 8 p.m.
the instruments and stay on stage the
Tuesdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m.
entire time Weiner explains. "We've
Saturdays-Sundays; 7:30 p.m.
had instruments break during the
Sundays. There's a 1 p.m. mati-
course of the show, and I've had to
nee, March 19, but no evening
grab a spare or fix what's broken"
performance March 22. $30-$65.
Weiner, who attended Jewish camps
(313) 872-1000; (248) 645-6666.
and had a bat mitzvah, grew up in a



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