Friday, July 15, 2016

Getting to know Sweeney Todd's Meredith Vogel-Thomas

Getting to know Sweeney Todd's Meredith Vogel-Thomas

What is your favorite part about this role?
My favorite part about Mrs. Lovett is her tenacity.  She is a hard working woman.  A survivor.  She also adds a much needed element of levity to the show.

What has been the biggest challenge during rehearsals?
My greatest challenge during rehearsals has been learning such challenging music.  Sondheim's score is a terrifying and magnificent puzzle.  I have had to spend several hours both in and outside rehearsal learning all of the songs.

What has helped you to get to know your fellow cast members and gel with them?
I came in to this production knowing two or three people, at the most.  This show requires a great deal of trust between cast members.  Fortunately, our director Carly created a safe space to take risks and allow vulnerability.  These are fragile relationships that must be treated with care.  That having been said, we also try to find lots of opportunities to laugh backstage.  Without a lively sense of humor, the heavy content of Sweeney might drag us down.  I was also fortunate enough to carpool with our music director Addie several evenings.  I am so fortunate to have made a new friend in her.

What's your favorite song and why?
My favorite song in this show is "Not While I'm Around."  It is a beautiful ballad, so sweet and sincere.  The song also reveals the true nature of the relationship between Toby and Mrs. Lovett, which then shifts dramatically.  I used to think of the song as a tender lullaby.  Now it breaks my heart, in the best way possible.

How did you get involved in Muni, and when?
This is my third season at the Muni.  I had actually auditioned for nearly four years before I was ever cast in a role, but I am not easily deterred.  I came back every year because I wanted to be a part of at least one of the shows presented each season.

What is it about Muni that keeps you coming back?
I keep coming back to the Muni because I love the venue.  I love the quality of the shows.  I have also come to adore the people who volunteer so many hours and resources to bring the shows to life.  It is an crazy, talented, diverse family here.  I am lucky to be a part of it.

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