Meet the cast: Michael Brian Dunn of 'Sweeney Todd'

Michael Brian Dunn. Photo by Adams Visual Communications. Michael Brian Dunn as the presumably Italian barber Adolfo Pirelli in the DCPA Theatre Company’s ‘Sweeney Todd. Photo by Adams Visual Communications.

Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd

At the Theatre Company: Debut. On Broadway: Dr. Zhivago, Amazing Grace, Cats, The Life, Guys & Dolls, Big River, Baby, Sweeney Todd. Off-Broadway: Death of Von Richthoffen and Lenny and the Heartbreakers (New York Shakespeare Festival), Perfect Crime, Kennedy’s Children, Gifts of the Magi, Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know, Love in Two Countries. National and International tours: Amadeus, H.M.S. Pinafore (also Stratford Festival Canada), My Fair Lady, others. Regional: The Underpants at Syracuse Stage, The Music Man at Arena Stage, Radio Gals at Cape Playhouse, Crazy for You at Maltz Jupiter, Aspects of Love at The Walnut St., Sunset Boulevard at Portland Center Stage, Reckless at Cincinnati Playhouse, more. Film/TV: Julie & Julia (Ivan Cousins), Law and Order SVU and Criminal Intent.

  • Michael Brian Dunn QuoteHometown: Utica, N.Y.
  • Training:  Boston Conservatory and NYU
  • What was the role that changed your life? Every play I do changes my life in some way. Large or small, it makes no difference. The people I meet, the places I travel to, the experience I gain, the connections I make – they all affect the next one I do, and the next, and the next, and so on. I couldn’t do the play I’m doing now if I hadn’t done all the previous ones before. In some cosmic way, they are all connected to each other. This also helps me when I don’t get a role I wanted so badly. It just wasn’t meant to be. It doesn’t fit into that path I’m meant to be on.
  • Why are you an actor? The longer I’m in this business, the more frequently I ask myself this question. Why? There are periods of time when I love what I do. Acting brings me great joy. It allows me to look at life in a different way and to see things from different perspectives. The euphoria and elation when everything lines up in a performance, and you have that connection with the audience, is pure joy. Then there are the desperate times – and every actor experiences them. The times when rejection, self doubt, anxiety and stress consume you. When that happens, you better have a really strong connection to those moments of joy, or you’ll be buried by it. And those joyful moments always return, if you trust.
  • What would you be doing for a career if you weren’t an actor? I would want to return everything I have learned in the theater to young people who have an interest and passion for theater themselves. 
  • Robert Petkoff Ideal scene partner: It’s always the scene partner I’m currently working with. Each new partner represents a new challenge of discovering how that actor works. Working with our very own Sweeney Todd, Robert Petkoff, has been such a thrill. His passion, energy and instincts are so spot-on with where I want to go. Not to mention his humor. It is all so important. There is an inherent trust there. And when someone is holding a blade to your throat, that trust carries a lot of weight.
  • Why does this production of Sweeney Todd matter? Because the music is so brilliant and complex and the story so compelling that people who haven’t seen it need to. And people who have seen it need to see it again, with this brilliant cast and concept and design. And then there’s DeVotchka
  • What do you hope the audience gets out of it? I hope the audience is just swept away by this glorious score. I think it’s one of the best musical scores ever written, and I would hope that the audience will forget everything else in the world for just those few hours and experience the world of Sweeney Todd.
  • Finish this sentence: “All I want is …”
    “… Equality for all!”

More Colorado theatre coverage on the DCPA NewsCenter

Sweeney Todd: Ticket information

  • 270x270-sweeney-toddMusic and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim; Book by High Wheeler (adapted by Christopher Bond); musical adaptation by DeVotchKa
  • Through May 15
  • Stage Theatre
  • Grammy-nominated Denver band DeVotchKa takes on the legendary demon barber of Fleet Street, serving up a reinvention of Sondheim’s musical thriller. Hell-bent on revenge, Sweeney Todd takes up with his enterprising neighbor in a devilish plot to slice their way through London’s upper crust. Justice will be served — along with audacious humor and bloody good thrills.
  • Accessible performance 1:30 p.m. May 1
  • Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

  • Previous NewsCenter coverage of Sweeney Todd:
    Theatre Company giddily going down rabbit hole in 2015-16
    DeVotchKa frontman promises a Sweeney Todd that’s ‘loud and proud’
    DCPA announces DeVotchka-infused Sweeney Todd casting
    ​Where the band meets the blade: Rehearsals open
    Co-stars on bringing DeVotchKa’s fresh blood to Sondheim
    Video sneak peek with DeVotchKa
    Five things we learned at Perspectives: Use a dull blade!
    Interview, video: Sweeney Todd actors sing for Denver Actors Fund
    Opening Night photo gallery and story

    Previous Sweeney Todd profiles (to date):
    Meet Danny Rothman
    Meet Jean McCormick
    ​Meet Daniel Berryman 

    Previous 2015-16 ‘Meet the Cast’ profiles
    Meet Adeoye of Lookingglass Alice and All the Way
    Meet Kevin Berntson of The Nest
    Meet J. Paul Boehmer of As You Like It
    Meet Molly Brennan of Lookingglass Alice
    Meet Courtney Capek of A Christmas Carol
    Meet Todd Cerveris of All the Way
    Meet Brian D. Coats of The Nest
    Meet Tad Cooley of Tribes
    Meet Paul DeBoy of All the Way
    Meet Allen Dorsey of A Christmas Carol
    Meet Kevin Douglas of Lookingglass Alice
    Meet Napoleon M. Douglas of A Christmas Carol
    Meet Brian Dykstra of The Nest
    Meet Isabel Ellison of Tribes
    Meet Mariana Fernandez of FADE
    Meet Kate Finch of Tribes
    Meet Ella Galaty of A Christmas Carol
    Meet Mike Hartman of All the Way
    Meet Ben Heil of A Christmas Carol
    Meet Carolyn Holding of As You Like It
    Meet Drew Horwitz of As You Like It
    Meet Maurice Jones of As You Like It
    Meet Geoffrey Kent of As You Like It and All the Way
    Meet Emily Kron of As You Like It
    Meet Nick LaMedica of As You Like It
    Meet Victoria Mack of The Nest
    Meet Bianca Mikahn of How I Got Over
    Meet Andrew Pastides of Tribes
    Meet Ralonda Simmons of How I Got Over
    Meet Shannan Steele of A Christmas Carol
    Meet Carly Street of The Nest
    Meet Samuel Taylor of Lookingglass Alice
    Meet Lindsey Noel Whiting of Lookingglass Alice
    Meet Jake Williamson  of A Christmas Carol
    Meet Matt Zambrano of As You Like It

    0 replies

    Leave a Reply

    Want to join the discussion?
    Feel free to contribute!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *