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Courtesy Golden Chain Theatre, photography by Steve Montalto

Last Weekend For Oliver! At The Golden Chain Theatre

OAKHURST — Another sensational production completes its successful run at the Golden Chain Theatre as our local troupe of talented thespians present Oliver! — the classic musical based on Charles Dickens’ novel, Oliver Twist.

The old streets of London and its surrounds come to life as young Oliver, a malnourished orphan in a workhouse, becomes the neglected apprentice of an undertaker — until Oliver escapes and finds acceptance among a group of petty thieves and pickpockets led by the elderly Fagin. Oliver! is “a musical theatre masterpiece, perfectly showcasing the talents of a large ensemble cast as they bring these classic characters and score to life.

Oliver! premiered in the West End in 1960, enjoying a long run, and successful long runs on Broadway, tours and revivals, after being brought to the US by producer David Merrick in 1963. Major London revivals played from 1977–80, 1994–98, 2008–11 and on tour in the UK from 2011-13. Additionally, its 1968 film adaptation, directed by Carol Reed, was highly successful, winning six Academy Awards including Best Picture.

A prominent musical in British popular culture, Oliver! received thousands of performances in British schools, particularly in the 1970s, when it was by far the most popular school musical. In 1963 Lionel Bart received the Tony Award for Best Original Score. Many songs are well known to the public. — Wiki

With Lucas Miller in the title role of Oliver Twist, Jay Ignagni as the Artful Dodger, Trevor Gann as Fagin, and Nancy played by Jennifer Janine, this Golden Chain Theatre production is directed by James Mierkey and is rated PG 13 for brief language, subject matter and violence.

Director Mierkey says he’s been living in a Dickensian world since directing A Christmas Carol last season, and this show offers new opportunities for talent to shine.

“Casting a show like this is always a challenge, mainly because so many people have seen the movie, and the mention of characters like, Fagin, Dodger, and Nancy automatically conjure pictures in our minds of what they should look like and how they should sound.”

Mierkey notes in the musical’s playbill that he’s been fortunate in that regard and encourages the community to come out and see for themselves. The show opens on Friday, April 26 and runs through Sunday, May 19. Performances on Friday and Saturday begin at 7 p.m.; for the Sunday matinee, the curtain rises at 2 p.m.

CAST

Oliver Twist – Lucas Miller
Artful Dodger – Jay Ignani
Fagin – Trevor Gann
Nancy – Jennifer Janine
Bill Sikes – Andy Graham
Mr. Bumble – Michael van Buren
Widow Corney – Ruthann van Buren
Mr. Sowerberry/Knife Grinder – JR Romeo
Mrs. Sowerberry/Strawberry Seller – Melinda Rich
Charlotte – Paige Febreche
Noah Claypole – Eben Hammond
Charley – Ayden Simonich
Captain – Adam Greenwood
Bet – Miranda Simonich
Mr. Brownlow – Bob Miller
Mrs. Bedwin – Debbie Tawney
Doctor Grimwig – Leonard Brown
Matron – Jennifer Olsen
Rose Seller – Alexis Reeve
Milkmaid – Mary Posluch
Fishmonger – Terry Anderson
Knife Grinder – JR Romeo
Old Sally – Amanda Von Raeder
Governors – Jack Boynton, Leonard Brown, Eben Hammond

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