Adapted from the classic Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, this musical tells the story of an orphan boy who escapes from a workhouse and falls in with a rag-tag band of boys who teach him how to survive on the Victorian London streets. Dickens’ larger-than-life characters sing and dance their way into your heart with iconic songs including Food, Glorious Food; Who Will Buy; As Long As He Needs Me; and Consider Yourself. Originally opened in London in 1960, Oliver! was nominated for 10 Tony Awards including Best Musical.
“I last directed Oliver! for Music Theatre Louisville, and it was one of the last shows in the Iroquois Amphitheater,” says CenterStage artistic director John Leffert. Leffert said he does not shy away from the show’s dark characters and situations.
“These lie at the heart of Oliver’s journey,” he says. “The musical moves in and out of lightness and darkness, which in my opinion creates a story that is intriguing, funny, suspenseful and ultimately hopeful.
“I love the show for its richness in characterizations and plot. You add an incredible, lush score and you have a piece of musical theater that is not to be matched.”
Michael Drury, artistic director for Pandora Productions, will play Fagin. He has appeared in CenterStage’s Secret Garden, Joseph, and most recently, Legally Blonde.
Visitors to the show are invited to bring nonperishable food items to donate to local food pantries as part of the Food, Glorious Food drive held by Jewish Community Center, CenterStage, and Yum! Brands Foundation.
– Arts Insider Gioia Patton