Review

Oliver!
by J*Company

Josh Herren, Myles Collinson, and Alice Cash As Oliver Twist and his fellow orphans march into the workhouse, Pink Floydís Another Brick in the Wall (we donít need no education) plays in the background. A possible indication that Director Joey Landwehrís production of Lionel Bartís Oliver! is going to be a bit lighter than usual. And it is. It is also shortened here and there, flying through some of the darker scenes and focusing mostly on all the terrific songs that include Consider Yourself, Iíd Do Anything, Where is Love, and Food Glorious Food.

Myles Collinson is young Mr. Twist with a surprising and clear voice that rises to the occasion in Where is Love. He is surrounded by all manner of sordid characters who have no love for him. Josh Herren is Mr. Bumble, the cold and ruthless ruler of the workhouse, who isnít quite so cold and ruthless when flirting with the Widow Corney (Alice Cash). Both play good character actors, and are a hoot in their date scene I Shall Scream. Poor Oliver goes from them to the mortician family, with Robbie Friedman as a hunched and hoarse-voiced Mr. Sowerberry and Adriana Yedidsion as his nagging wife who has a definite thing for Mr. Bumble.

Jamie BockOliver flees to London to seek his fortune, but soon finds himself in even worse company. The Artful Dodger is harmless enough, with Joshua Shtein as the fully confident Dodger with a great cockney accent (Monty Silverstone, the father of Alicia Silverstone, was their dialect coach!). But conniving old Fagin is just using him like he uses everyone, but doing it with excellent style and humor as Matt Maretz begins Reviewing the Situation, using his voice well and sometimes sounding reminiscent of the great Ron Moody from the film. Bill Sykes is the most dangerous villain, but even he isnít too scary in this lighter version, with Kevin McRee as a bombastic Bill rather than being the quietly menacing figure usually portrayed.

Most of the heartbreak and emotion in this production comes from Jamie Bock who captures the fun, uninhibited spirit of Nancy as well as the tragic, lonely soul underneath. She sings it well, too. The ensemble of mostly younger kids is an exuberant bunch that is clearly passionate about making guests consider themselves at home and getting more of that food, glorious food.

Performed through October 29, 2006.

Rob Hopper
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Oliver - Myles Collinson
Fagin - Matt Maretz
Artful Dodger - Joshua Shtein
Nancy - Jamie Bock
Bill Sykes - Kevin McRee
Mr. Bumble - Josh Herren
Widow Corney - Alice Cash
Mr. Sowerberry - Robbie Friedman
Mrs. Sowerberry - Adriana Yedidsion
Mr. Brownlow - Sam Jacobs
Bet - Ali Viterbi
Charlotte - Danielle Levin
Noah Claypole - Danny Stein
Mrs. Bedwin - Jess Jacobs
Nurse Grimwig - Hannah Leavenworth
Old Sally - Lindsay Steinert
Old Lady - Kelly Rubin
Charley Bates - Nathan Wetter
Workhouse Assistant #1 - Matthew Schaerer
Workhouse Assistant #2 - Julian Kalb
Woman - Victoria Wheatley
First Woman - Beth Jacobs
Second Woman - Miriam Niegus
Book Delivery Boy - Kyle Cottrell
Bow Street Runner #1 - Lindsay Sabul
Bow Street Runner #2 - Ryan Hastings-Echo
Chairman - Henry Riggens
Night Watchman - Scott Peterson

Fagin's Gang
Julian Coker
Kyle Cottrell
Tyler Ellison
Sara Frank
Lindsey Grant
Danya Greenberg
Elisa Greenberg
Sam Hargrove
Ryan Hastings-Echo
Mara Jacobs
Emily Laliotis
Ian Laughbaum
Scott Peterson
Dominic Riolo
Lindsay Sabul
Rachel Schoenfeld
Ben Sutton
Nathan Wetter

Workhouse Orphans
Ellana Butler
Alison Carey
Cameron Chang
Aaron Chow
Darren Chow
Julian Coker
Kyle Cottrell
Lilah Cook
Elianna De Quesada
Ginevra Francesconi
Sara Frank
Danya Greenberg
Elisa Greenberg
Gaby Greenwald
Halle Hoffman
Mari Hoffman
Gabrielle Katzenelson
Sadie Kennedy
Portia Krichman
Gabriela Lipson
Erin Love
Savannah Lyddy
Ilana Mereminsky
Rebecca Penner
Lou Rasse
Derek Rosner
Charlotte Scurlock
Milla Stern
Marissa Wolfsheimer

Ensemble
Eileen Gallagher
Lindsey Grant
Hannah Heimer
Morgan Hubers
Beth Jacobs
Jess Jacobs
Gabrielle Jarrett
Paulina Klemm
Hannah Leavenworth
Danielle Levin
Desirae Lizcano
Cassidy McCombs
Miriam Niegus
Amber Plati
Rohini Rajgopal
Henry Riggens
Pia Rivet
Kelly Rubin
BreaRose Smith
Madison Spiegel
Lindsey Steinert
Selina Turnbull-Wood
Victoria Wheatley

   

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