WATERTOWN – “Oliver!” is coming to the Dulles State Office Building on Nov. 1-3 with two evening performances at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and two matinees at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Watertown Lyric Theater began rehearsals in August with a cast of 90, and orchestra members have been tuning up their instruments and practicing for the upcoming performances.
Charles Dickens' timeless characters are vividly brought to life with its poignant story of the boy who struggled against adversity for a better life. This award-winning musical classic will be presented in the Dulles State Office Building auditorium, produced by Kevin R. Kitto and directed by Daniel Davis.
The cast is made up of many Watertown Lyric Theater veterans as well as many newcomers, including Philip Marra as Oliver and Barry Pratt as Fagin. Other cast members include Jacob Cook, Nichole Fiacco, Kyle Aumell, Ticia Marra, Jon Cole, Joshua Wilson, Tom Piroli, Amanda Dealing, Rachel Wilson, Noah LaClair, Kate Comet, Tina Berkey, Marietta Kitto, Steve Petrilose, Rob Wilson and Kevin Kitto.
The ensemble includes Hannah Bajakian, Caidyn Claridie, Ciersyn Claridie, Victoria Dell, Eloise Johnson, Anna Latour, Parker Leikam, Jacob Medley, Olivia Morris, Bella Phinney, Natalie Reff, Taylor Sinclair, Jordan Wilson, Christopher Autote, Matt Bradley, Gwen Clark, Barry Davis, Erin Fulton, Gabrielle Harryman, Brett Hayes, Jasmine Kamal, James Kessler, Lacy Marriot, Sarah McIntosh, Kaeleigh Meehan, Katy Michael, Kelli Parker, Tanya Roy, Emily Sipher, Anthony Weldon, Cameron Young, Maggie Anderson, Josiah Auerback, Naomi Auerback, Drew Autote, Joey Beaudion, Araya Cox, Briley Cullum, Abagail Davis, Devan Davis, Zalena Davis, Corey Decker, Katelyn Decker, Phoebe Hall, Aiden Hennessey, Collin Hirschey, Adelyne Jareo, Amelia Jareo, Audrey Jareo, Lillian Jareo, Autum Jones, Lillian Kimball, Braedon Kitto, Emma LaRose, Foster Leikam, Jack Marra, Josh Marra, Caroline McPherson, Maria Miller, Drew Paluch, Annabelle Sweet, Jake Thomas, Katharine Thomas, Sophia Voss, Adrianna Weldon and Laura Zehr.
The musical is based upon the novel “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens, with music and lyrics by Lionel Bart.
The curtain opens on the sinister interior of the workhouse with a bare dining table, center stage, where the boys will sit. These pale-faced wretches can be seen peering through the bars of a door at the back. Looming above two curving stairways glows the legend "God Is Love" in rough letters. The door is opened, and the boys file to the table and sing “Food, Glorious Food.”
At the end of the song, the Widow Corney, who runs the workhouse, and Mr. Bumble, the parish beadle, enter and a thin gruel is served. Wolfing the meager fare, the boys hopelessly stack their bowls, but the hapless Oliver approaches Bumble with the entreaty, "Please sir, I want some more." He is instantly subdued. Oliver is locked behind the barred door as the rest of the boys exit upstairs.
Oliver is brought forward, bag and baggage, and he is led off by Bumble, who sings the haunting “Boy for Sale.” Walking through the streets of London, they arrive at Mr. Sowerberry's, the undertaker. Oliver is "sold" to the undertaker. Alone and frightened and surrounded by coffins on stage, he sings the plaintive “Where Is Love?”
Oliver runs away the very next morning, and he is picked up hungry and tired in the streets by the Artful Dodger who cheers him up with “Consider Yourself.”
The Dodger leads him through crowded streets to Fagin's kitchen. The boys come in and Fagin himself appears. With a mock solemn welcome to Oliver, Fagin sings the fantastic “You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two.” Nancy, Bill Sikes' girl, and Bet arrive. The two of them, accompanied by Fagin and the boys, celebrate their way of life in “It's a Fine Life.”
The action moves to the next morning, when Fagin sends Oliver and the boys off on a pocket-picking expedition. The stage now displays a city scene, where Oliver is captured, not for picking pockets, but for simply looking guilty.
In the second act, the curtain rises on the "Three Cripples" – an underworld tavern – where Nancy is being encouraged to sing a music hall number, “Oom-Pah-Pah.” Fagin's boys pour down the stairs, telling of Oliver's apprehension by the police, at the same time revealing that his innocence has been established and that he is presently ensconced in the home of a rich old gentleman. Fearful that Oliver will give away their setup, Fagin and Sikes dispatch Nancy to get Oliver back.
Meanwhile, at the home of his newfound benefactor, Oliver has become a well-tailored, well-cared-for lad. Looking out of his bedroom window, he observes some passing street vendors crying their wares. He sings “Who Will Buy?” in a plea that his good luck and new situation in life will be permanent. However, the moment he sets foot outside his benefactor's house, Oliver is seized and dragged off by Nancy to Fagin's.
In the next scene, Fagin occupies the empty stage and considers going straight in “Reviewing the Situation.” Subsequently, Bumble and Mrs. Corney, now uncomfortably married, discover that Oliver is the scion of a rich family. Their scheme to get him back fails, and Nancy, regretting her part in the capture of Oliver, plans to return him to his benefactor at night on London Bridge. Fearful of Sikes, she reprises “As Long as He Needs Me.” Sikes stalks her and kills her. He grabs Oliver and, after a chase, is shot dead. Oliver is restored to his benefactor, and Fagin, now without boys, home and money, reprises “Reviewing the Situation.”
Tickets are available at the box office one hour before each performance, and advance tickets are available at Council for the Arts Public Square and Sherwood Florist. Cost is $15 for general admission; $12 for students, seniors and military members, and $10 for children younger than 10.
Watertown Lyric Theater