“Pick a Pocket or Two” sung by four time Carbonell winner Gary Marachek as the sinister Fagin is just one of the shinning moments in this production of OLIVER. Amy Miller Brennan as Nancy also stands out in this large cast of over fifty with her glorious singing “As Long as He Needs Me” and belts out “It’s a Fine Life”.
Oliver Twist played sincerely by Cruz M. Santiago sounds direct from the Vienna Boys Choir with his pure vocal sounds in “Where is Love” Cruz acting is as pure as his voice. Lionel Bart’s stage musical Oliver is a master piece of it’s own taken from one of Dickens’s greatest novels but this wonderful cast brings the story to life with 16 kids, 22 adults, orchestra of nine and crew of ten. Making this one of the largest productions to date for Actors Playhouse. Note: Kids parts are double cast with alternating cast of THIEVES and BANDITS noted in the program. (Oliver Twist Sammy Schechter, Artful Dodger Tyler Flanzer)
Shane R. Tanner as Bill Sikes, Ken Clement as Mr. Bumble, Elizabeth Dimon as widow Corney, Tim Crowther as Mr. Brownlow, Mark A. Harmon as Mr. Sowerberry, Maribeth Graham as Mrs. Sowerberry, Celia Louise Merendi as Bet, Lindsey Forgey as Charlotte, Marc Crow as Noah Claypole, Christopher A. Kent as Chairman, Patti Gardner as Mrs. Bedwin and Kyle Christensen as the Artful Dodger all deserve recognition with some magical theatre moments.
Multi Carbonell winning Director David Arisco delicately balances the blocking and dialog, Chrissi Ardito’s choreography was enjoyably polished. Sean McClelland sets were appropriate and inventive. Music Direction by David Nagy, Costumes Designs by Ellis Tillman, Sound Design Alexander Herrin and Lighting by Patrick Tennent all enhanced the production.
Barbara S. Stein, Executive Producing Director has done an amazing job getting the Mayor, the community, and local business owners to sponsor and support the arts at Miracle Theatre. Her gracious curtain speech introducing the sponsors an presenting them with a Oliver plaque is a example for other arts programs.
Be sure to check out The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery in the lobby, a photo exhibit promoting the adoption of foster children in Miami-Dade County. www.miamiheartgallery.org
Preview performances of Oliver! will be held Wednesday and Thursday, November 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. The show will open Friday, November 19 at 8 p.m. and play through December 26. Evening performances will be held Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with afternoon matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Pre-arranged 10 a.m. weekday matinees are available through the education department. A special Christmas Day performance is scheduled at 8 p.m. on December 25. Call 305.444.9293 or order online at www.actorsplayhouse.org.
By Richard Cameron of THEATRE CHAT