Oliver! At Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, NJ (Now to Dec. 29, 2013)

Published December 5, 2013 by Maryanne

Oliver_HomepageScroll_940X432(Photo courtesy of Paper Mill Playhouse)

Consider yourself … incredibly lucky if you get the chance to check out this amazing production of “Oliver!”

Based on the Charles Dickens story, “Oliver Twist,” the musical by Lionel Bart, follows the life of an orphan boy’s struggles and  adventures. Tyler Moran is charming and adorable as Oliver. David Garrison puts on a genius performance as Fagin. (Garrison is best known for his role as Steve Rhoades on “Married with Children”).

In a cast of almost 50, other major performers include: Betsy Morgan as Nancy (who has an incredible voice, excelling during a solo performance of  “As Long As He Needs Me”) John Treacy Egan as Mr. Bumble, Jose Llana as Bill Sikes, David Hess as Mr. Brownlow, and Ethan Haberfield as Artful Dodger who gives a dynamic performance leading “Consider Yourself.” Though, the most endearing performance is Artful Doger, Nancy, Oliver, Bet, Fagin and the cast singing the sweet love song, “I’d Do Anything” to each other.

The sets are incredible, making the audience feel as if they are right there in dark and dreary old Victorian London. When you go “inside” the characters’ homes, the rooms are like larger than life doll houses, very realistically done with paintings, beds and dressers. The stage also rotates with every scene.  An orchestra is situated near the front of the stage.

The choreography is unbelievable. The singing and dancing is absolutely delightful and the entire cast is just perfect — not once missing a beat or stepping out of character.. As an added bonus special effects create snow which not only flutters over the actors, but on to the first several rows of the audience as well! It’s a joyous heart-warming play that the entire family can enjoy this holiday season. And in the spirit of Christmas, there’s a surprise ending that you’ll just have to see when you get there!

“Oliver!” was directed by Paper Mill Playhouse producing artistic director, Mark S. Hoebee with original choreography by JoAnn M. Hunter.

“Oliver!” celebrates the 75th Anniversary Season of Paper Mill Playhouse.

For tickets and information go to: http://www.papermill.org/

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