OLIVER TWIST presented by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company through Sept. 29. You can read the show description here.
Ah, Oliver Twist, the required reading in school that sent many of my generation running in a panic to the Cliff Notes section of the store. (This was back in the dark ages before the interweb, mind you.)
Thankfully, CSC succeeds, again, in bringing a classic literary work to impressive life on stage. Director Michael Evan Haney smartly leads a strong, focused ensemble through this dark story.
Sara Clark is mesmerizing to watch, doing double duty as the Narrator and The Artful Dodger. The transitions between the two is nicely handled. Excellent work by Kelly Mengelkoch as Nancy. I really enjoyed her believable portrayal of the personal conflict Nancy faced due to Oliver.
Nothing can make or break a show like a good villain. Thankfully, this show has four. On the dark side are Fagin portrayed by Jeremy Dubin and Bill Sikes played by Jim Hopkins. The dynamic between these bad guys was fun to watch as was Fagin’s “attitude adjustment” in Sikes’ presence. On the comic side, great work by Billy Chance as Mr. Bumble and Miranda McGee as Mrs. Corney at the workhouse. Also fun was Brent Vimtrup in several comedic moments. And again, excellent work by the entire ensemble.
The costumes, designed by Heidi Jo Schiemer plus the set and lighting design by Andrew J. Hungerford, give the show a strong visual style. All aspects of the show really came together nicely.
If the goal was to offer a crisp, clean and entertaining production for ages 10 and up, then mission accomplished. A perfect family outing at the theater.
Click here for a complete list of show times for OLIVER TWIST.
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