"Consider Yourself" lucky if you were at the opening performance of Steel Valley's presentation of "Oliver!" on Thursday, May 19.
The popular musical began its run in the high school auditorium to the delight of everyone in attendance. Based on the 1838 novel "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens, the story was adapted for the West End stage in London by Lionel Bart. It reached Broadway in 1963, and the 1968 film adaptation won six Academy Awards, including the Oscar for Best Picture.
The musical tells the story of Oliver an orphan who must traverse the tricky and dangerous world of street crime to find a home, family and, eventually, love. Taken in by a group of petty thieves led by the elderly Fagin, Oliver is soon falsely accused of a crime he did not commit, setting off a series of dramatic events.
Steel Valley's production of "Oliver!" features Sydney McLaughlin as Oliver Twist, NyJair Wilkerson as Mr. Bumble, Kaiden Jefferson-Machiote as Widow Corney, Ryan Packer as Noah Claypole and Dr. Grimwig, Ben Novotny as Mr. Sowerberry and Fagin, Dakota Nicholson as Mrs. Sowerberry, Riley Furrick as Charlotte, Brenna Kern as The Artful Dodger, Veronica Brocato as Nancy, Madison Blasko as Bet, Alex Brown as Bill Sykes, Madisyn Faux as Mrs. Bedwin, and Joseph Labyrer as Mr. Brownlow.
The high school ensemble includes Chamara Ford and Faith Paulsus, while the middle school ensemble features Ryan Cameron, Sofia Wedig, Rebekah Kleiber, Chaya Beatty, Paige Perhac, Shaterra Meadows, Kayden Cibula, Kaylynn Clark, Elisabeth Brown and Theo Coyne.
The stage crew includes Monet Terry, Molly Krupa, Carson Cook, Elaina Fedoris and Ashley Bulger. The show is directed and lit by Michael Altman, who is assisted by Austin Riley and Betsy Novotny. Costumers were designed by Toni Besh. Christine Schott serves as prop master and stage crew, while Bobby Barko handled set design and sound. Sally Altman is the show's music director and Helen Reusch is the assistant music director.
This is the third time that the Steel Valley High School Drama Department has performed the classic musical. To celebrate "Oliver!" and its return to the Steel Valley stage, Saturday's performance will feature an alumni reunion of previous casts. Those who participated in the 1997 or 2012 performances are invited to attend the show that evening.
Showtimes Friday and Saturday are at 7:30 p.m., while Sunday's matinee begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the door or at svdrama.com.
Photos courtesy of Adam Piscitelli at Primetime Shots.