NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

October 31, 2012

A 'Twist' on a classic

Pentucket High staging 'Oliver' this weekend

By Jennifer Solis Correspondent
Newburyport Daily News

---- — WEST NEWBURY — Consider yourself at home this weekend when the Pentucket Regional High School Theater Department presents the Broadway musical “Oliver.” The show opens tomorrow and runs through Saturday at the high school.

Twenty-two high school actors have been working since September to bring Charles Dickens’ characters to life. In addition, Pentucket theater director Rachel McGowan has rounded out the cast with nearly 50 students from the district’s middle and elementary schools.

Based on Dickens’ novel “Oliver Twist,” the play opens in a circa 1850 London workhouse. When the half-starved orphan Oliver, played by Phoebe Law, has the audacity to ask for more gruel, he soon finds himself sold to the local undertaker, Mr. Sowerberry, played by Noah Malonson, and eventually winds up out on the streets.

Oliver is taken under the wing of the Artful Dodger, portrayed by Katie Formosi, who teaches his new friend the fine art of pickpocketing. Living among low-down thieves like the slightly sinister Fagin (Kevin Lundy) and the malevolent Bill Sykes (Jonathan Acorn), Oliver is buoyed by the kindness of Nancy Sykes (Sara Queenan), who goes against her abusive husband in order to help the young orphan in his search for a family to call his own.

The classic musical features such show-stoppers as “Food, Glorious Food,” “I’d Do Anything,” “Consider Yourself,” “Who Will Buy” and “Reviewing the Situation” and Pentucket’s take on the beloved story is bound to leave audiences begging for more.

Other members of the high school cast include Taylor Aulson, Tim Boyd, Faith Gregory, Danny DiCamillio, Connor Durkin, Ben Joyall, Nate Joyall, Hannah Lyons, Lindsey Karalias, Hannah Knittle, Danny Maderios, Allegra Migliozzi, Justin Peavy, Cooper Slack, Morgan Strangman, Garrett Lischke, Whitney Lischke, Blaine Senechal, Rachel Smith and Haley Vlass.

Working the technical theater aspects of the show are Thora Finkl, Chris McClelland, Steven Schulz and Max Walsh.

Performances are tomorrow through Saturday at 7 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee also on Saturday. Tickets are $10 at the door.

A traditional complimentary matinee for senior citizens will not be held because the date of the final dress rehearsal, which the free matinee typically coincides with, falls on Halloween tonight, McGowan said.