Abrams theater to present 'Oliver!'

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Musical plays this weekend and next

Joan Koehne, Special to the Times Herald

The cast of “Oliver!” rehearses a scene at the Byng Community Theater in Abrams. Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. will present “Oliver!” on the weekends of March 15-17 and March 22-24. From left are Lisa Weldy, Sadie Smith, Alaina Blaser, Eleanor Finger, Sydney Surber, and Breanna Duncan. (Contributed photo)

Actors of all ages will perform in the musical “Oliver!” on March 15-17 and March 22-24 at the Byng Community Theater in Abrams. Rehearsing for the show are, front row from left, Sadie Smith, Maria Ronk, Nick Blaser, Gavin Runnerstrom, and Sawyer Norman; and back row, Jorgie Runnerstrom, Jaycie Norman, Alyssa Peterson, and Alaina Blaser.

Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc. will present “Oliver!” the musical version of Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist,” on March 15-17 and March 22-24.

The story tells of Oliver, a poor orphan and his associates scrambling to survive in Old London Towne.

“This show gives the audience a quick history lesson in the styles and social etiquette of Victorian London, along with the plight of the poor and especially the orphaned or toss-away children,” said ASPI Director Pam Loberger.

The music of the show helps to tell the story, she said.

“The music is dynamic, and at times joyful, at times serenely beautiful, at times seething with danger,” Loberger said.

Oliver Twist, portrayed by Sadie Smith, is the iconic tyke who’s not afraid to ask for more. He remains eternally optimistic that he’ll get his more, whether it be food or love.

The cast is comprised of first-time and veteran performers, including Mike Eserkane, Justin Norman, Suzie Wons, Josh Perkins, Kimberly Norman, Sydney Surber, Kael Pierquet, Tyler Otto, Lisa Weldy and Eleanor Finger.

“Our Workhouse Kids, Fagin’s Kids and chorus bring it all together,” Loberger said. “We are especially proud of our acting families who bring family time to the theater.”

For the first time, ASPI will use the theater’s fly set, a system of ropes and related devices, to change scenes quickly. Also new for the set is the artwork of Meghan Pierquet.

ASPI will celebrate opening night on Friday, March 15, with a gala after the show. The audience is invited to enjoy complimentary hors d’oeuvres and drinks with the cast and crew.

Performances continue at 7 p.m. Friday, March 22; at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 16 and March 23; and 1 p.m. March 17 and March 24. All shows will be performed at the Byng Community Theater, 5852 Maple St., Abrams.

Tickets can be purchased at AbramsTheatre.com or by calling the box office at 920-826-5852.

“Oliver!” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI). Music, Lyrics and Book by Lionel Bart. Produced for the Broadway stage by David Merrick and Donald Albery. Based on the book by Charles Dickens.