When Oliver!, the musical based on Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, comes to the Algonquin Theatre stage in April, it may leave you feeling the same as its young protagonist — wanting more.
Rehearsals are underway for the Rotary Club of Huntsville / Huntsville Festival of the Arts annual production and if the cast and crew are any indication, it’s going to be quite the show.
The director is Mallary Duncan, choreographer is Kasey Stephan-Charlebois and the musical director is Neal Barlow. Producing the show is Rob Saunders and the stage managers are Susanne Riverin and Pat Lightfoot.
The cast is 70 members strong — 35 kids and 35 adults — including the production’s leads:
Daniel Gamper as Oliver;
Serge Charlebois as Fagin;
Alberta Robinet as the Artful Dodger;
Lauren Saunders and Holly Sewell as Nancy; and
Rob Duncan as Bill Sikes.
Mallary Duncan says she chose Oliver! as her first Huntsville community musical for many reasons.
“I know this show very well as I have actually directed it in the past. I think its a great show and has an important message,” said Duncan. “It’s perfect for the Huntsville community because since its quite a familiar show it’ll be great for first timers as well as returning members.”
As a director, Duncan wants her cast and crew to be a part of a positive atmosphere that keeps them coming back to community theatre and loving every minute of it.
“I know the joy community theatre has brought me and how important it is to both myself and our community,” said Duncan.
Even though we are just two rehearsals in, I am so blown away and impressed by this amazing cast.
Oliver! director Mallary Duncan
“When we had our first rehearsal we did a group sing-a-long of Consider Yourself and I couldn’t believe the talent,” adds Duncan. “After hearing everyone together I decided to add some more harmonies to the song because I know they can handle it.”
The cast will continue twice-weekly rehearsals until Oliver! opens in mid-April at the Algonquin Theatre. Evening performances are April 13, 14, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m.; matinees are on April 15 and 22 at 2:00 p.m. There will also be two matinees for local schools on April 12 and 19. Tickets are $25 for adults or $15 for youth, available at the Algonquin Theatre box office or online here.
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