The Children's Playhouse of Maryland kicks off its 2012-2013 season with the musical Oliver! The play with music, lyrics, and book by Lionel Bart is an adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel "Oliver Twist." The musical will be performed 1 p.m. Sept. 15 - 16, 22-23, 29 -30 and 4 p.m. Sept. 23. in the J Building Lecture Hall at CCBC Essex, 7201 Rossville Blvd. The 4 p.m. show will be sign-language interpreted by students from the CCBC Catonsville Interpreter Preparation Program. Tickets are $10 general admission and $8 for birthday parties or scout troops. Tickets are available in advance through the CCBC Box Office at 443-840-ARTS (2787) and at the door, space permitting.
Liz Boyer Hunnicutt directs this production, which features more than 30 student actors from Baltimore City, Baltimore County, and Harford County. Julie Parrish is musical director and Amanda Dickson choreographs.
Olivia Aubele of Nottingham appears as Oliver, Philip Merrick of Baltimore as Fagin, and Isabel Gordon of Towson portrays Nancy. Other principals include Matt Demetrides of Baltimore as Bill Sikes, and Gino Cardoni of Middle River as The Artful Dodger.
Other featured actors include: Nicole Arrison of Bel Air (Charlotte Sowerberry), Erin Sullivan of Edgewood (Mrs. Sowerberry), Charlie Holt of Kingsville (Noah Claypole), Nicole Smith of Lutherville (Widow Corney), Collette Simkins of Baltimore (Mrs. Bedwin), Rachel Miller (Mr. Sowerberry) and Zachary Miller of Bel Air (MR. Brownlow), Zoe Feldman of Baltimore (Dr. Grimwig) and Josh Schoff of Dundalk (Mr. Bumble).
Other players include: Katherine Shock, Eva Hellerback, Claire Iverson and Annie Allan of Baltimore, Emily Wheeler of Cockeysville, Rebecca Grove of Edgewood, Ali Radomsky, Amanda Ellifritz, and Camren Surunis of Essex, Victoria Caldwell of Joppa, Alec Munk and Matthew Byrd of Lansdowne, Grace Aubele, Rhiannon Owen and Emily Ricci of Nottingham, Allison Mudd and Allison Naglieri of Parkville, Noelle Acaso, Andrew Boeren, Angela Boeren and Ian Moore of Rosedale, William Macsberry and Maia Vong of Towson, and Wesley Brown of White Marsh.
The plot of Oliver! adheres to Dickens' original novel about an orphan, Oliver, who is consigned to a workhouse, where the children are half-starved. When he asks for more food, he is punished by being sold as an apprentice to an undertaker. He runs away, and is taken under the wing by The Artful Dodger, lead boy in a gang of pickpockets headed by the adult criminal Fagin. On his first outing with Dodger to pick pockets, Oliver is arrested. After Oliver is rescued by his intended victim, who sees the good in him, Oliver ends up being kidnapped back into the gang.
The ups and downs of Oliver's existence and eventual happy ending spawned many memorable tunes, including "Food Glorious Food," "Where is Love," and "As Long as He Needs Me." The wonderful singing and dancing, as well as the humor and heartwarming tale will appeal to audience members of all ages.
The Children's Playhouse of Maryland, Inc., in residence at the Community College of Baltimore County, is a not for profit community theatre dedicated to youth performers ages 18 and younger. Its performances are held in the J building Lecture Hall, a wheelchair-accessible facility. Please request accommodations at the time of ticket purchase. For more information, please call the CCBC Box Office, or the CPM Administrative Office at 443-840-2426. For directions, go to www.ccbcmd.edu.