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Mr. Bumble, played by Keith George, prepares to sell Oliver Twist, played by Dane Brownlow, in Albert Lea Community Theater’s most recent production, “Oliver!” -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

A dark musical based on a classic novel will soon hit the stage in Albert Lea.

The orphans sing of their want for more food in the opening act of “Oliver!” -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

The final production of Albert Lea Community Theater’s 2011-12 season is “Oliver!” The show, based on Charles Dickens’ novel “Oliver Twist,” opens Thursday. Director Steve Kinney said he’s been wanting to put on the show for a long time.

“Dickens is my favorite author and it’s really a fine story,” Kinney said.

Though the musical does have some fun, light-hearted songs, Kinney said he enjoys that it also has a dark side showcasing the poverty in London in the early 1800s.

Mr. Bumble, played by Keith George, discuss selling Oliver Twist, played by Dane Brownlow, to Mr. Sowerberry, played by Larry Lahs.

“It’s not all fun and frolic and silliness,” Kinney said. “It was a pretty bleak era.”

The show, set in England, follows orphan Oliver Twist as he finds himself taken in by a band of pickpockets. Kinney said the production showcases a byproduct of hard times in that era, which was the number of orphans. Oliver first is seen in a workhouse singing with fellow orphans about wanting more food.

“The story comes out of bleak times, but there’s fun and upbeat music, too,” Kinney said.

Popular musical numbers include “Food, Glorious Food,” “Consider Yourself,” “As Long As He Needs Me” and “Where Is Love?”

The show has a large cast, made even larger by the number of orphans played by local children. Kinney said it’s never easy doing a show in the summer with everyone’s schedules, but that the show was coming together as of the dress rehearsal Tuesday night.

One of the many orphans in ACT’s latest show “Oliver!” sings during a rehearsal Tuesday night.

“It gets a little crazy, but the kids have really been good,” Kinney said.

The show opens at 7 p.m. Thursday and continues with shows at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. A matinee is at 2 p.m. Sunday, and the show continues at 7 p.m. July 18, 19, 20 and 21. All performances are at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

Tickets are $18 for adults or $10 for students. Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling toll-free 1-877-730-3144 or online at www.actonbroadway.com.

 

Tickets, please

What: ACT’s production of the musical “Oliver!”

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; 7 p.m. July 18, 19, 20 and 21

Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center

The orphans sing of their want for more food in the opening act of “Oliver!” which opens Thursday at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center.

How much: Tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for students.

 

‘Oliver!’ cast list

Character Actor

Oliver       Dane Brownlow

Dr. Grimwig       Ben Deines

Nancy       Amelia Holcomb

Fagin       Cameron Davis

Charlotte       Claire Ellis

Noah Claypole       Anthony Behnke

Mr. Brownlow       Todd Peterson

Mr. Sowerberry       Larry Lahs

Mr. Bumble       Keith George

Bill Sykes       Joel Faugstad

Charles Bates       Aiden Wilson

Widow Corney       Nancy Lahs

Chairman/Policeman       Matt Larson

Mrs. Sowerberry/Old lady    Bess Eilertson

Bet         Kristen Eilerson

Artful dodger         Sam Ehrhardt

Knife grinder         Sergio Salgado

Strawberry seller         AnnMarie Caporale

Milk seller         Emily George

Mr. Bumble’s assistant         Jacob Jensen

Mr. Bumble’s assistant         Jeremy Sekora

Rose seller         Kelli Hanson

Song seller         Nick Bera

Hussar         Noah Christopherson

Old lady         Rachel Thompson

 

Orphans and Fagin’s boys

Aidan Beckmann, Caleb Sorensen, Carson McGivern, Casidy Daniel, Dylan Callahan, Elisa Staat, Evan Peterson, Jaeda Kaziolek, Joseph Staat, Josey Daniel, Julissa Gilbertson, Lauren Brownlow, Madison Daniel, Meridian Fiscus, Nathan Wiebe, Nyachan Gash, Olin Davis, Rhiannon Farr, Samantha Szymanowski, William Reyes, Aiden Wilson, Conner Larson, Zane Sadauskis and Zoe Sadauskis.

 

Crowd

AnnMarie Caporale, Derek Drescher, Emily George, Isabel Ehrhardt, Jacob Jensen, Jeremy Sekora, John Szymanowski, Kelli Fiscus, Kelli Hanson, Maddie Willey, Nick Bera, Noah Christopherson, Rachel Thompson and Sergio Salgado.

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