‘Oliver!’: A classic put to music

  • Thu Oct 15th, 2009 12:51pm
  • Life

By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer

“Oliver!” is the musical retelling of the timeless Dickens’ rags-to-riches classic, “Oliver Twist.”

The tale begins with young Oliver Twist asking for more dinner at a horrible orphanage run by an evil man. Oliver is then sold to an undertaker. He escapes and heads to London where he is taken in by the nefarious Fagin to join his gang of child pickpockets.

Wrongly accused of a theft, Oliver meets a more kindly gentleman who takes him in, to the concern of one of Fagin’s old pupils, the violent Bill Sykes, who thinks the boy will rat out the gang. In the middle is Nancy, Sykes’ girl, who Oliver has come to trust.

Songs from “Oliver” have become part of the lexicon of classics of musical theater, including “Food, Glorious Food,” “I’d Do Anything,” “Consider Yourself,” “As Long as He Needs Me” and “Where is Love.”

In this Northwest Savoyards production, Dickens’ characters are brought to life by more than 35 actors and singers. The show is directed by Rick May, with choreography by Kate Kingery and musical direction by David Spring.

“Oliver!” opens at 8 p.m. Saturday at Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave., Everett. Shows are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 1. Tickets are $22 and $19. Call 425-258-6766 or go to www.everetttheatre.org.

“Edgar Allan Poe Live”: Nationally known actor Duffy Hudson brings American author of “The Raven” and “The Tell-tale Heart” to the Driftwood Players’ stage when he makes Edgar Allan Poe rise from his death bed in this 50-minute, one-man-show to tell his life story.

“Edgar Allan Poe Live” plays at 8 tonight, and 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Wade James Theatre, 950 Main St., Edmonds. Tickets are $10. Call 425-774-9600 or go to www.driftwoodplayers.com. Appropriate for ages 10 and up.

“The Family Ghost”: Sylvia inherits the Delaplaine family mansion from her grandmother and moves into a seaside home with her new husband, Magnus, a magician and hypnotist.

She learns that the house is haunted by the home’s first occupant, Jessica Lacewell Fairfax Delaplaine. Before long, Sylvia is seeing and hearing things. A ghost perhaps? Or is Sylvia losing her mind?

This spooky mystery, put on by the Camwood Players, is an original play by Sandra Hollenbeck making its debut. Appropriate for all except young children, who might find it too scary.

“The Family Ghost” opens at 8 tonight at the Stillaguamish Grange Hall, 6521 Pioneer Highway, Stanwood. Shows are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 31, with one 3 p.m. show Oct. 25. Tickets are $12 and $6 for children under 12. Tickets available at Snow Goose Bookstore, 8616 271 St., NW, Stanwood, or call 360-629-4494, or at the door. Come in costume Halloween night and receive a door prize. For more information go to www.camwoodplayers.com.

“Emma”: This is Jane Austen’s coming-of-age story that happens to take place in an earlier century but is still pertinent today. And love stories are always engaging.

Austen’s fourth novel is a comedy of 19th-century manners that centers on the well-intentioned Emma and her sometimes indiscreet, often misapplied, but entertaining efforts at matchmaking. Emma takes it upon herself to arrange a suitable marriage for her poor friend, Harriet. But despite Emma’s advantages, she is oblivious to the true nature of almost everyone around her — including herself — until she loses her own heart.

“Emma” opens with previews at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and plays at various times through Nov. 22 at Book-It, Center House Theatre, 305 Harrison St., Seattle. Preview tickets start at $20. Call 206-216-0833 or go to www.book-it.org.

“La Traviata”: Arguably Verdi’s most popular work, this is the story of a worldly courtesan struggling to hold on to the man of her dreams.

Opening night will feature Italian soprano Nuccia Focile as the glamorous courtesan Violetta. American tenor Dimitri Pittas makes his Seattle Opera debut as Violetta’s true love, Alfredo, a role he has performed at the Metropolitan Opera and Opera de Montreal. American baritone Charles Taylor, who made his Seattle Opera debut last season as Amonasro in Verdi’s “Aida,” sings the role of Germont.

The production features lavish period costumes by David Walker, originally created for the San Francisco Opera. “La Traviata” runs for nine performances and is in Italian with English captions.

Opening night is 7:30 p.m. Saturday at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle. Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with matinees at 2 p.m. through Oct. 31. Single tickets are $25 to $175. Call 206-389-7676 or 800-426-1619 or go www.seattleopera.org.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; goffredo@heraldnet.com.