Southern California’s Premier Musical Theater Company
in residence at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center and the Beverly O’Neill Theater, Long Beach
Now Playing: Oliver!
Lionel Bart’s Oliver! is back in town in its first major L.A. production in over ten years and what a joy it is to re-experience (or to discover for the first time) Broadway’s Greatest Dickens Musical at Long Beach’s Musical Theatre West. ... MTW favorite Gaines milks every Fagin moment to piquantly crafty effect ... Seattle star Ilika gives Nancy abundant allure and the most powerful alto pipes in town. ... Oliver! may be a nearing seventy years of age, but oh what a glorious musical it remains to this day.
It is difficult to find kids who can sing, dance and act ... MTW has found 15 triple threats led by Burnett as a wonderfully sensitive Oliver. ... Don't miss this stellar production of Oliver!
I try to keep from gushing in this column, I do try keep a critical eye but let me say that the voices throughout the entire production are simply spectacular. As a theatre professional, I have lost count of how many productions of ``Oliver!`` I have seen, but after seeing Musical Theatre West's production, I feel like I haven’t seen it until now.
(Davis) Gaines charms as Fagin, quite Vaudevillian in his enjoyment of Fagin’s ill-gotten gains (accompanied by klezmer-like music, beautifully played under music director Ryan O’Connell’s baton). (Cayman) Ilika has a massive belt, but her Nancy also commands our interest, providing a teachable point for children in the audience. (Kenny) Landmon is pure darkness as Sykes.