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a Musical
by Lionel Bart

COMPANY : Cobb Playhouse and Studio [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Cobb Playhouse and Studio [WEBSITE]
ID# 1503

SHOWING : March 17, 2006 - April 08, 2006



This is the Broadway musical version of Charles Dickens' classic "Oliver Twist" (with script, music and lyrics by Lionel Bart). Oliver! brings to life Oliver, a workhouse orphan since birth and the characters he meets during his travels. From the ominous Mr. Bumble, to the unforgettable characters such as the Artful Dodger and Fagin, to the ill-fated Nancy and the villainous Bill Sykes, you will visit the swirling streets of 19th century London while following Oliver from the workhouse to Fagin's attic and finally, a home. It's a dramatic story set to marvelous music. Musical favorites include…

• As Long As He Needs Me
• Boy For Sale
• Consider Yourself
• Food, Glorious Food
• I'd Do Anything
• I Shall Scream
• It's a Fine Life
• My Name
• Oliver
• Oom-Pah-Pah
• Reviewing the Situation
• That's Your Funeral
• Where Is Love?
• Who Will Buy?
• You've Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two

Cast John Christian
Director Rob Hardie
Musical Director/Choreographer Amanda Leigh Pickard
Nancy Lani Brooks
Mrs. Bedwin Mandy Cook
Bet Emily Dillson
Fagin's gang, Orphan Jordan Ferrell
Oliver Cassie Morgan Giordano
Mrs. Sowerberry Laura Hettinger
Artful Dodger Aaron Jones
Noah Claypole Nick Kwilinski
Drunk Pirate Andy Leach
Nancy Lani Leach Brooks
Widow Corney Jessica Lundgren
Mr. Bumble Brad Mangrum
Oliver Garner Martin
Charley Bates Banks Martin
Alt.milkmaid/rose seller ensemble Becca Mattox
Mr. Sowerberry Tom Milley
Alt. Nancy, Roseseller Amanda Leigh Pickard
Dr. Grimwig Daniel Pruitt
Old Sally Diane Pruitt
Artful Dodger Adam Ruffin
Charlotte Haley Ruffin
Fagin Martin Smith
Fagin’s gang, Orphan Kara Leeann Tillery
Bill Sykes Luke Williams
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


i liked it
by Mally
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
i am just now writing this after the play has been over for about 2 months now.
but i just want to say that i liked this play a lot. Nancy(Lani Brooks) was incredibly good. One of my favorite parts in the play was when they sang the song, Who Will Buy? because it is a nice song and Oliver was so sad, but then he found a little bit of joy and he wanted to keep it forever. Also, Mrs. bedwin(Mandy Cook) she sang and acted beautifully,like always. The ensemble was great, especially Loretta Curtis,and Becca Mattox. Emily Dillson was great too. So anyway i just wanted to say that. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]
Reviewing the Situation
by CharlotteR
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
I saw this production this past weekend and was pleasantly surprised. I have avoided Cobb productions in general for several years now, as the quality of the performances had gone downhill to such a point, as to make the shows more of a tribute of what NOT to do in a show, as opposed to just good entertainment. Which, I might add, is all I really expect to see from a community theater production. It is a community theater after all- people performing for the love of theater, certainly not the pay. However, as I AM paying to see the show, I do expect to be entertained and not tortured. As I said, I had given up attending shows at Cobb for a while now, because I really thought I should be the one being paid for sitting through what amounted to almost cruel and unusual torture. As I said, this was not the case with this show, I was pleasantly surprised.
Certain performances should be noted, specifically Martin Smith as Fagin, and Luke Williams as Bill Sykes. These two roles were done admirably. There was some volume lacking in some of Fagin’s songs, but his voice was absolutely beautiful. Mr. Williams gave a dimension to Bill Sykes I have not seen in other performances of this show, and it was wonderful. Kudos to you both! Also, this was probably one of the best ensemble groups of child actors I have seen in a while. All the children stayed in character throughout scenes- something missed in many adult actors at times. There were a number of other good performances in the show, just none that after 4 days truly stand out in my mind.
With that said, there were also a few notable problems with the show. Brad Mangrum brought an entirely new aspect to Mr. Bumbles, with some real comedic bits, but alas could not hit a correct note, and this is one I would consider a MAJOR singing role in the show. His songs are some of the most famous from the show, and were unbearable to listen to. Amanda Pickard as Nancy seemed miscast to me. I could tell that the songs were taken up in range to accommodate her voice, which is a pleasant sounding soprano-ish voice. This is not a soprano role, and I felt like a lot was taken from the character in the way that the songs were sung. Nancy’s hard-edged, brash character was reduced to a whiny, weak-willed Nancy who seemed to be terrified of Bill all the time, rather than in love with him. This was largely due to this musical change and the way Ms. Pickard chose to play the part. As she was the music director (and choreographer) as well, I can only assume the part was done this way by her choice. Also, there was a spot in Oom Pah Pah where someone else stepped in and finished the song for her. Bravo to the actress who did this, but why cast someone who can’t sing the songs required for the role? Why not cast the actress who had to step in to sing the part? Because she was the music director? It was very confusing to me. Maybe this was something that wasn’t done every night? There was some major problems with lighting the day I was there, as one entire scene was done in darkness. Maybe this was the case with the sound system too in Oom Pah Pah? Unfortunately, there was a song in the darkened scene, and it was completely lost (and it's one of the better ones not included in the movie). The problem seemed to be fixed shortly after, but it was extremely disconcerting. So, while I really did enjoy the show and most of the performances, I would give it a 3.5 due to technical issues, as well as the character issues I had problems with. But hey, this is just my opinion.

Regarding The Situation by DirectorRob
I normally will not comment on a review. Especially if I feel that it is honest and unbiased as I believe this one to be. In this case, I will make an exception. One reason is to take the blame for a fault that was mine (at least in your eyes). The others are just some things that need to be pointed out and corrected.
Regarding Amanda's portrayal of Nancy. I never saw her as winey or totally terrified at all times as you did. I can see where you might though. I was having Amanda (who only filled in 4 performances) play her more vulnerable, a kind of fresh look at the part. Using her feminity on the outside and being tough on the inside. A departure, or reversal from the way Lani Brooks played her. I thought the change in dynamics would be interesting, and to many it was. But, that was my call. No keys, or range or anything was changed for her, she sang the same tracks that Lani sang. As for Oom-Pah Pah, The decision to have Laura Hettinger and Emily Dillson (who did great) take a verse each, was do to her recovering from allergy problems that affected her voice for that show. Lani was also recovering from an illness that night, and had them fill in on some verses as well. I cast all of the above, and I assure you that all these women can hit any of the notes assigned to them. The lighting...a shame. Our Lighting was innovative, but disconcerting when you came. We had a bulb blow (an essential spot). It threw off the front half of the show. And No one agrees more than me on the sound system or lack there of.
Thank you for your review. I found it insightful.

Rob Hardie
As long as we're still commenting on this... by Okely Dokely
I have a civil question.

I see that Oliver was played by a Garner Martin. Is this the same Garner Martin who filled in at the last minute in Clay Aiken's Christmas concert this past December. The boy's name was Garner something from Marietta. If so, congratulations on getting to work with Clay.

By the way, Happy Birthday Rebekah (mooniemcmoonster) and Karen (cathead67).
by playseeker
Saturday, April 1, 2006

I saw the show this past weekend and thought it was fairly good. Some actors stood out because of their acting ability and other for some things that I found annoying.

Fagin(Martin Smith-)completely rocked! The only thing I could say is that he could be a little louder with his songs, but other than that he was amazing.

Nancy(Lani Brooks)-was perfect casting. The chemistry between Nancy and Bill Sykes(Luke Williams) was great.

Oliver(Cassie Morgan Giodano)- Sitting near the back of the theater I could hardly hear her. Though her stage presence was good I could not hear most of what she said.

Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry(Tom Milley and Laura Hattinger)- Very funny, Mr. Sowerberry especially. His expressions are wonderful and the way he acts off of Mrs. Sowerberry makes the scenes with them a pleasure to watch.

Bet(Emily Dillson)- She was decent. She has a good voice but seemed a little awkward on stage, almost like she wasn't sure of what she was supposed to do.

Mr. Bumble(Brad Mangrum)- His character was very funny. He is defiantly a talented actor, but when he sang he sounded off-key to me.

All of the orphans were great. I loved the expressions they had, especially the ones in Fagin's gang.

The ensemble was good too. Most of them had great stage presence especially during "Ompah pah" I realized that during that song everyone is supposed to be drunk, some of the actors looked like they were just there and not like they were drinking and having a good time.

A couple of things that I noticed in "Who Will Buy?" The Roseseller looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Her singing and acting were good, but she had a bug-eyed look throughout the song. She milkmaid could hardly hit the high notes and she looked bored.

I did like the pacing of the show. I usually check the time during a show to see when the intermission will be and I didn't at all during this show. Congratulations everyone. You do put on a pretty good show.

by preppyprincess1992
I played Charlotte, and would love to hear wut u thought of my performance, I don't get all of the critizism I need sometimes.
charlotte by Nettie
hey sweet pea!
I'd tell you what mrs. bedwin thinks of you, but she's a little prejudiced... have a great week and I'll see ya friday! thank you playseeker for the review!
Please review Noah Claypole by shmoeski
Noah is the bully to Oliver during the Sowerberry scene, so would you please review me. The best part of being an actor is improving. THIS SHOW ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
by playseeker
Hey Charlotte and Noah!!! I thought you guys were very good. You two were very cute together!
If You Don't Mind My Sayin So.... by theatregeek
Hello, fellow reviewers. I've read some of the reviews, and have decided to put in my two cents about the show.I went to see this show the first or second week it came out, and I only have some pros and cons to get off my chest.

CON 1: the setting of the play. Although the set looked wonderful, I felt that the set didn't need to be so elaborate and take up a lot of space. "Om-Pah-Pah" "Who Will Buy" and "Consider Yourself" are huge dancing numbers, but it seemed they couldn't do a lot of dancing because of how little the acting area was. Recently doing a performance at the Playhouse and hearing rumors that they they don't have a lot of money, Mr. Hardie and his assistants could've done what Shakespeare had to do in his era. There wasn't a lot of money to build elaborate forests or sets, so they had to tell the audience where they were and bring on a potted plant to show a forest or a chair for a room in a house. An example of what I mean is that for Mr. Borownlow's house a chair or two, table, and a door frame could've been brought on. This should be only taken as an opinion, and only that.

CON 2: Although I loved the costumes and am trying to get involved in costuming myself, I felt that Nancy's costume didn't seem to fit the character. For examle, in MY OPINION, I think, when she goes to see Mr. Brownlow in regards to Oliver, a somewhat nice jacket and smart hat would have been wise instead of a cape(?) She is seeing a high class gentleman, so she would try and dress her best. But again, I loved all the costumes. Bravo!!!

CON3: I have heard rumors that the Playhouse is attracted to children's theatre ONLY and are accused of favoritism when it comes to "auditions" for shows. Although I do not believe the last one, I think that if it is true aobut the first one, than an idea would be this. They have on some site, a collection of musicals for young children (basically they take a two hour musical and squeeze it down to one hour). Now, if I was a parent with a 12 year old, I would pay money to see him potray Harold Hill.

PRO1: All the actors were very wonderful in their roles, more to the man who played Fagain and Mr. Williams who played the equally-evil Bill Sykes. (Strangely enough, he kind of looked like Oliver Reed who played Sykes in the 1961 movie musical version of it)

Again, these are my opinions on the show. So, don't get upset if what I say is false, rude, errogent, or even stupid. I thank you for reading this person's review who wish to make the Playhosue more enjoyable.


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