TOPSHAM – Midcoast Youth Theater’s holiday family production of the hit musical “Oliver!” will be staged at Mt. Ararat High School Dec. 11, 12, 13 and 14.

Based on Charles Dickens’ tale of the adventures of orphan Oliver Twist, the show features Lionel Bart songs, including “Food, Glorious Food,” “I’d Do Anything,” “Where Is Love,” “You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two,” “Consider Yourself” and “As Long as He Needs Me.”

The production is directed by Henry Eichman, with choreography by Pam Tondreau, musical direction by Courtney Babbidge and costumes by Beverly Diller.

Against a backdrop that silhouettes the city of London in the 1800s, the multigenerational cast delivers the story filled with plot twists and turns. The show’s reminder of the existence of hunger, want and ignorance is particularly meaningful during the holiday season.

Caiden Shea plays Oliver, an orphan in the workhouse run by the harsh Mr. Bumble (Mike Pinkham) and his assistant, the domineering Widow Corney (Julie Hale). When Oliver makes the mistake of asking for more gruel, he is sold to the local undertaker, Mr. Sowerberry (Ben Proctor), who treats him poorly.

Oliver runs away into the streets of London, where he meets the Artful Dodger (Alex Kamphorst), a troubled youth who introduces him to con man Fagin (Mike Millett), who trains children to be pickpockets. A good-hearted street tart, Nancy (Tracy Kapocious), befriends Oliver, but her questionable devotion to the thug Bill Sykes (Vincent Ratsavong) proves a threat to them both.

Other characters include Nancy’s loyal friend, Bet (Courtney Jones); the good-hearted Mr. Brownlow (Larry Tondreau) and his kind housekeeper, Mrs. Bedwin (Marie Maderal); the undertaker’s wife, Mrs. Sowerberry (Kathryn Maderasz), their daughter, Charlotte (Merissa Maderasz), and their apprentice, bully Noah Claypole (Dean Hale).

The workhouse children are portrayed by Faith Allen-Harris, Summer Becker, Charlotte Cooney, Tessa Hauptman, Corinne Latti, Norah Mahar, Emily McCracken, Courtney Miller, Kaitlyn Prophett, McKayla Prophett, Amberly Shea, Anna Sawicki, Megan Sawicki, Natalie Schmidt, and Brianna Pinkham. Fagin’s gang of pickpockets includes Merissa Maderasz, Abbey MacDonald, Simone Maderal, Rochelle Maderal, Hannah Wright, Evelyn Atwood, Anna Hurley, Tessa Hauptman and Hannah Cain. Other residents of London are portrayed by Nate Levesque, Barbara Miller, Julie Hale, Victoria Kadziauskas, Katelyn Kamphorst, Chrisha Kamphorst, Shelley Prophett and Annette Shea.

The show will begin at 7 p.m. on Dec. 11, 12, and 13; and at 2 p.m. on Dec. 14. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students/seniors, $5 for ages 5-8. Tickets are available online and at the door. For more information, visit www.youth-theater.org or call 729-1819.


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