“Oliver!” is considered by many to be a classic musical, but Theater Latté Da’s production of “Oliver!” has a few “Twists” to it. Peter Rothstein (Director), Michael Mathew Ferrell (Choreographer), and Denise Prosek (Music Director) have managed to create a steam punk version of “Oliver!” that will totally stun you.
There were many cast members that shined in the evening’s performance. First off, Fagin (Bradley Greenwald) was the brightest. He not only had a phenomenal singing voice, but he nailed every other aspect of his character as well. Nancy (Lauren Davis) was also excellent. Her voice was very powerful and she had great emotion behind her songs. The Artful Dodger (Alec Fisher) was another wonderful addition to the cast. His acting was phenomenal and his lightheartedness compliments the contrasting characters such as the insidious Bill Sykes (Dieter Bierbrauer). Oliver (Nate Turcotte) was played very differently from the pickpockets in Fagin’s gang. He seemed very innocent and much more child-like which was a good choice. He also had an impressive singing voice.
There were some areas that had room for improvement as well. One of these was the fight choreography. The fight choreography in the show could have been cleaned up to be more believable. I also would have appreciated hearing more sound from the band. During some of the numbers with a lot of energy, the band was to be too quiet. The band size seemed to work for the quieter songs, but It would have been nice to hear more sound to match the actor’s energy during the larger numbers.
During the song, “You’ve Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two,” Fagin showed Oliver how to pickpocket people and he used magic to make Oliver think it was fun to be a pickpocket. These stunning feats were easily one of the highlights of the show. Not only did it entertain the audience, but also it was easy to understand how Oliver was convinced that it was good to be a pickpocket. The other technical elements of the show were incredible! The grungy set combined with the vibrant costumes created a very interesting dynamic onstage. It was really enjoyable to observe this contrast between the costumes and set. The set appeared to be made up of many parts of factories, clocks, and various other mechanical pieces. The costumes were Victorian clothes, but these clothes had colors and patterns on them to create a modern feel. It was fascinating to see how light played into the design. It had an unnatural feel to it, which fit the steam punk theme perfectly. The many entrances, exits, and levels provided for interesting directing choices and created a stunning aesthetic.
This is an enjoyable show that will completely defy your expectations of theatre. The eccentric technical elements and the jaw dropping performances will ensure that you will have a fabulous time. The show is running at the Pantages Theatre from February 4 – March 1 so get your tickets soon.