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Leonard Nimoy as Fagin in OLIVER!
Posted by broadwaydanwi 2012-11-24 10:58:31



Happy Holidays from Milwaukee! I just finished posting a new page on my website about Leonard Nimoy's appearance as Fagin in OLIVER! (1972) at Melody Top Theatre. There are some awesome photographs of Mr. Nimoy, both in and out of his Fagin costume. Even though he never played a musical role on Broadway, his singing in stock and regional theatres was given high praise from local critics. Click on the link in this message to learn more about OLIVER! and Mr. Nimoy's impressive stage work.

Leonard Nimoy as Fagin in OLIVER!
Posted by aaronb 2012-11-24 11:05:19


Haha awesome. Though Ben Kingsley will always be my Fagin--if only because Alec Guinness got stuck in an antisemitic portrayal.

Leonard Nimoy as Fagin in OLIVER!
Posted by mikey2573 2012-11-24 15:28:07


Ok, can you explain the makeup?? One of the performers looks like she just finished a production of CATS and didn't remember to wash the whiskers off.

Leonard Nimoy as Fagin in OLIVER!
Posted by broadwaydanwi 2012-11-24 16:11:47


In Jay Joslyn's review of this production, he stated the following: "In some kind of attempt to achieve a different atmosphere, Bishop has allowed his actors to paint their faces in a most distracting manner." I'm not sure why this was done, but some of the characters were portrayed (with the use of make-up) as having animal features.

Leonard Nimoy as Fagin in OLIVER!
Posted by beaemma 2012-11-25 18:55:39


It's funny to me that I saw this production from the first row and don't remember the weird makeup. Maybe they gave up on it by the end of the first week. Or maybe I was too focused on how good Leonard Nimoy was, including his singing. The newspaper article you included about how these summer stock shows were put together in a week, while most of the company was doing performances of another show at the same time, was nothing short of mind boggling!

Leonard Nimoy as Fagin in OLIVER!
Posted by broadwaydanwi 2012-11-29 16:02:20


Since the effects of extreme poverty are an important theme in both the original novel and its musical adaptation, the painted faces on performers in this production of OLIVER! may have represented humans living like animals. I think I remember seeing cartoons from Dickens' time that featured animals dressed in ragged clothing, representing the very poorest members of society.