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Oliver! revival?

jvoom
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Oliver! revival?#1
Posted: 1/22/19 at 3:19pm

I was just listening to the recording from the 1994 London revival and forgot how wonderful this score is! Anyone know if there has been talk recently of a revival? I'd love to see a big, lush production in Lincoln Centre 

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Oliver! revival?#2
Posted: 1/22/19 at 3:39pm

jvoom said: "I was just listening to the recording from the 1994 London revival and forgot how wonderful this score is! Anyone know if there has been talk recently of a revival? I'd love to see a big, lush production in Lincoln Centre"

I LOVE their rendition of "pick a pocket or two"

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SomethingPeculiar
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Oliver! revival?#3
Posted: 1/22/19 at 4:16pm

I assume Cameron Mackintosh holds the first class rights to Oliver, since he produced all the London revivals of it. I'm surprised that production never crossed the pond. Maybe he and others were scared to do it in New York after the disastrously short-lived 1984 mounting with Ron Moody and Patti LuPone.

Fosse76
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Oliver! revival?#4
Posted: 1/22/19 at 4:38pm

I think the cast size has made a Broadway revival prohibitively expensive. 

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Oliver! revival?#5
Posted: 1/22/19 at 4:39pm

I saw the 2009 London revival (of the 1994 revival) and loved it.  I remember reading how it was too expensive to produce on Broadway due to the number of children needed in the cast just for the opening scene.  Not sure if that's true.  I can imagine they could cut it down to the number of girls used in Annie, but then, Annie's never had a profitable revival on Broadway, so...

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SomethingPeculiar
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Oliver! revival?#6
Posted: 1/22/19 at 4:57pm

If you distill Oliver down to its most basic elements, it's a combination of My Fair Lady, Les Mis, Annie, and Fiddler –– all of which are, arguably, more interesting or "sexy" musicals (and more frequently revived).

Tonally, it's also tough: you could sanitize the darkness for a family audience and alienate the critics/adults, or you could go really dark and anger the families. And now that Broadway has a lot of kid-friendly shows, why would you take the fam to Oliver when you could see Frozen or Anastasia or Wicked or Aladdin?

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Oliver! revival?#7
Posted: 1/22/19 at 6:43pm

SomethingPeculiar said: "I assume Cameron Mackintosh holds the first class rights to Oliver, since he produced all the London revivals of it. I'm surprised that production never crossed the pond. Maybe he and others were scared to do it in New York after the disastrously short-lived 1984 mounting with Ron Moody and Patti LuPone."

He partnered up with NETworks and sent it out as a non-Equity tour back around 2003 or 2004, claiming that it was too expensive to do as an Equity production over here because of the number of children in the cast

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markypoo
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Oliver! revival?#8
Posted: 1/22/19 at 7:43pm
I saw the non-Equity tour previously mentioned; the kids were the best things in the show.
I also saw Cameron's 1977 London revival in '79. Roy Dotrice was Fagin. Excellent.
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dramamama611
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Oliver! revival?#9
Posted: 1/23/19 at 9:04am

SomethingPeculiar said: "If you distill Oliverdown to its most basic elements, it's a combination ofMy Fair Lady, Les Mis, Annie,andFiddler–– all of which are, arguably, more interesting or "sexy" musicals (and more frequently revived).

Tonally, it's also tough:you could sanitizethe darkness for a family audience and alienate the critics/adults, or you could go really dark and anger the families.And now that Broadway has alotof kid-friendly shows, why would you take the fam toOliverwhen you could seeFrozenorAnastasiaor Wicked orAladdin?
"

 

Because OLIVER is far more interesting?   Why sanitize?  I've been watching Oliver (the film) since I was an elementary school kid.   I think it was suprisingly "woke" with the material considering when it was made.    

 

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Oliver! revival?#10
Posted: 1/23/19 at 9:10am
How many kids were in school of rock? Does Oliver need more than 10?
School of Rock recently closed so theres certainly room for one more kid/family friendly show on bway.
Loopin’theloop
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Oliver! revival?#11
Posted: 1/23/19 at 11:46am
You could absolutely reimagine the workhouse and have only ten children in Food Glorious Food who double as the pick pockets in Fagins gang but it would need to be staged in a smaller house than the show usually plays at for the more intimate presentation to work. Cameron Mackintosh wouldnt go near a re-imagining like this as for it to really work and not be viewed as cynical by the critics, it would need to be a new production (normally there are children who supplement the gang in the opening so that there are twenty/thirty of them) A scaled down version would, at the least, need the opening re-choreographed and redesigned - even if everything else stayed close to the West End revivals design but thats going to look and smell like a cash cow to any reviewer and without a fresh look at the show overall it would be a risk.

Even though Cam Mac is now all about downscaling his shows to make more money, he wouldnt open this a reimagined version of the show on Broadway because of its track record. Therefore hed only bring it to New York if he already had a physical production that worked in the UK and the expectation of audiences in the UK is that the show feels big (you dont pay the workshouse children in the UK) so he has no reason to want to scale down it down for that market.

He has the rights. So unfortunately dont expect to see it in New York anytime soon.
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Oliver! revival?#12
Posted: 1/23/19 at 11:56am

He should let somewhere like Chichester Festival or the Menier take a stab at re-imagining it. That way if it works, he's got a smaller working production and if it doesn't, revive the original in 5-10 years saying "the last one proved people want the original!"

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Oliver! revival?#13
Posted: 1/23/19 at 12:04pm

dramamama611 said: "Because OLIVER is far more interesting? Why sanitize? I've been watching Oliver (the film) since I was an elementary school kid. I think it was suprisingly "woke" with the material considering when it was made."

Oh, I don't disagree that it's more interesting -- but I'm more thinking of the broad interests of the general public and "kids today." If the recent Annie and Fiddler revivals couldn't recoup and run much more than a year, I have a hard time seeing Oliver doing well.

Also, the stage rights could be held up with the movie remake (directed by Tommy Kail, written by Danny Strong, and starring Ice T as Fagin) -- IF it ever actually happens.

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Oliver! revival?#14
Posted: 1/23/19 at 8:44pm

If I remember correctly (and I think I do) Mackintosh's Broadway revival of OLIVER!, based on his London version directed by Sam Mendes, was killed by Equity's insistence that all the little kids in the opening number, about 40 I believe, should get Equity Broadway contracts, despite the fact the after the first two numbers, they are never on stage again. 

Mackintosh threatened to not bring the show to Broadway if Equity didn't budge.  Equity didn't budge, and the result was the 2003 NETworks non-Equity tour. 

I saw it in Boston and it was pretty good. 

"The problem was, quite frankly, the sheer cost of it on Broadway," Mackintosh previously said. "Because of the union rules on children — and it's a show that's powered by children — and the physical production is so enormous, we just couldn't afford to do it."

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Oliver! revival?#15
Posted: 1/24/19 at 10:20am
Not sure if this has been said, but I assume part of the reason its cost-prohibitive is that child actors earn standard Equity salaries here; in the UK they do not.
Noel&Cole
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Oliver! revival?#16
Posted: 1/24/19 at 7:42pm

This is hearsay but what I was told by a British actor I know is those 30-40 kids in the opening two scenes in London were given $50 a show plus transpiration. They go home after the first two scenes. The kids in Fagin's gang get a full contract. 

The saw the 2009 production and it was awesome. HUGE in size and scale. as OLIVER is meant to be. I wish this production would play NYC. Equity should make an exception. It would give dozens of equity contracts for the remaining part of the cast. 

My dream casting for years is John Lithgow as Fagin and Heather Headly as Nancy. (though she has aged out by now) I just would love hear her AS LONG AS HE NEEDS ME 

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Oliver! revival?#17
Posted: 1/24/19 at 10:12pm

^^^^ One would think "transpiration" would be payment enough!

(Sorry, N&C, I couldn't resist. I make tons of typos myself, but my errors rarely excite the imagination as much as that one word! I agree with you that Lithgow would be an excellent Fagin. I am bemused by a proposed movie remake where they take the Jewish criminal stereotype and turn it into the African-American criminal stereotype. How "woke" of them!)

Updated On: 1/24/19 at 10:12 PM