OLIVER! THE MUSICAL To Open At St. Dunstan's Greek Theatre June 1 - 16
St. Dunstan's Theatre Guild of Cranbrook will close out their season this year with the classic musical, Oliver! Come experience "theatre under the stars," as this classic musical will be performed in the beautiful outdoor Greek Theatre, located right behind the St. Dunstan's pavilion in Bloomfield Hills.
Based on the Charles Dicken's novel, Oliver Twist, with music and lyrics from Lionel Bart. The streets of Victorian England come to life as Oliver, a malnourished orphan in a workhouse, becomes the neglected apprentice of an undertaker. He escapes to London where he's picked up on the street by a boy named the Artful Dodger and welcomed into a gang of child pickpockets led by the conniving Fagin. When Oliver is captured for a theft he did not commit and is rescued by the benevolent victim, Fagin employs Bill Sikes and the warmhearted Nancy to kidnap Oliver back, threatening Oliver's chances of discovering the true love of a family. With spirited, timeless songs from this Lionel Bart score like "As Long As He Need Me," "Food, Glorious Food," and "Where Is Love?", Oliver! is an extraordinary musical classic.
This show requires "all hands-on deck" from the St. Dunstan's volunteers. The cast and crew are working extremely hard to get everything ready for the June 1st opening. Director, Alan Binkow (Troy) has been a member with St. Dunstan's since 2015, and he is currently President of the Guild. Binkow has enjoyed his time on stage and behind the scenes, but is excited to go through this journey as Director of Oliver, "I've loved this musical since I sang along to the cast album as a little kid. To be able to direct it now, with this amazing cast and crew...it's a phenomenal experience."
Binkow is joined by a fabulous production crew, including Assistant Director, Roberta Campion (Southfield), Choreographer, Valerie Mould (Royal Oak), and Music Director, Marty Mandelbaum.
Playing the title role of Oliver is eleven-year old Aiden Aronoff (Huntington Woods). The role of Artful Dodger has been double cast with Spencer Clark (Southgate) and Jack Sanitate (Washington). Sanitate will perform May 30 (charity preview), and June 2, 9, and 15, and Clark will perform June 1, 8, 14 and 16. The role of Fagin will be played by Edmond Guay (Royal Oak). Bill Sikes will be played by Sean Kecskes (Waterford), and Nancy will be played by Kecskes' real life fiancé Michelle Ankoviak (Waterford).
This production is rounded out by a stellar cast of both children and adults. Featured in the children's ensemble is Katie Kucemba who will be playing Bet, MaryAnna Lauter will be Charlotte, Daniel Upton will play Noah Claypoole, and Noah Galle will be Nipper. The rest of the children's ensemble includes Eli Eisenberg, Lucie Coburn, Arielle Olkhovsky, Nadim Ezzeddine, Ava Morisi, Audrey Horner, Ewan Barnett, Olivia Kucemba, Emeline Walsh, and Liam O'Callaghan.
Featured in the adult ensemble is Kim Monterosso as Mr. Bumble, Katherine Huyghe as Widow Corney, Mark Walters as Mr. Brownlow, Damian Barnett as Mr. Sowerberry, Emily Polet-Monterosso as Mrs. Sowerberry, and Rob Grodin as Mr. Grimwig. Rounding out the adult ensemble is Mana Walters, Laurie Finch, Lillian Maley, Kara McGahey, Shannon Williams, Emily Miller, Megan Welenc, Heather Clement, Julie Norback, and Pat Rodgers.
St. Dunstan's will also be hosting a special benefit performance of Oliver! The benefit will take place on the final dress rehearsal, Wednesday May 30th and will help raise money and awareness for The Welcome Inn, a center in Royal Oak that aids the homeless.
St. Dunstan's will present Oliver on June 1, 2, 8, 9, 14, 15 & 16. All shows begin at 8:00 p.m, Tickets are $20 each for adults and $18 each for students and seniors. St. Dunstan's is located at 400 Lone Pine Road in Bloomfield Hills.
The Greek Theatre is located behind St. Dunstan's Playhouse at 400 Lone Pine Road, between Woodward & Lahser in Bloomfield Hills. Enter the St. Dunstan's lobby to get to the Greek Theatre. Please allow time for walking.
To order tickets, or for more information - including details on parking, and seating - visit www.StDunstansTheatre.com or call 1-844-DUNSTAN (1-844-386-7826).
Photo: Oliver and Dodger 3 (Southgate, Huntington Woods): Spencer Clark (Southgate) and Aiden Aronoff (Huntington Woods) will play the roles of Artful Dodger and Oliver in St. Dunstan's production of Oliver. Show runs June 1 - 16 in the Outdoor Greek Theatre in Bloomfield Hills.
Photo credit: Molly Dorset