Phoenix Theatre's Greasepaint Youtheatre Opens Season With OLIVER!, 12/4-12/20

Phoenix Theatre's Greasepaint Youtheatre is kicking off the season with an all new production of the beloved, Tony Award-winning musical Oliver! Opening night of the production is December 4, 2009 and will run through December 20.
 
Greasepaint Artistic Director, Robert Kolby Harper is excited about bringing such a popular show to the Greasepaint stage. "Oliver is going to be amazing. The production and design teams are top notch and are dedicated to creating an extraordinary experience for both actors and audience alike. I am so proud of Greasepaint and the work we do. With D. Scott Withers directing, Oliver is going to be an incredible season opener!"
 
The musical is an adaptation of Charles Dickens' famous tale Oliver Twist, with music, lyrics, and book adaptation by Lionel Bart. Set in 1850, Oliver! tells the tale of a young orphaned boy, who due to his impudence, is tossed from the hardships of life at the orphanage into a chaotic life on the run among street urchins and criminals. Oliver sings and dances his way through adversity right to the very end, where keeping his chin up finally pays off.
 
Since its opening in London in 1960 and its Broadway introduction in 1963, Oliver! has delighted audiences with thousands of performances, sparking an Academy award-winning film adaptation, tours across several continents, and two London revivals. It even launched the careers of several child actors including Davy Jones of the Monkees and Phil Collins of Genesis.

Helmed by director D. Scott Withers, most recently credited with directing Greasepaint's Pippin and Rent: School Edition, Greasepaint has selected a cast of some of Arizona's most talented youth actors and actresses. Thirty-eight youth will be hitting the stage, ranging in age from 8 to 19. This cast brings the magic of Oliver! alive with stellar performances rarely seen in productions composed strictly of youth. Though Oliver! is a widely produced show, Greasepaint's version is far from typical. Withers says his goal with Oliver! is "to try and give it a real gritty feel and work against the 'candy-coated' treatment of the musical.  In reality, these were tough times, and tough choices are made by these characters."
 
As director, Withers receives creative support from choreographers Laurie Trygg and ElizaBeth Reynolds, Stage Manager Emma Throckmorton, Deck Manager Caleb Rock, Musical Director Alan Plado, Scenic Designer David Weiss, Lighting Designer Daniel Davisson, and Costume Designer Whitney Farris.
 
For one special performance, Saturday, December 5 at 2pm, Greasepaint will be hosting a food drive to benefit St. Mary's Food Bank. Any patron who donates canned or boxed food items will receive $2 off their tickets to Oliver!  To participate, patrons must bring their donations to the theatre when purchasing tickets the day of the performance.  If you have already purchased your tickets online, you will be given a $2.00 off coupon at the performance to use on any upcoming shows in the season. After this performance, all contributions will be taken to St. Mary's just in time for the holidays.
 
Single tickets are $12 and can be purchased by contacting the Greasepaint Box Office at (480)990-7405 or online at www.greasepaint.org.


Phoenix Theatre is a not-for-profit corporation that offers a full range of theatrical programming currently in its 89th consecutive, producing year: Mainstage subscription series of musicals, comedies and dramas; the 29-year-old Cookie Company, producing professional theatre for young audiences and families; Greasepaint Youtheatre in Scottsdale with the Valley's youth performing on stage; the annual New Works Festival; and PT Education, supporting curricular and extra-curricular educational programs for all ages. It is a member of Theatre Communications Group, the national organization of professional theatres, employs members of the Actor's Equity Association, and is supported in part by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and hundreds of individual, corporate, and foundation donors.  
 
Greasepaint Youtheatre and the Cookie Company are located at 7020 E. 2nd St. in Scottsdale, performing out of the historic Stagebrush Theatre.

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