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Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage

Molly Smith directs her 30th production as Artistic Director of Arena Stage with a gritty and relevant take on the Tony Award-winning musical OLIVER!, blending the chaotic worlds of 19th-century Victorian London with 2015 London. Smith's new in-the-round staging infuses a modern edge to the classic musical about an innocent orphan thrown into the dark world of double-dealing thieves and conmen, highlighting the disparity between classes and dangerous life on London's streets today. Featuring a remarkable score including "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two," "Consider Yourself," "Where is Love?" and "Food, Glorious Food," OLIVER! runs now through January 3, 2016 in the Fichandler Stage at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. BroadwayWorld has photos from the opening night festivities below!

OLIVER! will feature Broadway veterans Jeff McCarthy (The Pirate Queen, Urinetown, Side Show, seen previously in Arena's You, Nero) as Fagin, Kyle Coffman (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Newsies, West Side Story) as Artful Dodger, Ian Lassiter (War Horse) as Bill Sykes and Paul Vogt (Hairspray, Chicago, three seasons on MADtv) as Mr. Bumble. They join the previously announced Helen Hayes Award winner Eleasha Gamble (Arena Stage's Oklahoma!) as Nancy. A Northern Virginia newcomer discovered through an extensive citywide casting search -- 9-year-old Jake Miller -- plays the title role of the scrappy young orphan OLIVER.

Included in the lineup of D.C.-area actors are Ian Anthony Coleman as Long Song Seller, Catherine Flye as Rose Seller/Old Sally, Rayanne Gonzales as Widow Corney/Strawberry Seller, Jesse Palmer as Bet, Dorea Schmidt as Mrs. Sowerberry/Mrs. Bedwin, Kyle Schliefer as Noah Claypole, Thomas Adrian Simpson as MR. Brownlow, StephenGregory Smith as Dr. Grimwig, Tom Story as Mr. Sowerberry, Lara Zinn as Charlotte and swings Jane Bunting and Jimmy Mavrikes.

The cast also includes Lauren Gemelli as Milk Maid/Old Lady, Chaz Jackson as Charley Bates and Kyle Vaughn as Knife Grinder. Local youth Mohammed Badawi, Arena Stage camper Sebastian Gervase, Henry Niepoetter and Ethan Van Slyke round out the company as workhouse boys and members of Fagin's gang.

Smith reassembles many of her key creative team members from last season's Fiddler on the Roof, including Choreographer Parker Esse, who returns for his 10th production with Arena Stage and eighth production with Smith, and Music Director Paul Sportelli, a mainstay at Canada's Shaw Festival for the past 17 seasons. Also reuniting with Smith from her Fiddler team are Set Designer Todd Rosenthal and Lighting Designer Colin K. Bills, who are joined by Costume Designer Wade Laboissonniere and Sound Designers Joshua Horvath and Ray Nardelli.

The creative team for OLIVER! includes Wig Designer Anne Nesmith, Fight Choreographer David Leong, Dialects byLynn Watson, Associate Director Anita Maynard-Losh, Child Consultant Erin Weaver, Assistant Choreographer Tony Neidenbach, Assistant Music Director Brad Gardner, Stage Manager Susan R. White and Assistant Stage Manager Kristen Mary Harris.

Photo Credit: Cameron Whitman

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Jake Heston Miller (Oliver) and Jeff McCarthy (Fagin)

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Choreographer Parker Esse and director Molly Smith

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Ian Lassiter (Bill Sykes) and Eleasha Gamble (Nancy)

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Jake Heston Miller (Oliver) and Kyle Coffman (Artful Dodger)

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Dorea Schmidt, Lara Zinn, Eleasha Gamble, Molly Smith, Jesse Palmer, Jane Bunting, Lauren Gemelli, Juliane Godfrey and Rayanne Gonzales

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Executive Producer Edgar Dobie and choreographer Parker Esse

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Paul Vogt (Mr. Bumble) and Rayanne Gonzales (Widow Corney)

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Dorea Schmidt (Mrs. Sowerberry) and Tom Story (Mr. Sowerberry)

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Jake Heston Miller (Oliver) with Workhouse Boys/Members of Fagin’s Gang Ethan Van Slyke, Mohammed Badawi, Henry Niepoetter and Sebastian Gervas

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Choreographer Parker Esse and Kyle Coffman (Artful Dodger)

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Music director Paul Sportelli with cast members Kyle Vaughn and Ian Lassiter (Bill Sykes)

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Cast members Dorea Schmidt, Lara Zinn, Jesse Palmer, Jane Bunting, Lauren Gemelli and Juliane Godfrey

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Workhouse Boys/Members of Fagin's Gang Sebestain Gervase, Ethan Van Slyke, Henry Niepoetter and Mohammed Badawi

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
The cast and crew of OLIVER! at Arena Stage

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Crew members Lorraine Rhoden, Jeff Goldgeier and Elle Bolin

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
AKEELAH AND THE BEE cast members Zaria Graham, Johannah Easley, Ana Christine Evans, Leo James and Molly Yeselson

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Cast member Eleasha Gamble (Nancy) with Tom Noll and Jose Ucles

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Board Chair Beth Newburger Schwartz

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Local theater artists Aaron Posner, Erin Weaver, Matt Conner and Matthew Greenfield

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
Frank Islam and Deborah Driesman

Photo Flash: Jeff McCarthy, Kyle Coffman and More Celebrate OLIVER! Opening at Arena Stage
AT&T's Kay Kapoor, John McDuffie, Jan Tillery, David Tillery, Mary McDuffie and Sunny Kapoor


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