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Try to catch Russ Abbot in Oliver!

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hotjohn
Broadway Legend
joined:3/14/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/14/08
Try to catch Russ Abbot in Oliver!#1
Posted: 4/22/09 at 7:14pm
I just got back from my second visit to 'Oliver!' in 7 weeks and it couldn't have been more different from the last time.

Russ Abbot, stepping into the role of Fagin at short notice while Rowan Atkinson recovers from surgery, is fantastic. Much more physical and far funnier, especially when playing to the audience, than Atkinson, he seemed very much at home in the role. He did an entirely different take on 'Reviewing The Situation', including a hilarious recap of the story so far, stolen from 'The Producers', but still absolutely brilliant. Other gags about being Jewish and one at the expense of Rowan's ailment all helped him get the audience very much on his side.

I wonder how many people, disappointed at missing Atkinson (a quite sinister interpretation when he wasn't being Mr Bean), realise that they were witnessing a much better performance. Unfortunately, Abbot is only in the show until this coming Saturday but I'd be very surprised if he didn't go back into the cast at some time.

I also got to see Jodie Prenger for the first time and, must admit much to my surprise, her 'As Long As He Needs Me' was terrific.
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devonian.t
Broadway Legend
joined:7/26/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/26/04
re: Try to catch Russ Abbot in Oliver!#2
Posted: 4/23/09 at 9:08am
Glad you enjoyed it! I saw several Fagins at the Palladium, including my favourite, Barry Humphries, the slightly too narcissistic Jonathan Pryce and the lively Russ Abbott. Glad to see he's still at the top of his game.