SOUTH OGDEN — Please, sir. We want some more.
Musical theater fans can’t get enough of the popular Broadway show about everyone’s favorite cheeky orphan. “Oliver!” opens at The Ziegfeld Theater on Friday, Aug. 10, and continues through Sept. 1.
The English musical, based on the novel “Oliver Twist,” by Charles Dickens, features lyrics and music by Lionel Bart. Set in Victorian England, “Oliver!” tells the story of 9-year-old orphan Oliver Twist, who falls in with a group of street urchins who are picking pockets for the criminal Fagin. When a sympathetic pickpocket victim offers Oliver a home, a plot to kidnap the boy develops to keep him from talking.
The musical features songs like “Food, Glorious Food,” “Consider Yourself,” “Where is Love” and “I’d Do Anything.”
Bonnie Romney, marketing director at Ziegfeld, said “Oliver!” hasn’t been staged very much in recent years. She thinks CenterPoint Legacy Theatre in Centerville produced it a year or two ago, “but north of that, I don’t think anyone has done it in a while.”
“Theater-goers love it, and cast member love to perform it,” Romney said. “Especially for adults who grew up listening to classical musical theater, this is one that everyone knows and has a lot of characters who are deep and interesting. Add on top of that the great music and great kids’ roles — which don’t come along very often.”
Romney said the upcoming show is a great opportunity for young local actors, many of whom have come through the Ziegfeld Arts Academy program.
“It’s exciting to see these kids make the transition to a main stage show,” she said.
Children’s roles are double-cast in this Ziegfeld production, which stars Declan McAlhany/Henry Bell as Oliver, Brogan Wright/Jack Whitby as the Artful Dodger, Randy Barton as Fagin, and Erica Choffel as Nancy. The show is directed by Hugh Hanson, a professor in the University of Utah theatre department. Musical director is Kyle Lawrence, who studied musical theatre at Weber State University.
Although it first appeared almost 60 years ago, “Oliver!” remains remains relevant today, according to Romney. “The musical manages to balance light-heartedness and fun with Dickens’ tendency to take on heavier themes like how we treat the poor among us and domestic violence.
Despite the dark themes, Romney said all of that happen off-stage and that “Oliver!” is a family-friendly musical. She doesn’t think the themes present a problem for children. Ages 3 and older are welcome at the theater.
Following its run at The Ziegfeld Theater, “Oliver!” then tours to Park City, playing Sept. 7-16 at the Egyptian Theatre there.
Opening Friday at CenterPoint Legacy Theatre is “Wait Until Dark,” a tense drama about a blind woman who thwarts a drug smuggler’s attempts to retrieve a heroin-filled doll from her home.
The show runs through Sept. 1 in the Leishman Performance Hall, the black-box theater at CenterPoint. It stars Katie Plott, Meish Roundy and Mike Gardner, and is directed by Marinda Maxfield.
Tickets are $15, available through centerpointtheatre.tix.com or 801-298-1302.