by Nour Chahboun
Audiences will be swept away March 17, 18, and 19 at 7:30 p.m. and March 20 at 2 p.m., in the auditorium, by Theatre Ink’s impressive costumes, breathtaking sets, and extraordinary actors. Oliver! is an energetic, but at times dark, musical that follows a young orphan’s journey in search of a home.
Based on Charles Dickens’ 1837 novel Oliver Twist, Oliver! unravels a story about orphans’ horrific conditions, and the desperate lives of criminals. The classic story is set in London, where Oliver, played by sophomore Sarah Vernovsky, makes his way through multiple families and gangs in an attempt to find himself a permanent home. This is “something he’s wanted all his life, as up to the point at which the story begins, Oliver has lived in an orphanage,” according to senior Sonia Joffe, who plays the part of Nancy.
The villain of the story, Fagin, played by sophomore Jonathan Champion, is the leader of a gang of criminals that eventually train Oliver to become a pickpocket. This humorous personage offers shelter to children in exchange for stolen goods. In this gang, Oliver learns who his true friends are while being taught the art of pickpocketing by Fagin.
According to English teacher Bradley Jensen, who is directing Oliver!, the musical pushes Oliver to “reflect on the meaning of home, the importance of friends, and ask himself, ‘Where is love?’
The audience will be captivated by Oliver’s struggles to find a loving home, “where he’s finally able to experience acceptance and a sense of belonging,” said Vernovsky.
“I think the overarching theme is finding where you belong,” said Joffe. “Oliver meets different people who either do or don’t help him and care for him through his journey,” added Joffe, “and his challenge is to find a good home with kind people.”
According to Champion, the audience should look forward to seeing the show’s visuals. “The costume, makeup, and tech crews have been working insanely hard to make this show look phenomenal.” Champion also added that Oliver! is a “star studded show,” so the audience will be enthralled by the numerous talent, whether it be on stage or offstage.
The musical explores the true meaning of home while showcasing breathtaking visuals, impressive talent, and catchy melodies.
“Whether one is reminded of the iconic characters and infamous songs or experiencing this show for the first time, there is sure to be something for everyone within our production,” said Jensen.
Tickets are sold during all lunches and online for $10, $14, and $16.