Pathos, Drama and Outstanding Musical Numbers: “Oliver!” at MMS

WHAT:      Oliver! a production of the Mount Madonna Middle School Players
WHEN:      December 18 and 19, 2:30pm
WHERE:    Mount Madonna School, 491 Summit Road, Mount Madonna  
TICKETS:  $15 adults; $10 students. All seats reserved, call (408) 847-2717

Is OLIVER! really the greatest of all 20th-century British musicals, as is often claimed?

Following its 1960 premier and a long run on London’s West End, AND a successful Broadway production, the consensus was clear: OLIVER! is truly a masterpiece and shows off Lionel Bart’s musical and lyrical talents at his best. According to one reviewer, “With this show, the audience whistles the tunes as they COME IN to the theater.”
On December 18 and 19, for two performances, The Mount Madonna Middle School Players will present their production of OLIVER! at Mount Madonna School (MMS). Performing Arts Director Sampad Martin Kachuck comments on the students’ preparations for the show:
“Students are taking on the challenge of personalizing their roles and investing deeply into the world of the characters,” he says. “Whether singing, dancing or simply ‘living’ on stage, they’re engaging passionately and learning to trust themselves and each other. It’s a true win-win; by full participation, the individual grows and the production benefits.”
The tale begins in a workhouse full of orphaned boys. When one of the boys, young Oliver Twist, disrupts a meal by requesting more food, he is sold to a local undertaker. The family makes Oliver’s life horrible, and he runs away. Oliver is befriended by another boy, the Artful Dodger, who takes Oliver to meet his ‘family’, a group of orphans trained to be pickpockets by their elderly mentor, a kindly yet mysterious man named Fagin.
In the company of Fagin’s gang, Oliver meets other memorable characters – the tender-hearted Nancy and her best friend Bet, and the evil criminal (and Nancy’s husband) Bill Sikes. During his first attempt at pick-pocketing for the Gang, Oliver is caught by the police. The man he targeted, Mr. Brownlow, shows compassion for the boy and brings him into his own house to live. The thieves worry that Oliver will give away their hiding place and set about to return him to Fagin’s, leading to the show’s action-filled conclusion!
Mount Madonna School has license the show by arrangment with Oliver Productions, Ltd. and Oliver Promotions, Ltd.
Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.