I always love an opportunity to bring my children to see stage productions of books they enjoy. It’s a chance to watch a story that was once just on pages and in their heads come to life, to see imagination and interpretation at work. So, as Owen is finishing up Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, the timing of this new production couldn’t be better.
Adventure Theatre MTC is bringing OLIVER! to Round House Theatre in Bethesda. Opening Friday, July 24, and running through August 16, the show is ATMTC’s first full-length musical production. And if their trove of wonderful children’s productions on the Glen Echo stage is any indication, this one is sure to be a hit.
This steampunk-inspired OLIVER! features an extraordinary team of Helen Hayes Award Recognized local performers and Adventure Theatre MTC veterans, accompanied by a chamber orchestra as this version of the classic story is performed.
A young orphan who arrives on the streets of London with no friends, no money, and nowhere to live. He meets a cheeky pickpocket who shows him a whole new way of life. But as chance would have it, Oliver stumbles upon a gentleman who might just hold the key to his mysterious past. Packed full of joyful songs, including Consider Yourself, You’ve Got To Pick a Pocket or Two, Oom-Pah-Pah! and the exuberant Food Glorious Food, this will be the theatrical highlight of your year.
Director Joseph Ritsch speaks to the heart this production, “As a director I always ask, why this play now? Why OLIVER! now? … I was so taken by Oliver’s continual ability to find the joy in life even in the most dire of circumstances. There is a light in this young man that shines bright no matter how dark his world gets. There is something so beautifully hopeful in that, and in today’s complicated world of 2015, such hope is indeed a welcomed necessity.”
It sounds like a show that will have many of us wanting more.
OLIVER! will be on stage July 24 – August 16. Tickets are $35/students and $45/adults and can be purchased on Adventure Theatre MTC’s website or by calling the box office at 301.634.2270. All performances will take place at Round House Theatre in Bethesda, MD.
*Important for parents to note: This is a two-act show, so it runs two hours long with a 15 intermission approximately. It is also faithful to the stage version and may be too violent for very young children. Recommended for around ages 7 and up, but parents should use their best judgement.