October 24, 2014
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‘Oliver’ lights up the Trinity stage

“Consider yourself” fortunate to have Richard and Sharon Jenkins at the helm in this delightful musical rendition of Dickens’ classic “Oliver.”

After escaping from the English workhouse, young Oliver asks “Where is Love?” and you will discover it in this lovely adaptation by Lionel Bart, interpreted by director Richard Jenkins and beautifully choreographed by Sharon Jenkins.

“Who will buy” tickets to this musical extravaganza? Anyone interested in being thoroughly entertained by young and veteran actors.

If you have any doubt that Trinity can bring life to Broadway musicals, get on over to 201 Washington St. in Providence and see what an imaginative director, choreographic genius and talented young and veteran actors can do with an old chestnut.

Using Eugene Lee’s modest set, reminiscent of last year’s “A Christmas Carol,” Richard Jenkins has made use of trap doors, two levels and imaginative sets and props to transform us to Olde England. Sharon Jenkins has taken a bunch of kids (and adults) and turned them into seasoned dancers.

The music of “Oliver” is some of the best ever written for the stage, and hearing the beautiful voice of Rachael Warren sing “As Long as He Needs Me” will certainly induce goose-bumps.

Our beloved repertory theatre has long ago learned how to mix veteran actors with new conservatory actors and talented children. “Oliver” is the perfect vehicle for achieving that goal.

Stephen Berenson makes a perfect Fagin, showing us that he’s a bad guy with a speck of goodness in him.

Tom Gleadow makes a perfect Mr. Bumble. His scenes opposite Anne Scurria are classic comedy. Scurria plays two roles, each with a completely different approach. She makes one costume/character change that defies real time, astonishing the audience.

While I think of Rachael Warren primarily as an actress, I have heard her sing before, but never like she sings in “Oliver.”

Phineas Peters handles the title role with complete control of his emotions. He can go from putting on a happy face to complete despondency with the drop of a hat.

Noah Parets, whose credentials include the title role in the National tour of “Billy Elliot,” owns the Artful Dodger role. And can he sing and dance! (Speaking of “Billy Elliot,” wouldn’t the musical be a great addition to an upcoming season and an excuse to bring Mr. and Mrs. Jenkins back to Trinity?)

“Oliver” is presented in the upstairs Elizabeth and Malcolm Chace Theatre through March 30. Treat yourself and the entire family to this wonderful production. For reservations call 351-4242.


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