Once upon a time, Lionel Bart took one of Dickens’s greatest and most gripping novels, an indignant howl of protest against man’s inhumanity to man, and turned it into a cracking night of tuneful entertainment, thus Oliver! was created.

Oliver! is a fantastic choice for Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, the recognizable title is well researched, beautifully staged and flawlessly executed. “I’m a very visual person so I need visuals to help me understand the show and what I want to do with it. After reading the script usually I just listen to the music, it creates pictures and gets those creative juices flowing. I really have to come to rehearsals prepared,” says director Peter F. Muller.

Orion Pilger, who plays the title character Oliver, brings a genuine innocence to the role and a sweet smile that melts hearts.

Brian Burron, as Fagin, is both sinister and hilarious. “He’s got a little bit of evil but he’s also got some redeeming qualities. As sad as it is, he’s only one who cares for the kids. He’s got them doing his dirty work but at the same time he gives them the affection and the love that they need,” says Burron. His “Reviewing the Situation” is hysterical and although most of the humor is blatant, Burron also manages to sneak in some deliciously deft comic touches to the performance.

Heather Doris, who takes on the role of Nancy, brings a warmth to the stage and wrings every last ounce of emotion from that deeply dodgy celebration of wife beaters, “As Long as He Needs Me.”

Scott Severtson and Melissa Swift-Sawyer contribute two brilliant, truly Dickensian grotesques as the undertakers, Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry and later deliver equally brilliant performances in their roles of Dr. Grimwig and Mrs. Bedwin.

Bren. Eyestone Burron, who plays the Widow Corney and Leo Battle, as the Artful Dodger, also, supply noteworthy solos and solid performances.

Standout musical performances include, “Pick a Pocket or Two” during the first act, “Oom-Pah-Pah” opening the second act and the sweet harmonies of “Who Will Buy?” midway through the second act.

Be sure to see the Candlelight production of Oliver! now through October 24, 2010.

Click here to see more about Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, auditions, Oliver! or to check out the rest of the upcoming season.

Candlelight Dinner Playhouse

4747 Marketplace Drive

Johnstown, Colorado 80534