Open auditions for the musical Oliver! will be held at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, March 17 and 18 at Bellevue Society for the Arts, 205 Maple Street, Bellevue. Oliver! is sponsored by Mel & Jeanie Miller & Family and Bill & Scherl Koch & Family
Oliver! is a British musical, with music, lyrics and book by Lionel Bart. It is based upon the novel “Oliver Twist” by Charles Dickens. The musical stage version tells the tale of an orphan boy who dares to ask for more food at the workhouse where he and his fellow orphans are treated horribly.
Oliver is thrown out of the workhouse and, while on the street, encounters the Artful Dodger who takes him under his wing and into the seedy underside of London where he joins a band of pickpockets who are controlled by Fagin.
Eventually, Oliver is rescued from his life of crime by a wealthy and kind gentlemen, Mr. Brownlow, who turns out to have a special connection to the boy.
Oliver! premiered in London’s West End in 1960, enjoying a long run, a successful Broadway production in 1963 and further tours and revivals. It was made into a musical ﬁlm in 1968. Major London revivals played from 1994–98 and again from 2008–11.
Available roles include:
• Oliver Twist, the protagonist of the story. He is a lonely orphan boy born in the workhouse. Male. Soprano.
• Fagin, a conniving career criminal, takes in homeless boys and teaches them to pick pockets for him. Baritone.
• Nancy, Bill Sikes’ lover. She takes a liking to Oliver and treats him like her own child. Alto.
• Mr. Brownlow, a kind man of wealth and breeding. Spoken.
• Bill Sikes, Nancy’s brutal and abusive lover, a burglar and murderer. Baritone.
• Mr. Bumble, the pompous beadle of the workhouse in which Oliver was born. Baritone.
• The Artful Dodger, the cleverest of Fagin’s pickpockets, he introduces Fagin to Oliver. Male. Soprano.
• Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry, the insensitive couple who take in Oliver and use him in their funeral business. Baritone and Soprano.
• Mrs. Corney, the matron of the workhouse where Oliver was born, later marries Mr. Bumble. Soprano.
• Charlotte Sowerberry, the rude but also ﬂirtatious daughter of the Sowerberrys. Spoken.
• Noah Claypole, The Sowerberrys’ apprentice, he bullies Oliver about his mother and enjoys a ﬂirtatious relationship with Charlotte. Spoken.
• Dr. Grimwig, foppish doctor and friend of Mr. Brownlow. He assesses Oliver’s condition at the beginning of Act II, deeming him ﬁt to go outside. Spoken.
• Bet, Nancy’s friend (or younger sister, in some productions), one of Fagin’s former pickpockets. Alto.
• Charley Bates, one of Fagin’s pickpockets. He is Dodger’s sidekick.
• Mrs. Bedwin, house-servant to Mr. Brownlow and caretaker of Oliver. Soprano.
• Workhouse Boys/Fagin’s Gang — Looking for youth ages 8–18, girls AND boys, singers and/or dancers.
• Londoners — Looking for adult and teen actors for various roles, ensemble, dancers, singers, actors, musicians, special skills. All are welcome.
Those auditioning are asked to prepare at least 16 measures of a song from the show. CD accompaniment will be permitted. There will also be readings from the script, and a simple dance audition. Please bring clothes and shoes that allow movement.
Oliver! will be presented May 9, 10, 11, 16 and 17. It is being directed by Lori Damschroder, Woodville. John Meyers, Bellevue, serves as Producer. It is licensed by arrangement with Oliver Productions, Ltd. and Oliver Promotions, Ltd. It is produced by special arrangement with Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc.