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Oliver at EHP

The Enchanted Hills Playhouse of Syracuse, Indiana ( on the shores of Lake Wawasee ) presented a critically-praised revival of Lionel Bart's Tony Award-winning musical classic "OLIVER!" July 1st through 12th of 1981. The revival was presented by EHP Producing Director Jill M. Stover and staged by EHP Artistic Director Dr. Jeffrey P. Koep with a cast that featured Darryl Maximilian Robinson as Fagin, Temple Schultz as Oliver Twist, Myrona Delaney as Nancy, Donald Lee Hahn as Bill Sykes, Tom McSweeney as The Artful Dodger, Tom Lamb as Mr. Bumble, Susan Sams as the Widow Corney, Micheal McCarthy as Mr. Sowerbelly, Suzanne Freshley as Mrs. Sowerbelly, Opera Joe McKesson as Mr. Brownlow, and T. Gregg McClain as Charley Bates, among others. The musical direction was by Orchestra Conductor Doug Baumgartner with musical numbers staged by Choreographer Leta Kritzman. Randy Colburn served as the Production Stage Manager and Technical Director.

EHP Oliver!

AN AWARD-WINNING VILLAIN: 1981 Fort Wayne News-Sentinel Reviewer's Recognition Award Winner as Outstanding Thespian of the Season DARRYL MAXIMILIAN ROBINSON as Fagin ( center ) performs "You've Got To Pick A Pocket or Two" in Artistic Director Dr. Jeffrey Koep's staging of Lionel Bart's Tony Award-winning musical "OLIVER!" presented by Producing Director Jill Stover at THE ENCHANTED HILLS PLAYHOUSE OF SYRACUSE, INDIANA. Photo courtesy of The EHP.

Oliver! is an acclaimed, Tony Award-winning stage musical adaptation of the great literary master Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist with book, music and lyrics all by the renowned English Composer Lionel Bart. Adapted to the big screen in 1968, Oliver! became a Best Picture Oscar Winner ( which also garnered a Best Director Oscar For Sir Carol Reed ). Acclaimed British stage star Ron Moody ( who originated the role of the lovable villain Fagin on the stage of The West End of London) scored an Academy Award Nomination as Best Actor.
Oliver the musical

Theatre Artist Darryl Maximilian Robinson ( who trained for four years in Musical Theatre Performance as a youth with The Windy City's multiracial Chicagoland High School Theatrical Troupe ) had his first taste of artistic acclaim when he received the 1981 FORT WAYNE NEWS-SENTINEL REVIEWER'S RECOGNITION AWARD as Outstanding Thespian of the Season for a gallery of performances in professional summer stock at northern Indiana's ENCHANTED HILLS PLAYHOUSE OF SYRACUSE, including, most particularly, the role of Fagin in Lionel Bart's Tony Award-winning musical classic "OLIVER!."

Enchanted Hills Playhouse

During the 1980s the ENCHANTED HILLS PLAYHOUSE of Syracuse, Indiana ( on the shores of Lake Wawasee ) presented many fine and well-received professional summer stock revivals of plays and musicals under the fine theatre management of Producing Director Jill M. Stover and Artistic Director Dr. Jeffrey Koep including a 1981 revival of Lionel Bart's Tony Award-winning "OLIVER!" with 1981 Fort Wayne News-Sentinel Reviewer's Recognition Award-winning Actor Darryl Maximilian Robinson playing the role of the lovable villain Fagin.

Tropes for the musical "Oliver!" include:

  • All Girls Want Bad </span>Insert non-formatted text here<span style="background-color:rgb(242,242,242);">Boys]]: Nancy sings about her love of Bill Sikes, the best thief who's a cold, bullying monster.
  • Affably Evil: Fagin, also Dodger.
  • Artful Dodger: Well of course. In fact even more so than in the book.
  • Broken Bird: Nancy. Her plight is summed up in her song, "As Long as He Needs Me" which explains why she 

stays with Sikes despite his domestic abuse.

Oliver's tangled family history, get left out.

song, "That's Your Funeral."

  • Demoted to Extra: Charley Bates. His role is greatly reduced from the novel. Likely done to put more

emphasis on the Artful Dodger.

Nancy. The thieves and pickpockets under his care also react with horror when Sikes beats Nancy in front of them.

  • Gender Flip: In some adaptations of the stage musical, the Artful Dodger is played by a girl.
  • Heel Face Turn:
    • Nancy is forced by Sikes to lead Oliver into a trap so he can be brought back to Fagin. Later she risks her own

life to save Oliver from Sikes.

cheerfully hammy performance in the 1968 film version.

    • Jack Dawkins, aka the Artful Dodger, is also a "kinder, gentler" version; he steals to survive but bears no

malice. In fact, the only truly evil gang member is Sykes.

 Sykes: What is it?

  • Spared by the Adaptation:
    • Fagin avoids capture and execution in the end.
    • The Artful Dodger avoids arrest and being sent to Australia.
    • Some productions leave Nancy's death ambiguous, implying there's a chance she survived. The film

version leaves no doubt that Sikes killed her.

  • Villain Song: "Pick a Pocket or Two" for Fagin, "My Name" for Sykes. Other characters who have villainous

traits such as the Bumbles and the Sowerberries have their own in "Oliver" and "That's Your Funeral" respectively.

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