Arts & Entertainment

Help Everyone Enjoy 'Some More' With MCT's 'Oliver!'

A tavern patron (played by Louise Vechy) is just one of the many local actors involved in the production of "Oliver!" at MCT. Credits: Barb Cross
Nancy and Bill Sikes (played by Alicia Culleton of West Chester and James Corkum of Skippack) prepare for the July 18 opening of the musical "Oliver!" by the Methacton Community Theater. Credits: Barb Cross
Nancy and Bill Sikes, (played by Alicia Culleton of West Chester and James Corkum of Skippack) prepare scenes with Fagin (played by Lansdale resident Steve Montgomery). The musical opens July 18. Credits: Barb Cross
A tableful of tavern patrons (played by the locally-based ensemble) prepares for the MCT production, which will take place at the Perkiomen Valley Middle School East in Collegeville. Credits: Barb Cross

The Methacton Community Theater (MCT) invites the public to attend its next major performance in its summer musical series. They hope residents will “consider yourself at home” and stop by during its opening presentation of “Oliver!” on Friday, July 18.

The shows take place at the Perkiomen Valley Middle School East, in Collegeville.

“The popular show, with book, music, and lyrics by Lionel Bart, is based on the classic Charles Dickens novel ‘Oliver Twist,’” said Barb Cross of the MCT Publicity Committee. “A Tony- and Oscar-award-winning classic, ‘Oliver!’ is the musical retelling of Dickens’ story of a young orphan who is sold by a London workhouse because he asked for more food. Oliver bravely escapes to the streets of London, finding friends, adventure and eventually, a loving home.”

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Cross said that the show is aimed to make its audience feel a part of the action.

“The production will transport you back to Victorian England and the larger than life characters will sing and dance their way into your hearts with iconic songs such as ‘Food Glorious Food,’ ‘Where is Love,’ ‘Consider Yourself,’ ‘Oom Pah Pah,’ and the beautiful haunting ballad, ‘As Long As He Needs Me,’” said Cross.

Many local actors are taking part in the MCT production. The show features Robert Lewis, of Collegeville as Oliver. The Artful Dodger, Oliver’s cunning new friend, is played by Ethan Rapp, also of Collegeville.

Fagin, the villainous pickpocket, is skillfully portrayed by Steve Montgomery, of Lansdale. Alicia Culleton (West Chester) powerfully vocalizes the role of Nancy. The evil Bill Sikes is brought to life by James Corkum (Skippack). The principal cast is rounded out by Lynn Corfield (Quakertown) as the Widow Corney and David Kriebel (Lansdale) as the parish Beadle, Mr. Bumble.

“Oliver!” is under the direction of Teresa Beaucheane (Horsham). Ken Brown (Mont Clare) provides the musical direction, assisted by Janine Shuey (Collegeville). The show’s choreographer is Dee Suprenant (Phoenixville). The show is being produced by Barbara Cross (Collegeville), Ellen Hromada (Audubon) and Kate McShane (Worcester).

The 1830’s London set was designed by John Cross (Collegeville). Lighting design is being provided by Mike Addice (Harleysville), and the sound design is under the direction of Don Otto (Audubon). Rhett Commodaro (New Hope) is the show’s costumer and Harvey Perelman (Huntingdon Valley) is the stage manager.

Evening shows are July 18, 19, 25, and 26 at 7:30 p.m. Matinees on July 19 and 26 at 2 p.m. All shows are performed at Perkiomen Valley Middle School East, located on 100 Kagey Road, Collegeville. The school is handicapped-accessible with an ample parking lot.

Tickets cost $13 (children and senior citizens) and $16 (adults). Tickets are available at the door prior to each performance. Tickets can also be reserved by calling 610-489-6449 or visiting the MCT website here.

In addition to local participants, the area theater company is also giving back to its communities.

“A special project that MCT is sponsoring during the run of ‘Oliver!’ is our ‘Food, Glorious Food’ Drive,” said Cross. “We have partnered with Manna on Main Street in Lansdale for this food drive.”

Guests to the various “Oliver!” shows are asked to make a donation to the food drive.

“We invite our audience to help fill Manna’s food pantry during the often forgotten summer months by bringing a non-perishable food item to each show,” said Cross. “Collection bins will be in the school lobby. Our goal is to fill the bins to overflowing so everyone can ‘Have Some More!’”

More information about the food drive is on the MCT website here.

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