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‘Oliver!’ answers the question, ‘Where is Love?’

Opening up the production
These 13 area youngsters will open the Tyrone Community Players production of “Oliver!” with a rousing rendition of Lionel Bart’s “Food, Glorious Food”. “Oliver!” will be presented in the auditorium of the Tyrone Area High School on Saturday and Sunday, June 21 and 22. From left, row one: Abby Mills, Shannon Gearhart and Mary Lowry. Row two: Adam Zook, Payton Wagner, Amy Long, Grace Wilson and Hailey Durbin. Row three: Haley Wagner, Molly Harris, Jonathan Clifton, Erin McKenna and Kara Mills. (Courtesy photo)

The Tyrone Community Players’ production of Lionel Bart’s classic musical, “Oliver!”, is all about love.
Set on the dark and dangerous streets of mid-19th century London, “Oliver!” tells the tale of a young orphan boy’s quest for love, acceptance and family.
Based on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, “Oliver!” uses lovely, catchy music, witty dialogue and well-developed characters to bring home to all of us the importance of treasuring family and friends.
Involving 60 area residents on stage, “Oliver!” is the largest performing cast in the TCP’s history. Comprised, in part, by 43 area youngsters portraying orphans, pickpockets, London residents and, of course, Oliver and the Artful Dodger, the cast of adult and young thespians are working together diligently to welcome each audience member to London, and into the hopes and dreams of young Oliver.
This three-time Tony winning musical, Lionel Bart’s masterpiece, is sprinkled with memorable musical numbers such as “Where Is Love”, “As Long As He Needs Me”, “Food, Glorious Food” and “I Shall Scream” and sparked with lively dance numbers, including the raucous “Oom-Pah-Pah”.
The title character, Oliver, is being played by Eli Wood of Hollidaysburg. Eli, a veteran with the TCP, was last seen on stage as Mogli in “The Jungle Book” and the boy, JoJo in “Seussical, The Musical”.
Oliver begins his journey with in a workhouse, an orphanage for boys under the guidance of Mr. Bumble (Ralph Harris) and his assistant, the Widow Corney (Kathy Fink). The 13 other orphans housed in this workhouse look to Oliver for his spirit as he attempts to increase their food allotment as he bravely utters the now famous line to Mr. Bumble, “I would like more, please!”.
These five words begin an adventure for young Oliver which leads him to be sold to a funeral director and his wife (Paul Mills and Betsy Beck), onto the London streets where he meets a unique character and friend, The Artful Dodger (Jared Wood), into the “home” of Fagin (Steven C. Helsel) and his academy for young pickpockets and finally to find the thing he has been searching for his entire life.
Filled with energetic and poignant performances by Darcy Wilson as Nancy, Bill Markley as the villain, Bill Sykes, Mary Ann Kurtz, Kate Coltabaugh, Ron Hildebrand, Derik Cruiz, Joel Zeiker and many others, “Oliver!” will fill your ears, your mind and your heart.
The Tyrone Community Players production of Lionel Bart’s “Oliver!” will be presented in the auditorium of the Tyrone Area High School on Saturday and Sunday, June 21 and 22. Reservations can be made by phoning the ArtsLine at 684-ART2 (2782).
Curtain times for this production are 8 p.m. on Saturday, the 21st and 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 22.