|"Oliver!" Finds a Home in Huntsville|
It is said that you should never be in a show with dogs or children. There are no dogs in this Huntsville Community Production of the stage play Oliver!, but the 15 orphans in the cast manage to steal the show. After seven weeks of rehearsal, Director Peter-John (PJ) Slighting, Music Director Barry Petty, and Choreographer Marianne Windham have these 10 to 13-year old "orphans" singing and dancing like pros.
I don't remember from my youth that boys were this flexible or talented. The orphans have six dance number in this production. Ms. Windham has created some unique steps to highlight the boys' abilities and skills.
Patton Chandler, a 4th grader from Blossomwood School makes his debut as the title character. Other dirty, homeless, pickpocketing boys include Noah Andrews and Matthew Bruening from Monrovia Middle School, and Miles Babin of Whitesburg Middle School, Bobby Becher, Russell Stephens and Matthew Meigs from Academy for Academics and Arts,
John Laurence Burger and John Mark Russell from Jones Valley School, John Michael Chappell from Huntsville Middle School, Adam Hogan whose a member of Academy Stars and Clowns, Jere Hunt, a freshman at Grissom High School, Max Mandel of Randolph School, Matthew Russell, a freshman at Lee High School, and Carter Simpson, last seen in The Wizard of Oz.
I was amazed at the dialogue. No where will you find a Southern accent in this play, yet the British accent is not overdone or overwhelming. The children and other actors have made their speech appear natural and easy.