Entering the Grove Theater in Upland is at times like taking a
trip back in time. With their current rendition of
“Oliver,” a musical version of Charles Dickens’
“Oliver Twist,” one can’t help but be drawn into
the world of days gone by.
The play, produced by Sherry Kinison and directed by Calvin
Remsberg, tells the story of Oliver Twist, a young boy who has
spent the last nine years of his life living in a workhouse or
One day the youth makes a request for more food and is subsequently
sold to a shop owner. He runs away and spends the rest of the play
trying to find a place where he belongs.
In the midst of his search he is befriended by a band of
pickpockets and underworld characters. The person to keep an eye
out for within this production was Angeline Carr who depicted the
role of Nancy, a streetwalker.
Carr’s acting was something to see, with her ability to take
over the stage the moment she spoke.
Her performance of “As Long as He Needs Me” was
beautiful to hear and illustrated the history of the physical abuse
Jeffry Lewis’ portrayal of Fagin, the elderly pickpocket who
attempts to get as many lost youths to work for him as possible,
His side-splitting rendition of “Reviewing the
Situation” was worth the price of admission.
During the song Fagin considers whether he should try to live a
proper life or if he should simply remain a criminal.
The performance had the entire audience laughing and tapping their
The highlight of the song is when he sang, “Who will change
the scenery?” and suddenly a group of stagehands appear
shifting the set for the next scene.
One of the most interesting parts of this play was the cast’s
ability to portray multiple roles. A band of young boys portrayed
several different parts throughout the production.
Also, the director’s ability to make the small stage change
to suit any location from a bar in London, a rich man’s home,
the pickpockets’ hideout and even London Bridge showed that
the cast and crew knew all the tricks of the trade.
Overall the production was something to see and a great reminder
that one need not travel all the way to Los Angeles to see a good
Some of the best productions are available right in your own
“Oliver” runs through Oct. 24 and tickets are still
available. For more information call (909) 920-4343.