Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Oliver" & "A Christmas Carol"

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide


"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2008 by Beverly Creasey

A Joyous Dickens’ Christmas

Reviewed by Beverly Creasey

Just so we’ll be reminded, as Dickens reminds us in all his novels, of those less fortunate, Fiddlehead Theatre offers OLIVER, the Lionel Bart version, for its holiday fare (through Dec. 22nd). Director Stacey Stephens’ gorgeous production stars John Davin in a tour de force performance as Fagin, the master thief. Davin gives him a humanity behind the song and dance… and the songs and dance is perfection!

Jeffrey Sewell is the sweetest Oliver you’ll ever see…or hear: His vocal range is thrilling for someone so young. If you haven’t been to Fiddlehead, you’ll discover first rate theater that’s worth the trip.

Rick Lombardo’s ingenious adaptation of Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL with Paul Farwell as Scrooge has become a tradition at New Repertory Theatre---a heart warming treat I look forward to as soon as the temperature drops. Farwell is the most delightful of Scrooges, reminiscent of Alastair Sim in the old black and white movie.

Each year Lombardo alters the recipe just a pinch, adding even more laughter this time out to spice up the story. If you haven’t been, you must add it to your Christmas list (only playing through Dec. 28th). The joy is contagious, the redemption empowering and the music astonishing---because almost everyone plays an instrument, from piccolo to penny whistle, and the cast manufacture the formidable sound effects before your eyes.

Peter Haydu is a frightening Marley and later on, an attentive husband and father. Brooke Hardman is a lovely ghost and a loving wife. Dawn Tucker and Peter Davenport are the gentlest of Cratchits…everyone adds charm and good cheer to this remarkable Christmas gift.

"Oliver!" (12 - 21 December)
"Fiddler on The Roof" (17 - 26 October)
109 Central Street, NORWOOD MA

"A Christmas Carol" (14 - 28 December)
321 Arsenal Street, WATERTOWN MA
1 (617)923-8487

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide