Best Oliver! I've seen in years.The kid playing Oliver is flat out fantastic. Sikes is scary. The girl playing his girlfriend is excellent (but when did Lakewood start having company members?).The set is gorgeous. The choreography is perfectly organic, but also fun to watch. It's a great show.But someone really needs to convince Lakewood that this sort of show needs an actual dialect coach. The accents are really out of whack and totally inconsistant. The actors seem to be doing their best - but seriously - there are some very talented dialect coaches in Portland and they work for reasonable rates. (Mary Mac, of course, but there are others, too....) With the sort of budgets that Lakewood works with - why can't they put some consideration into dialects?And don't get me started on the Stage Combat. Calling John Armour!
Sadly, quite possibly the worst thing I've seen in years of attending Lakewood shows. Exceptions: Marisa Neitling, who seems poised to be one of the next big things in Portland musical theater, and the gorgeous sets. Everything else, including Jay (which really surprised me), was listless and disorganized. Without a doubt the most ragged playing from an "orchestra" I have ever heard anywhere in Portland. Pick up rehearsals are in order, IMHO.
I wonder if Lakewood's entire season is going to be a roller coaster. First the mostly excellent Producers and now this shambles. How can you screw up Oliver? Missed cues, really uneven performances (though I guess we should cut some slack for the kids), horrible sounding band. It was pretty bad, that's all I can say. I didn't even think the set was that cool lol
Sikes was scary - I liked him. But as adorable and well performed as she is the sweet young thing playing Nancy is not who I wanted to see. Her eyes just dont know enough about life to portray the grit that I thought should be seen. What a terrific performance by her, despite the poor casting choice. I agree, missed cues and unbelievable dialects. All in all a disappointment, I love this show. Come on Lakewood!
I can't decide if this is Lakewood's worst show since Bye, Bye Birdie or the last time they did Oliver!yeah cute kids but come on the ticket price is far too high for this sub-par grade school hodge-podgeI want my money backTevix
I agree with alot of the previous critiques: the band was sloppy, many cues were missed, the dialects were jumbled and the acting was terrible. But I do believe that Lakewood Theatre made a really bold choice with the sets and lights. It was something I've seen in other theatres around the Portland area, but not at Lakewood. And compared with the "Producers" and "Into the Woods" it really was a visual spectacle. There was some real thought put into it, rather than just doing the obvious or the expected. I was delighted by those parts of the show. But unfortunately, beautiful sets and lights can't save a bad show . . . and this really was a bad show.
Hmmm. I found the show delightful from the opening number! The kids I thought were fantastic and with Sikes, Nancy and Fagin they carried the show wonderfully! The scenes with the couple before and after they get married were also very funny. "Consider Yourself" was so much fun to watch and the boy playing Oliver has an amazing voice. I don't know what show you guys saw but I was thoroughly entertained!
We had a wonderful evening and thought Oliver was delightful and creative. The voices were all strong and the sets gorgeous. The gal playing Nancy had a wonderful performance and Fagan delighted the audience. It was a terrific show from start to finish.
The performer playing Nancy has a bundle of talent wrapped in a tiny package. Her voice is flawless and her acting engaging. Fagan brought the show to a new level. His was a character you loved to hate and nearly hated to love. Go see it!
Absolutely appalling from start to finish. I have to wonder at people who love the show but don't know who the actors are (or at least can't look in the program). This is the first time I've ever seen Jay Randall Horenstein floundering--didn't he get adequate direction? As noted, Marisa sings beautifully but she's simply not right for the part of Nancy. The kids are too self-aware to be effective, though several sing well. I say "a shambles" because as an audience member I want to be completely swept up in the story, not thinking about how no two accents are the same (or even in the same ballpark), how unbelievably bad the orchestra sounds (really a new low for Portland theater, IMHO), or why Jim Crino decided to "tart up" (can't think of a better term) various elements (like Food, Glorious Food). You'd think after the mammoth Producers pulling off something as "basic" as this would be a given. Not.
I saw Oliver! last night and have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the rest of the audience seemed to enjoy it too. Standing ovations for Jay(Fagin), Marissa(Nancy) and Shea(Oliver). It was the best Oliver! production I've seen. The set and lighting were superb! The orchestra was the best sounding orchestra I've heard in a long time at Lakewood, in tune and not overbalanced. Especially the violin during "Reviewing the Situation". What a virtuoso! Voices were strong and choreography looked good.I agree the dialects are not consistent which is annoying. But, all in all a very enjoyable show! Go see it!
I was there last night, too. Judging a show in Portland by a standing ovation is pointless as far as I'm concerned--I have never (and I mean never) been to a Portland show that has not gotten a standing ovation. I'm not as down on this show as some here seem to be but I do think it was pretty poor overall. It may actually just be a case of an older show that maybe appeals to an older crowd, but all the younger people in the audience last night seemed bored to tears while the older folks seemed to at least be having a decent time. I play clarinet so maybe am more aware of stuff like this, but there were intonation problems all over the map last night with this band and just some flat out wrong notes with the piano on several occasions.
I'm a (fairly) young person, and I liked it.And you've NEVER been to a Portland show that didn't get a standing Ovation? REALLY? NEVER?I'd say less than 1/4 of the shows I've seen in Portland have gotten standing ovations.We must not travel in the same circles.
I think the bottom line is (and I absolutely mean no offense by this), for the basic undemanding audience member, Oliver! is OK. For those of us who work in theater, it has some glaring problems.
I guess some of us who work in theater can still enjoy a show despite some "problems."
I agree 100% with the comment above re: the casual theatre-goer vs. those of us in the business. I had the unfortunate situation of juxtaposing seeing Oliver and then shortly after seeing Ragtime. At the risk of starting up the old arguments about "community theater", there was never a more clear example of amateur vs. professional. AND, due to rush tix at PCS, I paid considerably LESS money for my tix for a phenomenal night of theater at Ragtime.
Oh, cause we in the theater world have a corner on what is good and professional and quality, right?We know better.Bupkis. The show is for the AUDIENCE, not for anyone else. And if the audience enjoys the show, its a success.And to call Lakewood community theater is just silly - they pay their actors, better than most theaters around PDX, last year they won a drammy, for Pete's sake. They can be hit and miss, but so can PCS. And they have a fraction of the budget.I just...wow. That's all I can say.
I think I qualify as a casual theater goer and I was really disappointed. Yes it was pretty to look at and some of the singers were good but where was the drama? I agree with the above posters about the bad band--I can barely carry a tune in a basket but even I could tell how "off" they were.
One thing this production isn't lacking is drama. In a musical with great tunes and practically no book to string them together, the cast did a commendable job of breathing life into their characters. The interplay between Oliver, Fagan, Sikes and Nancy I found most effective. I could read each characters agenda as they worked off of each other. After reading the directors comments, I think I understand that he was going forperformances keeping with the book. I don't know if this was the best rout to take with a musical, but I found it brave and refreshing. What could have been broad over the top performances, came across as honest ones to me. The show was not without it's problems, but I enjoyed myself immensely and would encourage others who love "OLIVER!" to attend this production. I wonder if their working with two orchestras? Because the night I attended they sounded sweet.
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