Ryan Chartrand

“Oliver!,” the musical version of Charles Dickens’ classic novel “Oliver Twist,” is set to kick off the Broadway’s Best Series at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center Friday.

“Oliver!” is the heartwarming tale of an of an orphan forced to live on meager rations, enduring difficult living situations. Determined to find a better life, young Oliver Twist runs away from the abusive orphanage and finds himself mixed up with pickpockets in 19th-century London.

The musical adaptation, first written by Lionel Bart in 1960, attracted large audiences and gained much success, making it a must-see beloved family musical today.

The people who wrote the music for the show did a wonderful job, considering that it is always a risky turning a play into a musical, said Cal Poly Arts interim director Peter Wilt.

“By the time it got to Broadway it was a big hit,” Wilt said. “I think it is a great family musical, and I was really glad we were able to open the season with it, because it’s kind of an uplifting type of thing. Poor Oliver has his periods where life isn’t too great for him, but in the end everything works out nicely.”

Wilt said the musical will appeal to Cal Poly students because it captures life as a child, and anyone will be able to relate to Oliver’s trials and tribulations.

“Hopefully (students) will be able to see how rough some people did have it as a kid, and they can be thankful they are here at Cal Poly – they aren’t like Oliver,” Wilt said with a laugh.

The musical is full of catchy and enthralling songs that the audience will be sure to enjoy, Wilt said. Some of the musical’s famous songs include “Food, Glorious Food” and “You’ve got to pick-a-pocket or two.”

“Oliver!” will come to the PAC Sept. 26 at 7 p.m., since show times this year will be one hour earlier. Wilt said that two discounts will be offered including one for faculty and staff, as well as a student rush discount that will be available at 6 p.m. the night of the show.

The PAC has four shows in its Broadway series this year and offers discounts for getting tickets to all of them. Visit pacslo.org for more information.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *