Musical Nov. 26-Dec. 12, 2010 Sitnik Theatre of the
CSC Presents the Musical Oliver! This Holiday Season
in the New Lackland Center
Photo L-R: Andy Calderone, Anthony Zas, Carl Wallnau,
Niel Ianniello) Anthony Zas
is Oliver and Carl Wallnau is Fagin in the Centenary Stage Company
of “Oliver” the
musical, through Dec 12 in Hackettstown
Called "the perfect Christmas matinee", the musical Oliver! will herald in the holiday season with performances Nov
26th through Dec 12th in the new Sitnick Theatre of the David and Carol Lackland Center at 715 Grand Ave, on the campus of
Centenary College. Adapted from the classic tale by Charles Dickens, the play tells the tale of the orphan boy, Oliver Twist,
who is swept into a band of pickpockets led by the wily Fagin in 19th century London.
Hailed as a masterpiece, the musical Oliver! displays the talents of composer Lionel Bart at his best. Overflowing with familiar show-stopping musical numbers such as "Consider yourself, Who Will Buy", "Where is love?" and "As Long as He Needs Me," audiences " will whistle the tunes of this heartwarming play as they exit the theatre" as one review stated.
The curtain opens up on a sinister interior of a workhouse, where boys pile in to sing the opening number "Food Glorious Food!" The young Oliver Twist, after eating his small portion of gruel, asks innocently, "Please sir, may I have some more?" Oliver ultimately flees the workhouse run by the heartless Mr. Bumble, traveling to London where he meets the Artful Dodger and is recruited to pick pockets for the incorrigible Fagin. There, Oliver finds a friend in Nancy, neither of them fit for a life of crime.
Director / Choreographer
Broadway veteran Michael Blevins will direct and choreograph the cast of over 50 as the Centenary Stage Company christens the 500-seat Sitnick theater with the sound of tap dancing and high kicks in the first ever musical to be performed in the new space. Blevins, (Broadway's Bring Back Birdie, Little Me, and The Tap Dance Kid) has led CSC's acclaimed Young Performers Workshop (YPW) for over 15 years. The YPW offers conservatory training with an emphasis on musical theatre to young performers ages 8-18 from the Skylands region and beyond. Blevins is also widely known for his portrayal of Mark in Sir Richard Attenborough's film A Chorus Line, and was also featured in the movie Chaplin. He has worked with innumerable noted directors and choreographers during his career, including Bob Fosse, Woody Allen, Vivian Matalon, and Joe Layton.
"Terrific is surely the best word to describe the Centenary Stage Company's production of Lionel Bart's "Oliver"
now on the stage of the new and very comfortable Sitnick Theatre of the Lackland Center in Hackettstown."
"Oliver! is an absolute delight to see and hear."
"We walked to our car following the Saturday night performance singing some of the wonderful songs,
e.g. "As Long As He Needs
Me" and 'Who Will Buy,' as were other car-bound theater-goers. When did you
last do that?"
"...can clearly be enjoyed by all members of the family...fine actors, wonderful hummable music, happy ending
and not a single
"...brought to life beautifully by Broadway and film veteran, Michael Blevins, who not only directed, but
choreographed the large
"In the stand-out "Who Will Buy" production number, we counted 32 adult performers. Possibly, only a theater
as the Centenary Stage Company, home-based in a college community with a highly respected
Theater Department, and with a Young
Performers Workshop program, could possibly mount a musical of
"...orphan boy, Oliver Twist, played impressively by young Anthony Zas"
"Fagin is played to evil perfection, and with a great voice, by the CSC artistic director, Carl Wallnau. His
show-stopping number is "Reviewing the Situation."
"The wonderful theater word 'show-stopper' also belongs to Lea Antolini-Lid as Nancy. She is a fine actress
and singer who delivers the show's most popular, and emotional, song, 'As Long As He Needs Me.' "
"Colleen Wallnau Smith...provides wonderful comedy relief as Widow Corney"
"The supporting cast is also blessed with outstanding voices... Tanya Wheelock as the Rose Seller, Christine
Mase as the Strawberry Seller and Saquan Williams as the Long Song Seller."
"The entire cast is very ably supported by a fine orchestra directed by Gabe Toth."
"Production values are first rate; Joyce Liao designed the lighting, Brian Flynn designed the clever multi-step
set, Julia Sharp designed the costumes."
"In short, when the curtain came down the audience was heard to say the greatest compliment an audience can
give to performers beyond applause... 'Please sir, may I have some more?'" Rick
Busciglio, examiner.com™ New York [Full
"This must be the best theatre bargain in years... Tony winning score...dozens of impressive actors...very comfortable
"...Director/Choreographer Michael Blevins...dipped into the strong acting pool of his Young Performers Workshop."
"Oliver is admirably played by the fully prepared Anthony Zas... natural musical comedy moves...confident
the theatergoers care about the poor orphan..."
"...Carl Wallnau who captures Fagin's faux elegance....while also showing his dark side...but Wallnau makes him a
"Lea Antolini-Lid is a strong Nancy."
"But the best part of the show is seeing the kids do so well." Peter
Filichia, The Star-Ledger [Full Review]
"...none are more unique than the enjoyable Centenary Stage Company production of 'Oliver!'"
"...the huge and talented cast assembled..."
"...wisely chose Blevins to direct this lively musical..."
"...played by Wallnau's wife, the always welcome Broadway veteran
Colleen Smith Wallnau."
"...this one-of-a-kind ensemble nearly overwhelms the audience with enthusiasm and talent. In particular, the big dance numbers
are especially well-done on the vast Sitnick stage, which for the first time makes it possible for Centenary to mount a production
of this magnitude."
"Even the children are on top of the tricky choreography, no doubt thanks to Blevins' experience both with the discipline
and his young charges."
"[Zas as Oliver]... hit his marks and showed off a pleasing singing voice with his big number, "Where is Love.''
"Among the pros, Wallnau clearly stood out as a devilish Fagin... [singing] "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two'' into
an early highlight."
"Lea Antolini-Lid, also shines brightly as Nancy...talented performer in a very grown-up role, which also gives her a chance
to show off a truly beautiful singing voice."
"Osborn Focht...is another standout as Sikes."
"Justin Boccitto... makes a triumphant return to Centenary as the grown-up pickpocket famously known as The Artful Dodger...cheery,
confident manner are backed up by limber legs and strong comic timing."
"With so many moving parts, there's not enough space to praise the all of the nearly 50 cast members individually, so let's
conclude with one more selling point: value... an affordable and special family treat."
"The downside is that "Oliver!'' closes on Dec. 12..." William
Westhoven, DailyRecord.com [Full Review]
Photo L-R: Dave Schffler, Colleen Smith Wallnau
[not facing, on bench left] Daniel Marion, Cydney Black, Skye
Kenyon, Nick Sica,
[facing camera, bench right] Jacob Crisafull, Jenna Black, Erin Martire.)
Mr. Bumble and Widow
Corney send the Orphans to bed in the Centenary Stage Company production of Oliver! the musical, through
Dec 12 in Hackettstown.
Oliver! - New Photo Gallery
Select any image for closer view
and arrow through larger images
The Cast The cast will feature the talents of many professional actors including:
Carl Wallnau, Artistic director of CSC as "Fagin" (Broadway:
Titanic, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival)
Justin Boscitto (director choreographer Circle
in the Square NYC)
Osborne Focht (Broadway: Capeman, CSC, Tartuffe and Rounding Third)
Colleen Wallnau Smith (Broadway: Crazy for You)
Dave Scheffler (Pennsylvania Shakespeare)
Stephen Davis (Assistant Professor of Theater Centenary)
A Lid (Assistant Professor of Theater, Centenary) and
Anthony Zas (Hackettstown) as Oliver (YPW student)
In this inaugural year of the world-class performing arts facility now in Hackettstown - the David and Carol Lackland Center - the production of Oliver!" celebrates all-things-theatrical in the community and region, and includes an plethora of talented performers from the region, from the CSC YPW program, and from the Centenary College Theater Department.
The cast also includes: Professional / Regional Actors:
Steven Bidwell (NYC)
Christine De Frece (NYC)
Shirley Bravo (Hackettstown)
Maria Brodeur (Rockaway)
James Nester (Bethlehem)
Christine Mase (Sparta)
Leon Hill (New Brunswick)
Amanda Maxfield (Tewksbury)
Nick Ardito (Hackettstown)
Christen Demintz (Hackettstown)
Young Performers Workshop Performers: Oliver! is a Centenary Stage Company production that also features many of our talented YPW performers.
Oliver! runs Nov. 26 – Dec. 12 with shows Thurs. evenings at 7:30pm (Family Night-with
two-for-one tickets available at the door on the night of the performance), Fri. and Sat. nights at 8pm and Sundays at
2:30pm, with additional weekday matinees on Fri., Nov. 26 (PREVIEW), Wed., Dec. 1 and Wed. Dec. 8 at 2:30pm, as well
as a school performance on Tues. Dec. 7 / 10 am for regional students.
The Centenary Stage Company has found its new home with construction the Carol and David Lackland Center (located at 715 Grand
Ave, Hackettstown), completed in August, 2010. With a 22,000-square-foot performance space, the facility is the most sophisticated
performing arts venues in northwest New Jersey. The center includes a new state-of-the-art 500-seat theatre (Sitnik Theater),
a black box theater (The Edith Bolte Kutz ’42 Theater), a dance studio, scene shop, a costume shop, green room and dressing
rooms. In addition to housing the theatre, the 68K square foot Lackland Center is home to a variety of cultural activity, and
including WNTI, the College's listener-supported public radio station, CCTV, Centenary's Comcast-licensed television studio,
and gallery space for visual artists.
Named in honor of Carol Burgess Lackland, A Centenary graduate (Class of 1954), and her husband, David A. Lackland, a Centenary
College Trustee, The David and Carol Lackland Center, has been designed to enrich student life and bring new cultural opportunities
to northwest New Jersey. ...more(including photos, progress reports, and 'Tour Lackland with Carl')
Lackland Center Seating
Sitnik Lower Level Seating Seats assigned on a best available basis.
Seating Seats assigned on a best available basis.
The Edith Bolte Kutz ’42 Theater
Open Seating as the theatre configuration will
change depending on the event.
Join us for a scrumptious Sunday Brunch, served every Sunday in the Lackland Dining
Hall, from 11 AM – 3 PM. Call the box office for details.
Tickets for "Oliver" range in price from $20-25, with discounts for seniors and students, and can be purchased through
the Centenary Stage Company Box Office in the new David and Carol Lackland Center at 715 Grand Ave, Hackettstown, by phone
at 908-979-0900, and through our Secure
Online Ticketing System. See our Directions page for the mailing address or use
our Print Order Form to order.
A Buffet Matinee series is available for groups of 20 or more, priced at $37.50 for performance and luncheon.
CSC also partners
with Knight Riders Limousine Service to provide transportation options for patrons.
Subscription Value Still Available (Review the Full Schedule)
Centenary Stage Company is often referred to as"the best deal in the state."
Though our season has already started, this event can still be purchased as a part of a discounted season subscription
purchase. Centenary Stage Company offers several subscription plans for its season with the mission of making arts affordable
for all. The still available subscription is:
Series B Subscription, priced at $100, allows patrons to purchase a season subscription for any SIX
of the remaining subscription events in the CSC season.
Individual Tickets Individual Tickets are:
$25.00 for adults, $22.50 for
seniors/students and $15.00 for children under 12
$22.50 for adults, $20.00 for seniors/students and $15.00 for
children under 12
Other Evening Performances:
$22.50 for adults, $20.00 for seniors/students and $15.00 for
children under 12
Matinee showings (except Preview)
$20.00 for adults and seniors/students, $15.00 for
children under 12 ($20.00 at the door)
Friday Preview Matinees
$17.50 for adults and seniors/students, $15.00 for
children under 12 ($17.50 at the door)
2010-11 Fri. Preview Matinee Dates: Oct 1, Nov. 5, Nov. 26, Feb. 18, April 1
Thursday (2 for 1 at the door the day of the show only):
Concert / Dance Events
New Jersey Ballet; Chamber Orchestra Kremlin
$25.00 for adults ($30.00 at the door)
$22.50 for seniors/students
($25.00 at the door)
$15.00 for children under 12
($20.00 at the door)
$22.50 for adults ($25.00 at the door)
$20.00 for seniors/students
($22.50 at the door)
$15.00 for children under 12
($20.00 at the door)
The at-the-door ticket prices:
New Jersey Ballet; Chamber Orchestra Kremlin: $30.00
/ $25.00 / $20.00
All Other: $25.00 / $22.50 / $20.00