Raúl Esparza, Lilli Cooper, More Will Star in OLIVER!
It's a fine life for this cast! The New York City Center Encores! production of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! this spring will star Tony nominees Raul Esparza as Fagin (cue the “I’d Do Anything” thirst memes), Lilli Cooper as Nancy, Brad Oscar as Mr. Bumble, and Mary Testa as Widow Corney, with Tam Mutu as Bill Sikes.
Benjamin Pajak, who last appeared on Broadway in The Music Man, will play Oliver Twist. The ensemble also includes William Thomas Colin, Charity Angel Dawson, Julian Marcus DeGuzman, Zachary Downer, Sam Duncan, William Foon, Ethen Green-Younger, Jeff Kready, Jenny Laroche, Devin Miles Lugo, Morgan Marcell, Lindsay Roberts, Eliseo Roman, Michael Cash Savio, and Jacob Keith Watson.
As previously announced, Oliver! will run May 3–14. It will mark the musical’s first major New York production in nearly 40 years.
The musical features a score and book by Lionel Bart, whose take on Charles Dickens’ classic novel first debuted in 1960. It was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It also won six Oscars, including Best Picture, for the 1968 film adaptation. A short-lived Broadway revival, featuring Patti LuPone as Nancy, played the Mark Hellinger Theatre in 1984.
Oliver! follows a young boy who escapes a horrific London orphanage only to find himself among a circle of pickpockets. Led by the criminal extraordinaire Fagin and his teenage lieutenant, the Artful Dodger, Oliver and the kids work with their associates to scrap by and live life to the fullest. Songs like “I’d Do Anything” and “Oom Pah Pah!” are considered musical theatre canon, with this production welcoming 20 public school students to participate in “Consider Yourself.”
Directed by Encores! Artistic Director Lear deBessonet, Oliver! features scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Sarafina Bush, lighting design by Justin Townsend, sound design by Alex Neumann, and casting by The Telsey Office.
The production also features choreography by Lorin Latarro, music coordination by Kimberlee Wertz, orchestrations by William David Brohn, and music direction by Mary-Mitchell Campbell. Oliver! is presented by special arrangement with Cameron Mackintosh