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Community and Seniors Together (C.A.S.T.) presents:

The musical Adventures of Oliver Twist

April 12, 2009
By Serra Muscatello

NEW ULM - Community and Seniors Together (C.A.S.T.) will present audiences with its Spring Follies show called "The Musical Adventures of Oliver Twist."

Performances will be given at 7 p.m., Friday, April 17, 7 p.m., Saturday, April 18 and 2 p.m., Sunday, April 19 at the New Ulm Community Center, 600 N. German St.

The show is an adaptation of the classic novel written by Charles Dickens. It features a cast of about 20 characters - from the Artful Dodger, Fagin and menacing Bill Sikes to the kind-hearted Nancy and, of course, Oliver.

Article Photos

Photos by Steve Muscatello

Oliver, played by Jashua Menzel (center), begs for more food. Also Pictured from left are Annette Reker as Mrs. Corney, Gene Brand as Mr. Bumble,workhouse children played by Elizabeth Menzel, Jacob Todd and Emma Maudal along with Evie Domeier as Old Sally.

"Our cast is as varied as are the characters who populate this Dickens' classic," said the play's director Mike Stark, "This truly is a 'community' acting troupe. From grade school through those retired, our actors bring to this stage all the hopes and dreams of entertaining the audience that have inspired and driven actors ... forever. And through the process, they have formed a 'family,' eternally connected - simply by their participation in this performance."

The play was written by Joellen Bland and Scott DeTurk. It features an original score with songs like, "What's Yours is Mine" and "A Family of Your Own," written by renowned composer DeTurk.

The tale tells the story of the hero as he becomes entangled in a scenario of mystery, thievery and vengeance. When Oliver's true identity is finally discovered, he finds a home filled with bliss with his benefactor, Mr. Brownlow.

Fact Box

If you go...

What: CAST Spring Follies Show "The Musical Adventures of Oliver Twist"

When: 7 p.m. Friday, April 17, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 18 and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 19

Where: New Ulm Community Center, 600 N. German St.

Tickets ($6 advance or $7 at the door) are available at Cashwise Foods, HyVee, New Ulm Chamber of Commerce and the CAST office.

Auditions for the play were held the last part of January. The musical rehearsals began in February, said Stark.

The cast rehearses three days per week and additional rehearsals are scheduled as the show nears the opening date, Stark said.

"They've put a lot of time, energy and dedication into this show," said Stark.

Doing this particular play was a 'natural' choice for C.A.S.T. to do, Stark said.

"We had the talent in town to do it," said Stark, "All the roles were filled after the two days of auditions. I constantly marvel at the talent we have."

Stark has directed numerous C.A.S.T. productions, but this is the first time he has directed children.

"They're (children) so eager and they take direction well," said Stark, "The first ones to learn their music were the youngsters. They've given 100 percent every day. It's fun watching them."

The play's stage crew has been excellent and instrumental to pulling this whole production together, noted Stark.

"We invite the audience to take part in the Musical Adventures of Oliver Twist," said Stark, "It's an entire family show - rated fun."



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