The New York City Center Encores! production of Lionel Bart's Oliver! begins a two-week run at the Manhattan venue May 3. The new staging from Encores! Artistic Director (and 2023 Tony Award nominee) Lear deBessonet is the musical's first full production since the 1984 Broadway revival, and the first major NYC staging since a 2012 one-night-only concert presented by Irish Rep.
Leading the cast are Lilli Cooper as Nancy, Raúl Esparza as Fagin, Julian Lerner as The Artful Dodger, Tam Mutu as Bill Sykes, Brad Oscar as Mr. Bumble, Benjamin Pajak as Oliver Twist, Rashidra Scott as Mrs. Sowerberry, Thom Sesma as Mr. Sowerberry, Michael Siberry as Mr. Brownlow, and Mary Testa as Widow Corney.
The ensemble includes Neo Andre, Angélica Beliard, Michael Cash, William Thomas Colin, Alma Cuervo, Kaitlyn Davidson, Julian Marcus DeGuzman, Zachary Downer, Sam Duncan, William Foon, Ethen Green-Younger, Jeff Kready, Nina LaFarga, Devin Miles Lugo, Morgan Marcell, Dario Natarelli, Adam Roberts, Lindsay Roberts, Eliseo Roman, Tanairi Vazquel, Sir Brock Warren, and Jacob Keith Watson. Performances also include a community youth ensemble performing in "Consider Yourself," comprising Nicolas Alvarado, Binta Bah, Miguel Beltran, Camila Campos, Marcus Chinchilla, Vera Gurpinar, Harvey Jean, Camila Juarez-Espinosa, Prudence Lipkin, Adrian Mayi, Kai Nover, Jace Parker Stephens, Milan Peoples, Pia Ramchandani, Xavier Richey, Nathaniel Segura, Suhani Shinde, Alton Smith, Carmela Valle, and Roally Vijay.
DeBessonet's creative team includes choreographer Lorin Latarro, scenic designer David Rockwell, costume designer Sarafina Bush, lighting designer Justin Townsend, sound designer Alex Neumann, and hair and wig designer Cookie Jordan. Casting is by The Telsey Office's Geoff Josselson and Jimmy Larkin.
Music director Mary-Mitchell Campbell conducts the Encores! Orchestra, playing William David Brohn's orchestrations originally penned for the musical's 1994 West End revival. The performance also features a concert adaptation by Deborah Stein.
Based on the Charles Dickens classic, the musical follows the story of orphan Oliver Twist, who escapes the orphanage to the streets of Victorian London. Outside, he meets Fagin, the Artful Dodger, and a band of child pickpockets. The show's hit songs include “Where Is Love?,” “Food! Glorious Food!,” and “As Long As He Needs Me.”
The 2023 Encores! season opened earlier this season with Dear World starring Donna Murphy, and will conclude with The Light in the Piazza starring Ruthie Ann Miles June 21–25.