Jeff Smith 12:01 p.m., March 29
Charles Dickens's novel with a twist. Young Oliver roams Victorian England with a penchant for kink. As does everyone he meets in the London underworld, including the Artful Dodger in black leather, and long, auburn-haired Fagin, a gender-bending dominatrix. The world premiere musical - books and lyrics, Gila Sand, music by Paul Leschen and Sand - now at Diversionary has catchy songs (Fagin's "I Always Come Out On Top" and "Clothing Makes the Man" among them) and funny moments (as when Lady Downlow, played by Jackie Cuccaro, reveals her shoe fetish with epiphanic glee), but also a predictable sameness. Director James Vasquez relieves an essentially one-note show with his flair for theatricality. Jacob Caltrider's not-so-innocent Twist, Tom Zohar's surprisingly vulnerable Dodger, and Tony Houck's put-upon Charlie Bates enliven scenes, as does David McBean's regal, controlling Fagin (in seemingly knee-high black heels). McBean's asides are worth the price of admission.
Worth a try
When: Ongoing until Sunday, August 9, 2009
- Sundays, 2pm & 7pm
- Thursdays, 7:30pm
- Fridays, 8pm
- Saturdays, 8pm