Tosa West High School Students Bring Hit Musical "Oliver!" to Local Stage, Hold Food Drive to Benefit Tosa Cares Food Pantry

Oct. 30, 2009

A cast and crew of more than 70 Wauwatosa West High and Whitman Middle School students will perform the Broadway musical hit, "Oliver!," over two weekends in November at Wauwatosa West High School, 11400 W. Center St. The cast is also holding an important food drive to benefit those who have hit hard times over the last year and asking all patrons to consider bringing at least one if not more nonperishable food items to be donated to the Tosa Cares Food Pantry.


"Oliver!" began almost 50 years ago and was the first musical adaptation of a Charles Dickens work to become a stage hit and one of the reasons why it first attracted so much attention when first performed in London's West End in 1960. Starting in 1963, the musical began a lengthy run on Broadway and ever since, has enjoyed numerous tours and revivals. The play was made into a musical film in 1968. Earlier this year, a new London production company was formed to once again, bring "Oliver!" to stages across the globe and mark 50 years of performances of the well-loved musical. Familiar songs like "Food, Glorious Food," and "Oom Pa Pa," "Consider Yourself," and the heartfelt piece sung by Oliver as he dreams of one day reuniting with his mother - "Where is Love" and many more will all be performed as part of the Wauwatosa West High production.


The story line focuses on young Oliver, who without parents to look after him, is sent to a workhouse orphanage run by a greedy caretaker and his wife, where Oliver works from dawn to dusk alongside other half-starved orphan boys - simply for a bowl of mush, or gruel, to fill their hungry tummies. After Oliver is threatened by the caretakers for daring to ask for more gruel in his small bowl, the young innocent runs away. On the streets of London, he hooks up with the Artful Dodger who introduces him to Fagin, a criminal with a bit of a heart, who is in the business of teaching boys how to pick pockets.


Oliver learns the tricks of the trades and makes new friends. Laughs and song ensue, but in the end, Oliver, the devious Fagin and the cast learn some valuable life lessons.


"We are very excited to bring this musical to life on the Wauwatosa West stage," said Katie Shorer, theater director for the play. "The cast and crew have been putting in long hours to pull together a fantastic performance for the community. We hope everyone can come - bring your neighbors, family, co-workers - and settle in for what promises to be a great show."


Help cast restock the shelves of local food pantry:

The cast is asking that patrons consider bringing to each performance a donation of healthy nonperishable items to help the cast restock the shelves of the Tosa Cares Food Pantry, which helps area residents in times of need to put food on the table for their families due to job loss, sickness, illness or other reasons.


"Oliver!" performance times are at 7 p.m. on Fridays, Nov. 6 and 13, and Saturdays, Nov. 7 and 14. A 2 p.m. matinee performance is scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 8. The box office opens 30 minutes prior to each performance for onsite ticket sales. Early ticket purchases are recommended for reserved seating. Tickets are $5 each for senior citizens and students and $12 for adults. Credit card ticket purchases can be made by calling 414-773-3219 during weekday school hours. Tickets can also be purchased at the school activity office during school hours.




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