“Oliver! The Musical” returns to Brownwood’s Lyric Theatre for its second and final weekend of performances this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The musical follows young Oliver Twist, who is expelled from his 19th-century orphanage when he requests more food. Twist makes his way to London and takes up with a gang of petty thieves, but eventually discovers what a real family is all about.
Director Nancy Jo Humfeld said the opening weekend of “Oliver!” was a big success. “It has been such an amazing response from our audiences,” Humfeld said. “I truly believe this is one of the best ensembles we’ve ever had.”
The ensemble is led, of course, by young Oliver himself, played by Early Middle School eighth-grader Carson Hill. Hill said it was “very exciting” to finally open the musical last weekend. “This is probably my favorite show I’ve done,” he said.
Hill has been acting since 2011. “I did the Lyric kids workshop that year,” he said, “and then in late 2011 I was in an Early High School show.” Hill has since appeared as Tiny Tim in Early High’s production of “Scrooge” and various other plays.
“I think I really just like the feel of opening night, or just being on stage,” Hill said. “There’s no time to think—you just do.”
Oliver, he said, is his favorite part so far. “I get to do a lot of stage combat, which is very new to me,” he said. Hill plans to continue with theater when he enters high school.
He encouraged the community to come see “Oliver!” this weekend. “It has so many wonderful talents,” he said. “I think it was really cool that so many of them wanted to be part of this.”
Humfeld said Hill has truly excelled with his first major role. “He is amazing,” Humfeld said. “He’s such a talented young man, and very bright. He’s an absolute delight.
“They drag him all over that stage and toss him around, and he’s just all in for whatever. He sings beautifully and has lots of great expression. He’s been fantastic to work with, and he’s doing great work.”
“Oliver!” will perform on Friday at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the box office or online at www.brownwoodlyrictheatre.com.