The musical, which opens on Sept. 23 and runs for three consecutive weekends, includes 35 local cast members.
With 35 cast members, director Les Ober had quite a challenge making the iconic musical, "Oliver!" fit onto the Flagler Playhouse stage.
But the veteran, who has directed shows for 54 years, has had previous experience with "Oliver!", directing the show twice before and designing the set for two other productions in Connecticut.
With the help of cast and crew, Ober has been up to the task, directing a show with 150 light cues (number of times the lights change on stage), creating a water effect under the London Bridge with lights borrowed from the Flagler Auditorium and having just one blackout in the entire show.
"It's an epic-proportion of a show to do," Ober said. "We tried to create the illusion of 1830s London."
"Oliver!" opens on Sept 23 and runs for three consecutive weekends at the Flagler Playhouse.
Choreographer and costume designer Terri Williams, who spent a lot of time honing the large dance numbers, also created the authentic look of Charles Dickens' classic story of an orphan boy raised in a workhouse in Victorian England.
The musical — with book, music and lyrics written by Lionel Bart — was first performed in London in 1960. The film version won six Academy Awards in 1968, including Best Picture.
"It's an epic-proportion of a show to do. We tried to create the illusion of 1830s London."
— LES OBER, director of "Oliver!"
The large cast includes 14 or 15 "young people," Ober said, including Sean Balseiro, a high school freshman, who plays Oliver Twist. Savanna Dacosta, 19, who plays the tragic character of Nancy, is not much older than Balseiro.
"It's cool to have such a maternal role with Sean," Dacosta said. "I've known him for years through theater groups and dance companies. We were in the same circles."
Dacosta graduated from Flagler Palm Coast High School in 2021. She's returning to the Flagler Playhouse stage where she performed in her first musical, "Annie Jr." at age 10.
Several family members are part of the "Oliver!" cast. Balseiro's mother, Danielle, is in the ensemble. Husband and wife Greg and Mary Beth Liefer play husband and wife Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry. Amanda Lopez plays Charlotte and the rose seller, and her mother, Sonia, is a member of the ensemble.
Jens Olvia, the choral director at Matanzas High School, is directing the music. The song, "Who will Buy" is staged like an opera, Ober said.