Off-Broadway's acclaimed Irish Repertory Theatre presents its 2012 Annual Benefit Gala, a concert performance on Broadway of Lionel Bart's OLIVER! – a glorious, Tony Award-winning musical adaptation of the classic Dickens tale of 1850's London in the time of the Industrial Revolution – on Monday, June 11 at The Shubert Theatre (225 West 44th Street) in Manhattan. Charlotte Moore, who directed last year's concert staging of CAMELOT on Broadway and the Irish Repertory's recent revival of Brian Friel's DANCING AT LUGHNASA, will direct.
In OLIVER!, an innocent orphan boy escapes the cruel workhouse and joins a gang of roving pickpocket street urchins who report to the cunning master pickpocket himself, the wily Fagin, who rules the filthy streets under London Bridge with a slippery hand. Nancy, the beautiful graduate of Fagin's "Academy," and her lover, Bill Sykes, an iconic villain in his prime, fight over the boy, with awful consequences.
The ingenious and moving score includes such favorites as "Food, Glorious Food," "As Long As He Needs Me," "Consider Yourself at Home," and "I'd Do Anything for You."
Brian Stokes Mitchell, a Tony Award-winner for KISS ME, KATE and recent guest star on "Glee," is set to portray Fagin. James Barbour, who starred on Broadway in A TALE OF TWO CITIES, and Tony-nominee Melissa Errico (AMOUR), who appeared at the Irish Repertory Theatre in its revival of CANDIDA, respectively portray Bill Sykes and Nancy.
Joining the ensemble is Philadelphia's Keystone State Boychoir, recognized as one of the finest community-based boychoir programs in the world. Under the direction of Music Director Joseph P. Fitzmartin and Associate Music Director Steven M. Fisher, Keystone State Boychoir consists of more than 160 young men between the ages of eight and eighteen, and is the only choir to have sung on every continent, including Antarctica.
Additional casting, featuring Broadway's exquisite artists accompanied by a full orchestra and chorus, is to be announced.
OLIVIER! has musical direction by Mark Hartman (BRIGADOON, AVENUE Q).
Irish Repertory's 2012 Annual Benefit Gala featuring this concert version of OLIVER!, one of the most glorious musicals of all time, will be followed by dinner with the cast at Sardi's, the Theatre's
legendary celebrity restaurant (234 West 44th Street).
Kathleen Begala is 2012 Gala Chair.
The evening celebrates the company's diverse 24th season, which begin last September with the New York premiere of Èriu Dance Company's Drama Desk-nominated NOCTU, followed by the twice-extended 20th Anniversary production of Brian Friel's DANCING AT LUGHNASA, Dylan Thomas's A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES IN CONCERT, Eugene O'Neill's BEYOND THE HORIZON, Paul Durcan's Drama Desk-nominated GIVE ME YOUR HAND, and its current revival of George Bernard Shaw's MAN AND SUPERMAN.
Lionel Bart wrote the book, music and lyrics for OLIVER! which debuted on Broadway in 1964, running 774 performances and winning three Tony Awards. A popular British songwriter, Mr. Bart's other musicals include BLITZ!, Maggie May, and LA STRADA. In 1969, the film adaptation of OLIVER! won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Charlotte Moore's recent directing credits include Brian Friel's DANCING AT LUGHNASA and MOLLY SWEENEY, A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES, THE IRISH… AND HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY, ERNEST IN LOVE, and WHITE WOMAN STREET. She also directed Irish Repertory's previous concert productions of CAMELOT and BRIGADOON on Broadway.
Co-founded by Producing Director Ciarán O'Reilly and Artistic Director Charlotte Moore, The Irish Repertory Theatre opened its doors in September 1988 with Sean O'Casey's THE PLOUGH AND THE STARS. The mission of the theatre was and remains to bring works by Irish and Irish American masters and contemporary playwrights to American audiences; to provide a context for understanding the contemporary Irish American experience; and to encourage the development of new works focusing on the Irish and Irish American experience, as well as a range of other cultures. Ms. Moore and Mr. O'Reilly received the 2011 Eugene O'Neill Lifetime Achievement Award from Irish American Writers & Artists, Inc.