Oliver! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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You'd think that Lionel Bart's effervescent musical version of Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens's tale of redemption, would be especially amiable holiday fare, featuring such beloved songs as "Consider Yourself" and "Food, Glorious Food." But much of the first act of this lackluster production drags: under David H. Bell's direction the well-choreographed musical numbers are sprightly, but the dialogue is flat. Part of the trouble is Michael Notardonato, who has a beautiful voice but looks blank as Oliver Twist. The show is almost worth seeing, though, for two star turns: Greg Vinkler as a conflicted, fearful, wryly funny Fagin and Kate Fry as a vivacious Nancy with a will of steel. Through 2/12: Wed 1 and 8 PM, Thu-Fri 8 PM, Sat 5 and 8:30 PM, Sun 1 and 5 PM, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire, Rte. 21 (Milwaukee Ave.), Lincolnshire, 847-634-0200, $42-$45.

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