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Heights Resident to Appear in Lincoln-Way Production of 'Oliver!'

The family friendly musical will run during early January at the Lincoln-Way East auditorium.

Curtain Call Theatre will present Oliver!, the family friendly Dickensian musical, during the first week of January.

Oliver! tells the story of the classic Charles Dickens protagonist, Oliver Twist, who is thrown out of an orphanage and forced to make his way in Victorian London amongst a cast of colorful characters and questionable situations.

“It’s a classic show,” said cast member and Chicago Heights resident Jeannie Rega, who plays Nancy in the musical. 

The production includes 88 performers, 56 of whom are children. The cast, which is largely made up of residents from the Lincoln-Way area, began rehearsals in October. Cast members range in age from 3-60 years old.

Assistant Director Michelle Dalton said that Oliver! is traditionally a dark musical, but that Director Mike Knezz has incorporated moments of humor and comedy.

“Expect to have a great time,” said cast member Sam Ruby, 11, of Frankfort, who plays the show’s title character.

A sixth grader at Hickory Creek Middle School, Ruby has appeared in multiple previous Curtain Call productions, although, this is his first lead role.

Ruby says he enjoyed learning to stage fight for this most recent show, but that memorizing all of Oliver’s lines proved to be a challenge.

Curtain Call is a regional community theater. All the cast members are volunteers. Oliver! is one of several annual productions staged by Curtain Call.

“The music is timeless,” said cast member and Homer Glen resident David Knezz, who plays Fagin, the caretaker and ringleader of a gang of pickpocket young boys. “It’s a fun show.”

Oliver! will run at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 4 and 5, and at 2 p.m. on Jan. 6 at the Lincoln-Way East High School auditorium. Tickets cost $19 for adults and $17 for children and seniors and can be purchased online at Curtain Call’s website or by calling the box office at 708-699-2228.

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