Editor's note: This corrects the play's showtimes.
There are elements of the Huntington Beach Playhouse's revival of the musical "Oliver!" that could stand toe to toe with the best professional productions, which makes it easier to overlook the show's more pedestrian aspects.
This ambitious musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel "Oliver Twist" hasn't been done locally in some time. (I'd say about 20 years since my son, now 37, played the teen bully Noah Claypole in the last local production at the Westminster Community Theater.)
The vast stage of the Huntington Beach Playhouse lends itself wonderfully to such a complicated undertaking, with Andrew Otero's imposing London Bridge setting providing an excellent backdrop for some intricate Cockney choreography.
Director-choreographer Larry Watts has amassed a huge cast which cavorts splendidly in such intricate ensemble numbers as "Consider Yourself" and the somewhat superfluous "Oom-Pah-Pah." A few of composer-lyricist Lionel Bart's musical numbers (such as "I Shall Scream") could well be excised without sacrificing production values.