ELMWOOD SCHOOLS are producing Oliver, the musical based on Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, this Friday and Saturday nights at 7 PM.
I took 3 of my CLC 4th grade girls and one 3rd grader to the dress rehearsal at Elmwood tonight. Three of them were ones I promised to take out because I didn't send them to camp last year for immaturity/giddiness/disobedient silliness. I took them to Friendly's afterward and the food was so slow to come and so abundant in quantity that I got these kids home embarrassingly late! But their mothers said they trusted me with their kids. We called them from the restaurant. I previously took these children and some others to see Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and tried to teach them a bit about Dickens and his effect on 19th C. England. I was delighted to hear them sing their CLC songs in the car --especially "Change my Heart O God" and "We are One in the Spirit."
The show is delightfully colorful! The stage set is charming; the little orphan boys are "naturals," at singing and stage presence --just great! And the soloists are all wonderful! And I thought the choreography was superb.
At times the orchestra over-powers the chorus which isn't heavily miced --and mic tech and audibility of the dialogue was a little uneven. But the "maturity" and stage presence of almost all of the young cast is amazing to me --having watched the evolution of musical theater at Elmwood these past 7 years or so.
The director is Christine Rohrs --whose high school students recently garnered a ton of superior ratings and some excellents at solo-ensemble contest. All of her ensembles received superior. The Junior High goes next month.
The other musical is The Perils of Paul, directed by Christine's sister, Stephanie Hulbert, at the Holland Free Methodist Church in Holland, Ohio, at 6605 Angola Road, north of Spring Meadows Mall.
These children belong to a Home School Co-op in Toledo that meets every Friday. This show is Friday night only, 7 pm. The context is the "Okra Windmill TV Show" whose special guest is the Biblical Paul --with Ananias and others. The Bible characters manage, in between humorous commercials, to present the stories about Paul to Okra --and to present the Gospel to her, as well.
This is an overall younger cast than at Elmwood, but also a delightful costumed production, full of merriment, melody and message! This is the first musical drama for the co-op.
I have two grandsons in this production.
Anyone can go to these productions, suitable for all ages. There is a ticket charge at Elmwood for assigned seating.
"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible