From Les Cage Aux Folles to Urinetown, Actor's Playhouse at the Miracle Theatre puts on some pretty varied fare. Starting November 17, the theater is going old-school with Oliver!, a Tony Award-winning musical about that lovable little scamp, Oliver Twist. Stealing hearts as easily as he picks pockets, Oliver could even warm the heart of that other Dickens' character, Ebeneezer Scrooge. Directed by Carbonell Award-winner and former New Times Best Of winner David Arisco and featuring a cast of both Broadway and regional stars, Oliver! looks to be one of this season's biggies. "The scope of this production is enormous," says Arisco. "We're working with two Olivers, two Artful Dodgers, two groups of 16 kids, a cast of 22 adults, a crew of ten, and an orchestra of nine. This is truly one of our largest productions to date."
Gary Marachek, who just won the Carbonell for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his performance in the Actors' Playhouse's Les Misérables, returns to the Miracle Theatre as Fagin, the "slimy underworld pickpocket boss."
New Times: What attracted you to the project and what's your take on Fagin?
What attracted me is the role--one of the best parts ever written for
musical theatre. Fagin is dangerous and unpredictable, yet funny and
likeable all at the same time. And the piece takes place at a time in
history that I love: 1840's London ghetto.
Can you tell us a little about the musical?
Gary Marachek: I like to call this piece a play with music because it's based very
closely on the Charles Dickens novel, Oliver Twist, which, in turn, has a
lot of plot twists and turns. Again, unpredictable. And the music in
the play is very memorable and well known. A lot of familiar songs.
What's your favorite part of Oliver!?
Again, my favorite part is it's unpredictability and (for a musical)
it's unusual, unexpected and unconventional ending. Also Oliver! has
grand, outlandish, huge, fun-filled musical numbers and at the same
time, it has realism and grittiness deeply woven into in. Yet with all
this realism in the piece, it's kid friendly. The perfect musical.
What can the audience expect?
An amazing production. I'm very fortunate to be working with an
outstanding cast and, in my opinion, the best stage director in the
Oliver! will be playing at the Miracle Theatre (280 Miracle Mile, Coral
Gables) from November 17 through December 26. Showtimes are Wednesday through
Saturday at 8 p.m., with afternoon matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2
p.m. There will be a special Christmas Day performance at 8 p.m. on December
25. Tickets cost between $15 and $50. Call 305-444-9293 or visit