Richmond Beach Lad Headlines in OLIVER! at Moore Theatre

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A young Richmond Beach boy, Matthew Lewis, acts, sings and dances the principal role of Oliver when Seattle Theatre Group presents a Lyric Opera Northwest production of OLIVER! at the historic Moore Theatre in Seattle.

The show is one night only -- on Sunday, October 17, 2010 at 4:00 pm.

This “must see” musical is a full-throated production that will touch and thrill the whole family --- fully costumed, accompanied by a full orchestra conducted by David Spring, featuring 20 of the greater Seattle area’s most talented children, and including dancers and singers from both the Broadway and operatic traditions.

Matthew Lewis
Though still in elementary school, Matthew Lewis’ stage experience already includes Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the 5th Avenue Theatre and a recent performance in The Northwest Savoyards’ production of Annie. As a member of the Northwest Boy Choir, Matt performs in numerous venues throughout the Seattle area including Benaroya Hall with the Seattle Symphony. Matt is a native of the Northwest and when not performing, he enjoys swimming, skiing, kayaking and studying aviation. 

Gavin L
Younger brother, Gavin Lewis joins onstage for this production of Oliver! as one of the orphans and street urchins that are recruited by Fagin into his den of pickpockets. Although new to musical theatre, Gavin also sings with the Northwest Boychoir, where this summer he played the role of the beetle in a production of The Beetle’s Coat. Gavin is an avid skier, and a prolific and talented Lego builder. Cast members were amazed with the detailed Lego mock-up of a space shuttle he brought with him to a rehearsal.

Says fellow cast member and lyric tenor Kim Cooney (Dr. Grimswig in Oliver!) of Matthew: “This young boy is wise beyond his years. He has hundreds of lines. Yet he rehearses without fear or anxiety. If he trips over or forgets a few words, he simply calls out “line”, and moves ahead without skipping a beat. He is as comfortable conversing with his adult colleagues as he is his fellow orphans. He’s sensitive to how others are feeling. He’s bright yet selfless. As a singer, he stays spot on in pitch and rhythm, and he moves easily with the grace of a born dancer. Gavin is more shy, but terrific in his own right. The common denominator are parents who support without pushing.
Based on Charles Dickens’ immortal novel Oliver Twist and with music and lyrics by British pop composer Lionel Bart, Oliver! was a huge hit from its debut in 1960. It was the first British musical to transfer successfully to Broadway (2,618 performances in London and 774 on Broadway. In 1968 Oliver! was made into a film which won several Oscars, including Best Film.

OLIVER! is directed by the international soprano and baritone team of Pamela Casella Nim and Craig Heath Nim, founders of Lyric Opera Northwest. The choreographer is Pamela Turpen assisted by Jesse Stoddard.

Presented in association with the Seattle Theatre Group with whom Lyric Opera Northwest shares a commitment to nurturing young talent and perpetuating a love of theatre arts in all generations, OLIVER! is a visual and aural feast for those who might have missed this beloved favorite in the past and for those who have seen in again and again yet ask “Please sir, might I have more?”

Tickets may be ordered online or by calling 1-877-784-4849. Cost is $25 for adults, $20 for students. (There is a special discounted performance on Thursday, October 14 for school groups; contact Sara Wagner, 425-736-5848.


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