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“Oliver!” opens with Madison actors

Local actors Elena Ontiveros and Ethan Hamilton will perform when Independent Musical Productions and Lee Lyric Theatre present “Oliver!”

The production will have its debut performance on June 15 in the new Lee Lyric Theatre at Lee High School in Huntsville.

Ontiveros, a senior at Bob Jones High School, is known for her work with Patriot Players. Recently, she appeared as the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” at Bob Jones. In “Oliver!,” she will portray Charlotte Sowerberry, daughter of the mortician in whose coffin-making shop the young Oliver Twist finds himself.

Later this summer, Ontiveros will perform as Lily St. Regis in “Annie” by Lyrique Music Productions.

In his dramatic debut, Hamilton will appear in Fagin’s notorious passel of pocket-pickers. Hamilton will enter sixth grade at Monrovia Middle School in August. He’s a straight-A student, pianist and wrestler.

The staff includes Vivienne Atkins, who taught at Lee High for 35 years, as co-director with Peter-John Sligting; music director Barry Petty; choreographer Brad Howard; and set designer Karl King.

The show animates Charles Dickens’ timeless characters in the popular story of Oliver, an orphan who defiantly asks for more food. Lionel Bart’s score includes “Food, Glorious Food,” “Consider Yourself,” “I’d Do Anything” and “As Long as He Needs Me.”

Handling lead roles are Duncan Smith (Oliver Twist), Jeff Lapidus (Fagin), James Zielinski (Mr. Bumble), Jenny Stricklin-Mahan (Nancy) and David Schulte (Bill Sikes).

Lapidus and Zielinski return to “Oliver!” from previous shows with Huntsville Community Chorus Association.

Independent Musical Production’s production is also part of the worldwide 200th anniversary celebration of Charles Dickens. First premiering in 1960 on London, “Oliver!” has been produced in revival several times, including most recently in 2011.

Lee Lyric Theatre’s address is 2500 Meridian St. N.

Performances will be held June 15-16 and 21-23 at 7:30 p.m., along with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on June 17. For general admission tickets, call 256-415-SHOW or visit imphuntsville.org.

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