TVRT's 'Oliver!' opens next week | July 12, 2013 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - July 12, 2013

TVRT's 'Oliver!' opens next week

Artistic staff talks about the characters

by Isabella Ohlmeyer

"Oliver!" the musical is an adaptation of Charles Dicken's novel, "Oliver Twist," the story of a young orphan in London who runs away from Mr. Bumble's orphanage. He soon stumbles into a life of pickpocketing for con artist Fagin, along with his new-found friend the Artful Dodger.

Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre is presenting the award-winning musical next week at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore, with director John Baiocchi

Baiocchi was in the cast of the TVRT production of "Oliver!" in 1992, and he later directed and produced it in 2001. The show soon became one of his favorites.

"The story of Oliver is dark, but there is a hopefulness and humanity about it. The score is full of great numbers, and the characters are unforgettable. All of the characters make their way through a difficult world as best they can," Baiocchi said.

Choreographer Todd Aragon relates to the Oliver/Dodger friendship and how one relies on friends to get by.

"My best friend as a kid was a 'street smart' kid like the Dodger who taught me how to fend for myself," Aragon said. "We are still best friends to this day."

Oliver opens July 20 and runs through Aug. 4, with 8 p.m. performances Fridays and Saturdays; and 2 p.m. shows on Sundays. For more information, visit


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