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by Michael Portantiere


    TWIST AND SHOUT!

    "Please, sir, may I have some more?" takes on new meaning in Twist, a very gay musical based on Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist. Written by Gila Sand and Paul Leschen, the show was most recently presented in New York as part of the 2007 Midtown International Theatre Festival. Now it's on view in L.A., with rising star Brandon Ruckdashel (Off-Broadway's Ascension) and Chicago theater vet Alexandra Billings appearing as Oliver and Fagin, respectively. Here are some of my exclusive photos of the opening night performance at the Avery Schreiber Theatre on Saturday, December 1. For more information, visit www.themusicaltwist.com.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Raised from infancy in a squalid workhouse, Twist laments that he's "bound and tied."


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    At the workhouse,Twist runs afoul of the evil Mr. Bumble (Matt Stevens).


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    The boy is chained and whipped by Bumble -- but the "punishment" is none too effective, because he quite enjoys it!


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Twist is sold into a forced apprenticeship with Mr. Sowerberry (Kelly Roberts), an undertaker.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Having escaped Sowerberry, Twist makes his way to London and falls in with Dodger (Chris Carlisle).


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Dodger offers Twist lodging at a house filled with prostitutes and pickpockets, presided over by Fagin (Alexandra Billings).


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Fagin and his/her boys.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    The amoral Fagin nearly takes advantage of Twist, but then thinks better of it.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    On the streets of London, Twist meets Lady Downlow (Angela Nicholas) -- who, among other things, has a fetish for shoes.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    All too soon, Twist is back in Fagin's clutches.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    One of Fagin's cohorts, Nancy (Darrin Revitz), develops an affection for Twist.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    For her efforts to help the boy, Nancy is murdered by her brutal lover, Bill Sikes (Justin Mortelliti)


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    Twist is told by a Constable (Billy Thompson) that Lady Downlow is looking for him.


    Photo by Michael Portantiere

    The story ends with Twist, Dodger, and Lady Downlow living happily together.

    Monday, December 10, 2007 at 8:10 AM | Item Link


    Michael Portantiere comes to BroadwayStars with more than 30 years' experience as an editor and writer for such media outlets as TheaterMania.com, InTHEATER magazine, and BACK STAGE. He has also contributed articles and reviews to AfterElton.com, Playbill, and Stagebill, and has written notes for several major cast albums. Additionally, Michael is a professional photographer whose pictures have been published by THE NEW YORK TIMES, the DAILY NEWS, and several notable websites. (Visit www.followspotphoto.com for more information.)
    He can be reached at michael@broadwaystars.com


    The last five columns written by Michael Portantiere:

    07/13/2010: Presidential Material

    07/04/2010: Hardy Boy

    06/29/2010: High School Stars

    06/21/2010: Falling in Love Again

    06/17/2010: A Meeting of the 'mos (and Their Friends)

    For a listing of all features written by Michael, click here.

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