The play is a tale of Oliver's mistreatment, flight from misery, and kidnappings, all the while never losing his remarkable optimism.

MIAMI – Hope in the midst of oppression, perseverance amongst heartless ill-intent is played out in the musical 'Oliver!' The play is an adaptation of Charles Dickens' novel 'Oliver Twist,' that tells the story of a young English boy, Oliver, orphaned at birth, and the entangled lives of the characters he encounters.

The play opens the 58th season of Miami Little Theatre with performances of Oliver! starting at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 21 through Sept. 23 and 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 24 at the Coleman Theatre in Miami. Seats can be reserved by contacting the Coleman box office at 918-540-2425.

The dramatic story of 'Oliver!' unfolds between well known and often performed musical song and dance numbers such as “Food Glorious Food,” and the actors' rendition of well-known lines, “Please, sir, I want some more.”

Oliver, played by Elijah Sanda, runs from terrible treatment in an awful orphanage into one bad situation after another.

The play is a tale of Oliver's mistreatment, flight from misery, and kidnappings, all the while never losing his remarkable optimism.

After a series of unfortunate events, Oliver is unknowingly taken in by a criminal, Fagin, played by Brent Ford, who trains homeless boys to pickpocket for his own gain.

Learning of Fagin's criminal intentions, Oliver runs away again but is caught by Fagin's associates Bill Sikes, played by David Sanda, and his lover Nancy, played by Amanda Cole.

Oliver finds compassion and friendship from Nancy, herself an abused woman, who recognizes the young boy's circumstances and tries to help him to her own demise.

A gold locket reveals Oliver's connection to a wealthy man, Mr. Barlow, played by Jerry Venis.

Miami Little Theater’s Oliver cast:

Oliver – Elijah Sanda, Fagin – Brent Ford, The Artful Dodger – Dillon Rasberry, Bill Sikes – David Sanda, Nancy – Amanda Cole, Bet – Goldie Snow, Mr. Bumble – Charlie Rarick, Mrs. Corney – Elaine Rarick, Mr. Brownlow – Jerry Venis, Mr. Sowerberry – Ross Tomlinson Jr., Mrs. Sowerberry – Kathy Wenzel, Charlotte/Ensemble – Ashlyn Ford, Noah Claypole/Ensemble – TBA, Dr. Grimwig – Jeffery Haynes, Mrs. Bedwin – Chrisann Lamb, Old Sally/Ensemble – Judy Pittman, Charlie – Jaysen Ford, Nipper – Jacob Sanda.

Fagin’s Boys /Workhouse Boys: Eli Bunch, Blake Frazier, Gavriel Epperson, Josiah Epperson, Malachi Epperson, Cadence Frazier, Hope Henson, Madelyn Hilburn, Elijah Jennings, Eric McKibben, Abraham Mutebi, Jesse Mutebi, Nikolas Warner.

Ensemble: Kaylee Adams, Savannah Ash, Lindsay Couch, Hayley Holloran, Abby Jennings, Rayanna Lamb, Ronan Lamb, Eli McKibben, Ethan McKibben, Denver Miller, Mona Poole, Michael Rarick, Peyton Williams.

Miami Little Theatre’s 58th season of performances includes five shows, ‘Oliver!’, and ‘Charles Dickens' ‘A Christmas Carol’ on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 2-3 at 2:30 p.m.

Auditions for the holiday classic 'A Christmas Carol’ will be Monday and Tuesday, Oct 3-4 beginning at 7 p.m. at the Miami Little Theatre, 117 N. Main Street in Miami.

In February MLT will present ‘The Haunting of Hill House,' followed by the comedy ‘Sylvia!’ in April, and ‘The Little Mermaid, Jr.’ in June of 2018, sure to be a hit on the Coleman Theatre stage.

Melinda Stotts is the associate editor of the Miami News-Record. She can be emailed at or followed on Twitter @MelindaStotts1.