Oliver! – Original Broadway Cast Recording 1963
Act I The curtain opens on the sinister interior of the workhouse with a bare dining table, center stage, where the boys will sit. These pale-faced wretches can be seen peering through the bars of a door at the back. Looming above two curving stairways glows the legend “God Is Love” in rough letters. The door is opened, and the boys file to the table and sing “Food, Glorious Food.” At the end of the song, the Widow Corney, who runs the workhouse, and Mr. Bumble, the parish beadle, enter, and a thin gruel is served. Wolfing the meager fare, the boys hopelessly stack their bowls, but the hapless Oliver approaches Bumble with the entreaty, “Please, sir, I want some more.” He is instantly subdued – Bumble, Mrs. Corney and the boys sing the derisive “Oliver!” Oliver is then locked behind the barred door as the rest of the boys exit upstairs. With Oliver as onlooker, Mr. Bumble dallies with Mrs. Corney, who sings “I Shall Scream,” but winds up giggling on his lap. Oliver is brought forward, bag and baggage, and is led off by Bumble, who sings the haunting “Boy For Sale.” Walking through the streets of London, they arrive at Mr. Sowerberry’s, the undertaker. Oliver is “sold” to the undertaker. Alone and frightened and surrounded by coffins on stage, he sings the plaintive “Where Is Love?” He runs away the very next morning and is picked up hungry and tired in the streets by The Artful Dodger, who cheers him up with “Consider Yourself.” The Dodger leads him through crowded streets to Fagin’s kitchen. The boys come in, and Fagin himself appears. With a mock solemn welcome to Oliver, he sings the fantastic “You’ve Got To Pick a Pocket or Two.” Nancy, Bill Sikes’s girl, and Bet arrive. The two of them, accompanied by the boys and Fagin, celebrate their way of life in “It’s A Fine Life,” and then all mock polite society by singing “I’d Do Anything.” As the boys retire, Fagin is seen counting the day’s take. Gradually, the action moves to the next morning when Fagin sends the boys off on a pocket-picking expedition, Oliver among them. Fagin’s farewell admonition is “Be Back Soon.” The revolving stage now displays a city scene, and we witness the capture of Oliver, not for picking pockets, but for simply looking guilty. The first half curtain falls. Act II In the second half the curtain rises on the “Three Cripples” – an underworld tavern – where Nancy is being encouraged to sing a music-hall number, “Oom-Pah-Pah.” At song’s end, Bill Sikes appears at the top of the stairs and sings the threatening “My Name.” At this point, Fagin’s boys pour down the stairs, telling of Oliver’s apprehension by the police, at the same time revealing that his innocence has been established and that he is presently ensconced in the home of a rich old gentleman. Fearful lest he give away their setup, Fagin and Sikes dispatch Nancy to get Oliver back. Reluctantly, and having been treated roughly by Bill, Nancy exits singing the beautiful “As Long As He Needs Me.” Meanwhile, at the home of his new-found benefactor, the erstwhile ragged Oliver has become a well-tailored, well-cared for little lad. Looking out of his bedroom window he observes some passing street vendors crying their wares; he sings “Who Will Buy?,” a plea that his good luck and new situation in life will be permanent. However, the moment he sets foot outside his benefactor’s house, he is seized and dragged off by Nancy to Fagin’s. In the next scene, Fagin occupies the empty stage and considers going straight – “Reviewing the Situation.” Subsequently, Bumble and Mrs. Corney, now uncomfortably married, discover that Oliver is the scion of a rich family, but their scheme to get him back to the orphanage fails. Nancy meanwhile, regretting her part in capturing Oliver, plans to return him to his benefactor at night on London Bridge. Fearful of Sikes, she reprises “As Long As He Needs Me.” Sikes stalks her and kills her. He grabs Oliver and, after a chase, is himself shot dead. Oliver is restored to his benefactor, and, with the crowd dispersed, Fagin, now minus boys, home and money, reprises “Reviewing the Situation.” Though the play ends here, the whole cast re-enters for a final medley of “Food, Glorious Food,” “Consider Yourself,” and “I’d Do Anything.”
Oliver Twist: Bruce Prochnik Mr. Bumble: Willoughby Goddard Mrs. Corney: Hope Jackman Old Sally: Ruth Maynard Mr. Sowerberry: Barry Humphries Mrs. Sowerberry: Helena Carroll Charlotte: Cherry Davis Noah Claypole: Terry Lomax Fagin: Clive Revill The Artful Dodger: Michael Goodman Nancy: Georgia Brown Bet: Alice Playten Bill Sikes: Danny Sewell Mr. Brownlow: Geoffrey Lumb Dr. Grimwig: John Call Mrs. Bedwin: Dortha Duckworth Workhouse Boys and Fagin’s Gang: Johnny Borden, Eugene Endon, Bryant Fraser, Randy Gaynes, Bobby Gold, Sal Lombardo, Christopher Month, Patrick O’Shaughnessy, Alan Paul, Barry Pearl, George Priolo, Robbi Reed, Christopher Votos. Londoners: Jed Allan, Barbara Bossert, Jack Davison, James Glenn, Lesley Hunt, John M. Kimbro, Michael Lamont, Allan Lokos, Dodie Marshall, Richard Miller, Moose Peting, Ruth Ramsey, Nita Reiter, Ray Tudor, Maura K. Wedge.