The Adrienne Arsht Center has no shortage of performances and concerts. They’ve even had interactive plays like “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Now they’re stepping away from the Disney fairy tales to bring you something darker that’ll have you saying, “Please sir, I want some more.”

With the Area Stage Company at the Arsht Center, you’re more than a member of the audience. You’re part of the show.

Annette Rodriguez (as Widow Corney): “To bed! All of you! “

Giancarlo Rodaz: “Area Stage was a company that started in 1989 on Miami Beach on Lincoln Road, and since, we’ve had a really amazing collaboration with Disney where we’ve done ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘Little Mermaid’ as these over-the-top, spectacular, immersive productions.”

Now they’re diving into literary legend Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist.” You know, the hungry, overworked street kid who dared to ask for more.

Barney Clark (as Oliver Twist) “Please, sir, i want some more.”

Giancarlo Rodaz: “‘Oliver Twist’ is one of the greatest stories of all time, and the worlds Charles Dickens create are so dark and interesting and adventurous, that it seemed like a perfect match for immersive storytelling.”

Cast of “Oliver!” (singing): “Food, glorious food!”

Giancarlo Rodaz: “The opening of the show, you know, that’s a really iconic number. “Food, Glorious Food,” you know, ‘Can I have some more, please?’ And I think, in that setting, immediately you realize you’re in some other world. Different time and place.”

And, if that set makes you feel like a kid again, that’s done on purpose.

Giancarlo Rodaz: “We are putting you in Oliver’s perspective, so everything around you is scaled as if you were a child. All the adults are on stilts, the set is really larger than life, you know. So, things are towering over you, and you see things as he sees it.”

Speaking of Oliver, this is the first time a woman is going to be playing the title role.

Katie Duerr (as Mrs. Sowerberry) “Boy, what’s your name?”

Hallie Walker (as Oliver Twist): “Oliver. Oliver Twist, ma’am.”

Hallie Walker: “I’m the first woman to play the role professionally, which is really exciting and such an honor. It’s a really cool thing to do, but it’s also been a big challenge, because I am a 26-year-old woman and figuring out what that means, physically and vocally.”

Either way, her performance will have you whisked away to Victorian England.

Hallie Walker: “When you’re in this world as an audience member, you really get to experience this world on a much deeper level and get to form a connection with the characters, like, on a much deeper level than you would on a normal stage.”

Hallie Walker (as Oliver Twist, singing): “Food, glorious food. Hot sausage and mustard.”

The musical has kicked off a three-week run at the Arsht Center.

Feb. 7-25
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts
1300 Biscayne Blvd.
Miami, FL 33132

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