Charles Dickens Speaks!

Published: Monday, August 19, 2013 7:00 am By: GARY CHATTMAN Source:






Charles Dickens; It was the best oftimes, it was the bestest of times.

John Fanelli:  Sir, you have that wrong!

Charles Dickens: Who are you, sir?

John Fanelli: I am the director of“Oliver”, currently at the Westchester Broadway  Theatre through September 8, 2013.  And that quote from your book “A Tale of Two Cities”is incorrect.

Dickens; I wasn’t referring to my book.  I was referring to your splendid production of “Oliver”!

Fanelli: Why thank you, sir!  

Dickens: I found it inspiring!

Fanelli: What particularly did you like about it, sir?

Dickens: “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good    humor.” I wrote that in “A Christmas Carol.”    The whole show is wonderful!   CarrieSilvernail’s choreography is phenomenal!  Kurt Kelley’s musical direction  is tremendous!  Steve Lofus designed sets that are unique!  Zounds!   And you, sir, the Artistic Director and Producer, is  “…the last dream of my soul.”    That’s  from “Tale of Two Cities”!

Fanelli: I know.  You know, I worked with a wonderful cast!

Dickens: Of course I know!  Did you think I was dead or something?

Fanelli: Sorry.

Dickens: Where should I start?   I will start at the beginning, of course.   That “Oliver”, Brandon Singel, is probably a 50-year-old midget!

Fanelli: He is not.  He is young.

Dickens: What an actor!  What stage presence!  What a voice!

Fanelli: Yup, I agree.

Dickens: Fagin, played by John Anthony Lopez, is the joint!

Fanelli: Huh?

Dickens; Ooops!  That’s a 2013 word!  He has “…is a wisdom of the head, and... there is a wisdom of the heart.”  That’s him.  
A consummate professional who takes the stage like Tevye takes the stage in “Fiddler” A mesmerizing actor.

Fanelli: Oh, you’ve seen “Fiddler”?

Dickens; Many times.   I’m going to go on with my praise.  It is my book “Oliver Twist” that was adapted for this show, wasn’t it?

Fanelli: Yup.

Dickens: I knew it!   Kudos for Lucy Braid, who plays Nancy, Brian Krinsky, who plays Bill Sykes…and an ensemble cast of kids that rivals that of the Broadway    “Annie”!  “To a young heart everything is fun.”

Fanelli: Thank you.  Coming from you that is abject praise!

Dickens: Zounds!   I can’t praise this production enough!   The powers-that-be at this    dinner theatre should just turn over their yearly program