Irresistible Singel is Oliver! Inspiring Lucy Braid as Nancy! Tugs Heartstrings. Tears You Up. Cheers You Up in Schmaltzy Tasty Concoction

Published: Monday, August 26, 2013 7:00 am By: John Bailey Source: White Plains Citizen Net Reporter

Standing Ovation Studios, Westchesterís leading incubator and training stage for  talented young aspiring thespians, is  staging  its fourth collaboration with the Westchester Broadway Theatre in Elmsford, OLIVER! For two more weeks.

It is a faithful, win-you-over company of energetic young charmers who deliver an emotional musical memory of schmaltz, hope and entertainment for all ages.

The old favorites wind into life in this Tony Award-winning relic, from the company of orphans at Mr. Bumbleís orphanage singing of Food,Glorious Food  (when master Singel asks for ĎMoreĒ to  the little charmer, asking and singing the musical question, Where Is Love when he is turned out into the street by his funeral parlor employer to the pickpocket recruiter, Fagin. The Artful Dodger (Todd Ritch ) welcomes Oliver into Faginís pickpocket gang with a rambunctious tempo Consider Yourself (One of the Family) Oliver settles you in your seat like an old friend youíre feel comfortable with whom you have not seen in a long time. Heís changed but you love him anyway.

Lucy Braid , in her Westchester Broadway Theatre debut as the doomed Nancy, who with Oliver, is the focus of the show and really sparkles.

She loves Bill Sykes, a ruthless criminal whom she loves inexplicably. Braid and Cali LaSpina performing a rollicking Itís a Fine Life  get the production rolling,  explaining the glamor side of pickpocketing and a ladysí rolls in the underworld, doing dirty laundry.

Braidís Nancy starts the second act with smashing version of Oom-Pah-Pah. She further endears herself to the audience by making As Long as He Needs Me an anthem, a lament, a definition of the mystery and affliction of  unrequited love any woman who has ever loved a difficult man will identify with. Braidís stalwart proud heartbreak tears you up the way she wrangles this signature song.  You will be reading Ms. Braidís name in many a playbill in the years to come. Braid shines on her other big song, the tear-jerking song of pathos rendering the definitive song of those without hope that society has cast aside,  Who Will Buy?

Act II finds Oliver messing up his first attempt at pickpocketing, being caught by the London Bobbies and remanded to a long lost relative and it looks like our resourceful scamp who appears to let things happen to him with just the right amount of innocent pluck is going to be all right. But the malevolent Bill Sykes is looking for him because Oliver can identify him to the police. Sykes  is played over-the-top ugly by  Brian Kinsky, with a truly evil sense, scary and gives young audiences an insight into what people who behave badly are really like. Sykes kidnaps Oliver in an attempt to silence him.

Nancy intercedes to protect Oliver at