Limelight brings new twist to Dickens’ Oliver

Though 12-year-old Alexander Lawless has performed in two shows at Alhambra Theatre & Dining in Jacksonville, the title role of “Oliver!” is his first at the Limelight Theatre.

Lawless will sing solo soprano songs as the main character in Charles Dickens’ classic tale. He is the son of Chase and Patrice Lawless, who reside in north St. Johns County.

He may be new to Limelight, but Lawless has experience.

In addition to acting in performances at the Alhambra, Lawless played the role of Kurt von Trapp in the Wick Theatre’s production of the Sound of Music in Boca Raton last fall.

Lawless will share the stage with his sister, Savannah, age 10; and 11 other local children who play orphans.

Written by Lionel Bart, the production is a musical adaptation of the Dickens classic, Oliver Twist.

The show tells the story of Oliver, an orphan who runs away from his cruel caretakers only to land himself in trouble with the wrong kind of people. As he navigates his new life, he finds hope in the kindness of newfound friends.

“Oliver!” is directed by Tom Fallon, who wears several hats in the professional world — working on set building at Limelight Theatre and in the film business as a location manager and assistant director for commercials.

He’s worked on film projects such as Baptist Health, Chase Bank, JEA and Embril.

The cast of children includes Jack Rose as Artful Dodger; Kyle Thompson as orphan and Artful Dodger understudy; Evan Gray as orphan and Oliver understudy; Ella and Gracia Romaine, orphans; Ashley Herbert, Henry Purtill, Gavin Downs, Will Gooden and Kyler Unsworth, as orphans; and Emily Onimus, as Bet and an orphan.

The adult cast includes Andy Nance as Fagin; Chris MacEwan as Bill Sykes; Chloe Cordle as Nancy; Cayte O’Connor as Charlotte; Vinny Iaropoli as Mr. Sowerberry; JoAnn Kirby-Nance as Mrs. Sowerberry; James Desmond as Mr. Bumble; Rich Nowell as Mr. Brownlow; Cathy Swann as Widow Corney; Beth Purtill as Mrs. Bedwin; Lou Agresta as Dr. Grimwig; Butler Robertson as Noah; and Susan Harrison as Old Sally.

Shelli Long is musical director; Roxanna Lewis is choreographer, and Patty Runk is stage manager. Runk’s husband, Don, is assistant stage manager. Georgie Altenbach is prop supervisor, with Rachel Robertson as assistant. Lorraine Rokovitz is costumer with help from Tina Fallon. Dom and Nancy Grasso constructed the set.

The musical, “Oliver!,” will be staged June 5 through July 6 at Limelight Theatre, 11 Old Mission Ave., in uptown St. Augustine.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for seniors, $20 for students and military; with a junior patron offer that features one free tickets for children ages 10-17 with the purchase of a full price adult ticket.

For reservations, call the box office at 825-1164 or go to

Article via