Drama in the streets of London

Published 12:01 pm Thursday, January 27, 2011

Edward Harrelson as Bill Sykes and Susie Kocher as Nancy share a tense moment in the upcoming musical “Oliver!” (photo by Lorin Browning)

“Oliver!” isn’t just about singing and dancing, it gets a little rough at times too, especially when you mix in a villain like Bill Sykes who is quick with his fists and doesn’t mind if he connects them with anyone who gets in his way. That’s true even if that person is much weaker – like a woman or a child. But Nancy, his long-time, long-suffering girlfriend, has had about enough.

Susie Kocher plays Nancy, who goes out on a limb to protect young Oliver from a fate that is “all that’s bad.” Locals have seen Kocher in many TLT productions. She’s joined by Edward Harrelson playing Bill Sykes, the vicious reprobate, and their scenes together are spirited and fiery, to say the least.

This is Harrelson’s first TLT appearance. An attorney by day, he’s enjoyed “watching several plays that TLT has put on, and the quality is always very good,” he said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

For “Oliver!” he’s been working closely with Lavin Cuddihee (who plays Fagin) and Kocher “to develop our on-stage interaction,” he said, “I’m impressed with the commitment both Lavin and Susie bring to their characters. They each give 110 percent to each rehearsal and are dedicated to becoming their character for the performance. It’s a pleasure for me to be a part of the creative process.”

“Oliver!” plays at the Tryon Fine Arts Center Feb. 11 and 12 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 13 at 3 p.m., and again Feb. 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 20 at 3 p.m. “Oliver!” is directed by Chris Tinkler with musical direction by Lena Duncan.

Call TLT’s workshop for more information at 828-859-2466 or visit www.tltinfo.org. Tickets are now on sale at the workshop. Box office hours are 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday.