Rehearsals for the upcoming musical production of Oliver! are underway at The Henderson County Performing Arts Center. Lionel Bart’s adaptation of the Dickens’ classic Oliver Twist comes to life on HCPAC’s main stage chock full of adorable urchins, nasty villains, lovable wenches and rogues. Oliver! is directed by HCPAC veteran Kara Catugal Davis and features an outstanding cast with Saxon Reeves in the title role.

In 1968, the film version of Oliver! won eight Academy Awards and starred British actress Shani Wallis in the role of Nancy. Ms.Wallis will be attending the opening night performance on Dec. 6. Local favorite, Hanna Gauze, who portrays Nancy in the HCPAC production, commented, “I’m so excited to meet her… and nervous!” Audiences will soon see Hanna, with her beautiful voice, has nothing to be nervous about.

The special holiday schedule for Oliver! includes three matinees. Dates and times are: Dec. 6, 13, 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7,8 and 15 at 2 p.m. Reservations may be made directly on-line at and by calling 903-675-3908. The Henderson County Performing Arts Center is located at 400 Gibson Rd., Athens.

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