Life on the streets of 1830s London is tough, especially if you're an orphan. Hungry Oliver, recently booted from the orphanage for wanting more food, soon learns just how hard it can be. Oh, there's fun at first; he makes friends with the Artful Dodger and a gang of boys his own age who work for the elderly Fagin. Oliver mistakenly believes they're all making handkerchiefs but is surprised to find out the boys are actually pickpockets under Fagin's tutelage. And if you're good at it and live long enough, you could graduate from pickpocketing to more dangerous crimes, as the menacing Bill Sikes has already done. Won't someone come and pluck poor Oliver from this den of thieves? Of course they will. Lionel Bart's Oliver! is a musical based on the Charles Dickens' book Oliver Twist, so coincidence will save him soon enough. But before that happens, you get a raft of beloved songs such as "Food, Glorious Food," "Consider Yourself" and "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two." Insight Theatre Company opens its 2014 season with Oliver! Performances take place at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (June 5 through 22) at the Heagney Theatre (530 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-556-1293 or www.insighttheatrecompany.com). There is one performance at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 11. Tickets are $15 to $30.
Thursdays-Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: June 5. Continues through June 22, 2014