Around The Country
…Of all these watchable performances, though, Patrick Page’s Fagin is the one that pushes this production from simply enjoyable to something out of the ordinary.
The character of Fagin isn’t an easy one to take on, because the musical presents the pickpockets’ ringleader as a 19th-century stereotype, the miserly Jew. The challenge for performers has been like the one presented by the role of Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice — rendering human a character that is patently offensive to modern audiences.
Mr. Page’s Fagin achieves this, making his character one the audience sympathizes with and roots for even as he doesn’t shrink from making him unpleasant…his Fagin is the best reason to see this Oliver!