where the writers are

Laurie and I enjoyed a super evening at the Drury Lane Theatre in Oakbrook Terrace, one of the Burbs of Chicago. A production of Oliver! was the bill-of-faire and it was really good.

wrigley field

The facility opened in 1984, and named after the historic Theatre Royal Drury Lane, originally built in London’s Covent Garden in the 17th century. Part of a chain of locales built by Tony DeSantis, an American entrepreneur who was opposed to Mafia involvement in Chicago show business.In 1958, he was involved in an FBI sting against the Chicago mob.

455px-Oliver_Theatre_Royal_Bill_Board Performance Drury Lane Theatre Chicago

Charles Dickens wrote Oliver Twist to draw attention to the grotesque inequities between the classes, and as a protest ot England’s Poor Laws during Victorian England. Lionel Bart adapted a musical, premiering in London’s West End in 1960. A movie was produced eight years later, featuring Ron Moody as Fagin, Shani Wallis as Nancy, Oliver Reed as Bill Sikes, Jack Wild as the Artful Dodger, and Mark Lester as Oliver. The Academy Award-winning  film was directed by the iconic Carol Reed. It won six Oscars, including Best Picture.

Oliver! (1968 movie poster).jpg

The local production was magnificent; it had crisp direction, intriguing renditions of the musical numbers, and imaginative choreography. The children in the ensemble were really great, as was Heidi Kettenring who played Nancy, and John Reeger as Fagin. The standout was Brady Tutton as Oliver. He’s a Wisconsin native, who had a strong resemblence to Mark Lester when he was a tot. Oliver! is playing through June 2nd.



We also spent lunch with the Rotary Club of Chicago O’Hare. Rotary International has its roots in the Windy City, when it was formed just after the turn-of-the-century. My 30th opportunity to chat with Rotarians had a special feel, due to the historic nature of the origins of this charitable organization.


* * * * *

Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History and Son of Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History shares America's story through the eyes of actors from Hollywood's Golden Age.

These poignant tales are available on Amazon... a thoughtful 2013 gift for family or friend. Forgotten Hollywood Forgotten History is also an eBook on Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader, and Apple...

MAKE TODAY THE DAY YOU PICK UP A COPY.... If you love TCM and the History Channel...