Cactus Shadows wraps up 25th anniversary with ‘Oliver’

Sam Chartier (The Artful Dodger, center in top hat) demonstrates "street smarts" to Chris Fletcher (Oliver) in The Cactus Shadows Shadowbox Players production of "OLIVER!" at Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center through March 14. (Photo by Sayge Bolli)

Sam Chartier (The Artful Dodger, center in top hat) demonstrates “street smarts” to Chris Fletcher (Oliver) in The Cactus Shadows Shadowbox Players production of “OLIVER!” at Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center through March 14. (Photo by Sayge Bolli)

The Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center in Scottsdale celebrates its 25th anniversary this month by bringing back the very first production ever staged in the facility: “Oliver.”

One of Broadway’s most popular and beloved musicals, “Oliver,” will be presented through March 14 by the Cactus Shadows Shadowbox Players and Desert Foothills Theater.

Chris Fletcher (Oliver) protected by Emma Smith (Nancy). (Photo by Sayge Bolli)

Chris Fletcher (Oliver) protected by Emma Smith (Nancy). (Photo by Sayge Bolli)

With memorable songs, dancing, adorable kids, lots of lovable (even when they’re bad) characters and a quintessential Dickensian story, “Oliver” has absolutely everything required for a great theatrical experience.

The musical adaptation of the famous Charles Dickens novel “Oliver Twist,” was the very first show performed at the Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center when it opened in 1989. This month’s encore celebrates the center’s 25th anniversary and kicks off the “Raise the Curtain” fundraising campaign to help refurbish the building and upgrade main stage technology.

“The Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center has served as a performing and visual arts center for the entire community, as well as the school district,” said Evelyn Holbrook, manager of the fine arts center.

“We’ve hosted pretty much everything from fine art exhibitions and film festivals to renowned chamber music, dance, theater and multi-media productions.”

When “Oliver!” originally frolicked on the main stage, the building was considered state of the art for an educationally based performing arts space. The “Raise the Curtain Campaign” is hosting performances, events and fundraisers like “Adopt a Chair” to update the technology required for the Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center to regain its state-of-the-art reputation.

“Food, Glorious Food,” “Consider Yourself,” “Where Is Love,” “I’d Do Anything,” “Who Will Buy,” and “Oom-Pah-Pah” are just a few of the songs that make the Tony and Academy Award-winning musical a popular treat.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Tickets are available online at http://www.seatyourself.biz/cactusshadows.
Cost is $10 for students; $15 for adults.

Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center is located at 33606 North 60th St., Scottsdale.

For more information about “Oliver!” and FAC Raise the Curtain Campaign, contact Evelyn Holbrook at 480-575-2070 or EHolbrook@ccusd93.org.

Information is also available at www.FACRaisetheCurtain.org and updated frequently at www.facebook.com/FACRaisetheCurtain.org.

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