Michael Evan Haney, an associate artist at the Cincinnati Playhouse ably directs Neil Bartlett adaptation of Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens’ classic orphan tale. While it features several songs, it’s definitely not the jaunty 1960 musical Oliver! Cast and audience took a few scenes to settle into a groove between the grim and the humorous.
Dickens set the stage for these off-rhythms in his 1838 novel’s text: “It is the custom on the stage in all good, murderous melodramas, to present the tragic and the comic scenes in as regular alternation as the layers of red and white in a side of streaky, well-cured bacon.”
Some of CSC’s moments were better cured than others, including Sara Clark’s Artful Dodger, Miranda McGee’s Mrs.
Thursday-Sunday. Through Sept. 29. $22-$35. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, 719 Race St., Downtown, cincyshakes.com.