Byron Civic Theatre stages Oliver! July 29-Aug. 7

Staff Report

More than 75 cast members will take the stage in Byron Civic Theatre’s (BCT) production of Oliver! July 29-Aug. 7. The cast will include some members from the cast of BCT’s 1999 production of Oliver!.

Paul VanderVennet returns to play Fagin, the con man who teaches children to be pickpockets.

“Fagin has been one of my all-time favorite roles,” said VanderVennet at a recent rehearsal. “When I heard BCT was producing the show again, I had to audition.”

Ben Danielowski, who played The Artful Dodger in the 1999 production, also returns.

“I’m a bit old for that role,” joked Danielowski. “I fit the role of Sykes now.”

Danielowski begins a new job as director of facilities at the Cedar Lake Ballet in New York City Aug. 9, and was able to join the show as lighting designer and playing the role of Sykes, the murderous villain.

Ryan Bartscher was one of the urchins in the 1999 production. He returns as choreographer for Oliver!, and Dan Danielowski, director and set designer of the 1999 production, returns as designer and co-directs with Steve Bartscher.

Tickets ($12 adults, $10 seniors and $6 students) are available by calling the BCT Box Office at (815) 312-3000 between 6 and 9 p.m., Monday-Thursday, and 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday; by e-mail at; or online at Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m., Sundays.

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