Theatre UCF, Orlando Shakespeare Theater Team Up for Epic 'Nicholas Nickleby'
“The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Parts I and II,” adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens,Â is being presented by Theatre UCF and the Orlando Shakespeare TheaterÂ through March 9Â at the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center in Orlando’s Loch Haven Park.
The epic, two-partÂ production,Â featuring a cast of 27 actors playing more than 150 characters, was written by David Edgar and is co-directed by Jim Helsinger and Christopher Niess.
The story tells ofÂ Nicholas Nickleby, whose father died and left his familyÂ penniless.Â Nicholas embarks onÂ a series of adventurous encounters with humanity’s worst and bestâ€”greedy fools, corrupt lechers, cheery innocents, and selfless benefactors.
â€ś’The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby’ is a living example of how great the power of theater can be,â€ť Helsinger said. â€śThis show is one of the most incredible theatrical events I have ever seen, and Iâ€™m excited to bring that magic â€” that majestyâ€” to Florida.”
The play features John P. Keller in the title role. Starring in this seasonâ€™s “Dracula: The Journal of Jonathan Harker,” Keller first appeared at Orlando Shakes in the theaterâ€™s 2012 repertory productions of “Othello” (Roderigo) and “Sense and Sensibility” (Edward). Alison McLemore makes her Orlando Shakesâ€™ debut as Kate Nickleby.
For dates, times and tickets ($17-$40): callÂ 407-447-1700, click on http://orlandoshakes.org, Â or go to 812 E. Rollins St., Orlando.
Ambitious theatergoers are invited to see both “Nicholas Nickleby, Parts I & II” on the same day. Select marathon dates include February 1, 15,Â and Â 22 and March 1, 8,Â and Â 9 (Part I at 2 p.m. and Part II at 7:30 p.m.). Dinner packages are available for either a Victorian dinner at White Wolf Cafe or a Panera Bread boxed meal at the theater between shows.
Audience members are invited to celebrate with the cast, crew, designers, and Orlando Shakes staff at the opening night party, whichÂ begins after the show (about 10:30 p.m.) Jan. 24 (Part I) and Jan. 31 (Part II).
“The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Parts I & II” is sponsored by UCF Office of the President, College of Arts & Humanities, and Orlando Shakespeare Theaterâ€™s special 25th anniversary donors.Â Â