Newcomer Cast as Hero of Dickens-Inspired Twist, Directed by Debbie Allen; "Project Runway" Finalist Will Design | Playbill

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News Newcomer Cast as Hero of Dickens-Inspired Twist, Directed by Debbie Allen; "Project Runway" Finalist Will Design Young actor Alaman Diadhiou will star in the title role of Twist, the New Orleans-set musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' "Oliver Twist," which will be staged by two-time Tony nominee Debbie Allen at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.

Debbie Allen
Debbie Allen Photo by Aubrey Reuben

As previously reported, Allen will direct and choreograph the musical that has a book by William F. Brown, who authored the Tony-nominated book of The Wiz. The musical has a score by Grammy Award-winning songwriter Tena Clark and Gary Prim. Twist will run Sept. 1-Oct. 3 and officially open Sept. 15.

Twist was seen in previous incarnations at the Walnut Street Theatre in 1993 and New Jersey's George Street Playhouse in 1996. It has been revised for this production.

In addition to Diadhiou, the principal cast of Twist will feature E. Wade Benson, Duane Asanté Ervin, Kyle Garvin, Jared Grimes, Shawna M. Hamic, Matthew Johnson, Olivia-Diane Joseph, Tracy Kennedy, Aijia Lise, Pat McRoberts and Melissa Lola Youngblood.

The ensemble will include John Fisher, Chantel Heath, Jamie Katz, Rikki McKinney, Malaiyka Reid, Brett Sturgis, Dougie Styles, Zaire Adams, Trey Best, Sabrina Cmelak, Nikolas Eibler, Michael George, Beau Harmon, Chandler Kinney and Chase Maxwell.

James Sampliner (Legally Blonde) will serve as musical director/conductor. The design team also includes "Project Runway" season-seven designer Emilio Sosa, who will create costumes for the production. The design team also includes Todd Rosenthal (set design), Rick Belzer (lighting design), Peter Fitzgerald (sound design) and orchestrations are by Tony winner Harold Wheeler. According to the Alliance, "Twist examines the deep emotions and human struggles of a young boy whose father was a black song-and-dance man and whose mother was a white woman of prominence. Guided by a fierce yearning for home, he travels through larger-than-life New Orleans, from the orphanage to a new life behind the red velvet curtain of The Jewel Box speakeasy. There he discovers the home he never had and the parents he never knew among a group of children surviving on the street."

Allen directed the Broadway and London revivals of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. A Tony nominee for her performances in the revivals of Sweet Charity and West Side Story, Allen won a Golden Globe and two Emmys for her role on "Fame."

For tickets phone (404) 733-5000 or visit AllianceTheatre.

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