Support for LAist comes from
Made of L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Pasadena Playhouse's New 'Twist' on Dickens Classic

Alaman Diadhiou and Tamyra Gray do the "Twist" in Pasadena (Photo: Jim Cox)
Support your source for local news!
The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. Today, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

A program note for "Twist: An American Musical," the new adaptation of Dickens's "Oliver Twist" set in 1920s New Orleans, suggests that audiences should "feel free to tap your toes to the music" and affirms that "it's okay if the [show's] book...moves you to tears or to laugh out loud." But these are unlikely responses to this show.

There is actually a lot of good work going on in the Pasadena Playhouse. TV and Broadway veteran Debbie Allen's choreography is consistently inventive and frequently exciting. Pre-teen song and dance man Alaman Diadhiou in the title role and marquee chanteuse Tamyra Gray as Delia, the orphanage lackey turned nightclub star, lead a very capable cast. And Todd Rosenthal's set and ESosa's costumes are stylishly bold.

But the play's the thing, and this one features bland music, by-the-book lyrics, and flat dialogue. No amount of spectacle and onstage talent can overcome that.

"Twist: An American Musical" runs through July 17 at the Pasadena Playhouse.

Most Read