Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended
"... this kind of casting also transforms this musical from the typical family-oriented mixture of tuneful Dickensian cliches into something that digs far, far deeper. And therefore, it merits a northward drive for city-bound musical lovers."
Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended
"...For a quick lesson in why the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire has not only managed to reach its 30th anniversary this month, but is celebrating the milestone with more than 40,000 subscribers, all you have to do is look at David H. Bell's luminous, ingeniously staged revival of "Oliver!..."
SouthtownStar - Highly Recommended
"...Director David Bell, who also choreographs this delicious show, has a way of taking worn productions and breathing fresh life into them, which is what he has done spectacularly with "Oliver!" Without a doubt, this show is better than any of the downtown touring productions that I have ever seen."
Pioneer Press - Recommended
"...The title role is played by Michael Notardonato, a seventh grader from Naperville. He has a glorious boy-soprano voice, he can dance with the best of them and his smiling, elfin face can quickly turn melancholy, as he traverses the ups and downs of the poor child's life. His "Where is Love" is a tear-jerker that reminds us this ballad is about maternal, not romantic love."
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Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended
"...much of the first act of this lackluster production drags: under David H. Bell's direction the well-choreographed musical numbers are sprightly, but the dialogue is flat. Part of the trouble is Michael Notardonato, who has a beautiful voice but looks blank as Oliver Twist. The show is almost worth seeing, though, for two star turns: Greg Vinkler as a conflicted, fearful, wryly funny Fagin and Kate Fry as a vivacious Nancy with a will of steel."
Time Out Chicago - Somewhat Recommended
"...As Oliver, Notardonato is quite a find, with an angelic, unforced voice and an earnest stage presence. The production looks beautiful, too; Thomas M. Ryan's set design makes canny use of Marriott's limited stage space, while Nancy Missimi's gorgeous costumes evoke George Cruikshank's original illustrations."
ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended
"...This is a smart, nicely paced, well-sung production that features many “A” list Chicago performers led by Greg Vinkler as Fagan, Kate Fry as Nancy with a golden voiced new comer Michael Notardonato as the orphan, Oliver and the ever-youthful Matt Raftery as The Artful Dodger."
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Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended
"...One of Chicago's finest character actors, Greg Vinkler seems born to play Fagin, instructing his young thieves in the art of pick-pocketing like a master crime theorist. Vinkler's Fagin is a crafty and haughty Father Time in a hazardous game of survival. The fact that this Shakespearean veteran also displays polished musical timing makes for an even richer characterization. Michael Notardonato is an exceptional Oliver; his angelic singing voice is pure and strong, and his sweetly melancholic manner will melt your heart."