Sunday, September 7, 2003

Local actors chosen for 'Oliver' tour

Many were called when the national non-Equity tour of Oliver! held an open casting call in Cincinnati in July. Three were chosen.

Katie Johannigman, Samuel Todd and Christian Vannasdall will report for rehearsals in New York at the end of this month and open a nine-month run in Denver in November.

Katie, 13, will play the young sidekick to tragic heroine Nancy in the show. Katie already has a long line of credits. She's a veteran of Playhouse in the Park's A Christmas Carol, Cincinnati Ballet's Nutcracker, Cincinnati Symphony's Home for the Holidays, the Children's Theatre and community theater.

The Wyoming Middle School student "has been singing and dancing since she could walk and talk," says mom Mary, who will accompany her on tour.

Both Samuel, 13, and Christian, 10, are School for Creative and Performing Arts students. Samuel will be a member of criminal Fagin's young gang of pickpockets. His most recent stint on a local stage was in Children's Theatre's Casey at the Bat, in which he and brother Garrison were cast as twins.

If there's a downside to the Oliver! tour for Samuel, it's that "he was hoping to be in Tom Sawyer at Tall Stacks," reports mom Dee. There never really was a question, though. "It's my dream," he told her firmly and often as the family discussed touring at a young age. "He was resolute," she laughs.

Oliver! isn't scheduled for a Cincinnati appearance, although the tour's Web site lists two dark weeks in June.


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