I’ve rhapsodized previously about the stellar plays put on by Berkeley Playhouse, and I am pleased to say that its current production of Oliver is wonderful.

The show features 30 kids, mostly from schools around Berkeley and Oakland. Nandi Drayton is wonderful as Oliver, and Katie Corbus is great as the Artful Dodger.

“As the title character, Nandi Drayton is the uncontested star of this production,” Gwen Kingston wrote in the Daily Californian. “Her strong voice and precocious vulnerability make her a joy to watch throughout.”

The play is suitable for young children, as Berkeley Playhouse has moved offstage the scene where Bill Sykes kills his girlfriend Nancy. In true Berkeley fashion, Berkeley Playhouse gives this question a full airing and details what may or may not be upsetting.

The production is at the Julia Morgan Theater and runs through May 16.

Tickets are available here.

Frances Dinkelspiel, Berkeleyside and CItyside co-founder, is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California, published in November...