• Broadway Beat

Oh No: This High School "Oliver!" Production Has Them Doing the Accents

by Preeya Shankar. @PreeyaShankar.

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OH – Heights High School began its run of Oliver! this week, with several people who have already seen the show confirming that the students are, indeed, doing the cockney accents from the original production.


“My son was so excited for us to see the show, and we were so proud. And then... we were aghast,” said one mother, who preferred to remain anonymous for obvious reasons. “Look, we weren’t expecting high art, ok? We’ve done this rodeo before. But at least in Mamma Mia! they didn’t have Greek accents.”


Sophomore Helen Jenkins, who plays Nancy, expressed unbridled excitement at how the play went, while still in her stage makeup during the cast party at Cheesecake Factory.


“I think it's super cool!” Jenkins said excitedly, while brushing some errant soot out of her eyes. “I wanted to go totally method, but when I tried, my teachers were like ‘I’m gonna stop you right there’.”


Kayla Romero, the (two time second runner up for Excellence in Drama Teaching from the Cleveland Playhouse Education Division) drama teacher, was thrilled with the production.


I’m so proud of my students - and myself, of course. You know, it isn’t every high school drama teacher that chooses a musical - with an Oscar-nominated adaptation I might add - to be the spring production,” Ms. Romero said with aplomb, while subtly inching toward her Coolest Theatre Teacher of the Month! statue. "I knew I, ahem, we, were up to the challenge. I think next year it may finally be time to tackle the accents in Les Misérables, or maybe even Once on This Island!


The aforementioned anonymous parent, upon hearing this, simply responded by withdrawing their child from the school.