Local Actor Shines In Oliver! - Hoping For The National Spotlight

It's a musical that's being reinvented all across the world, including here in east Texas.

Oliver! is playing at the Tyler Civic Theatre Center. The cast of 50 is full of east Texans who have made acting their passion.

One of them is 13 year old Hunter Regian.

KLTV 7's Danielle Capper shows us how this aspiring young actor has taken his role to a new level in New York City.

It's a talented cast; Hunter is just one of them.

"It's fun because you're all happy when you're a pickpocket because you steal and everything but then when you are in the workhouse they make you work all the time. Hard labor. It's fun to play two separate parts because they are nothing like each other."

Hunter began acting early. He has been in school plays since the first grade.

"I'm just getting used to theater. My first play was Polyanna which was like in January, so it just kinda caught on really fast and I started to love it."

"I was on the internet and I had just gotten this thing called 'Backstage'. It tells you all the auditions and everything and I saw Oliver! national tour. I said hey Mom, I'm in Oliver now - can I go audition?"

Off he went to a New York City audition.

"It was a lot easier because I knew all the songs and most of the dance steps that we had learned here so I could show them there. It was great to be in the show here, so that's why I went."

"I'm hoping to hear back from them."

Hunter made it past two cuts to the the final 12 but hasn't heard the final answer.

If he makes the cut - "I will be gone for 9 months, traveling the nation, performing every night."

Hunter says whether he makes it or not it was a valuable experience, one that built his confidence and has encouraged him to continue acting for a long time.

"It's a lot of fun so I would encourage people to come see it."

Oliver! is playing for the next two weekends at the Tyler Civic Theatre.

The show runs for two more weekends July 24-27, and Aug. 1-3. Tickets are now available: $20 for adults and $15 for students and can be purchased at the Tyler Civic Theatre Center box office located in the Center at 400 Rose Park Drive or online at www.tylercivictheatre.com.

Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday July 24 and 31; Friday July 25, and Aug. 1; and Saturdays July 26, and Aug. 2. Sunday matinees begin at 2:30 p.m. on July 27 and Aug. 3.

Danielle Capper, reporting. dcapper@kltv.com