Full Synopsis

Full Synopsis

Lionel Bart's Oliver! JR. opens in a glum workhouse in 19th century England, where the poor, hungry, hardworking children are waiting for dinner ("Food Glorious Food"). The children scarf down their food, but one plucky orphan isn't satisfied; Oliver wants more ("Oliver")! Shocked and perturbed by his boldness, the individuals in charge of the workhouse, Mr. Bumble and Widow Corney, agree to sell Oliver to anyone willing to take him off their hands ("Boy For Sale"). The undertaker, Mr. Sowerberry, pays for the boy, and as Oliver takes in his grim new surroundings, he wonders if anyone will ever love him ("Where Is Love?").

The next morning, the Sowerberrys' apprentice, Noah, comes into the undertaker's parlor and begins bullying Oliver. When Noah says cruel things about Oliver's dead mother, Oliver lunges at him, starting a fight. Mr. Sowerberry tries to send Oliver back to the workhouse, but Oliver flees to the outskirts of London. Oliver happens upon clever pickpocket Dodger, who offers the boy a place to stay with Fagin's Gang of thieves. Oliver accepts and is welcomed by the gang ("Consider Yourself"). Oliver doesn't fully understand what he's gotten himself into, as Fagin explains their "business" ("Pick A Pocket Or Two").

Nancy and her friend Bet pay a visit to Fagin and his thieves the next morning, and though the young women lead dangerous lives of crime, they insist they enjoy it ("It's A Fine Life"). Oliver politely bows when he is introduced to the girls, and the gang makes fun of him for it. Nancy, however, comes to his defense, admiring his manners ("I'd Do Anything"). Fagin then puts the gang to work, sending them out to pickpocket ("Be Back Soon"). Oliver's first day of thievery does not go well when Mr. Brownlow catches the boy stealing his handkerchief. Oliver is apprehended by a Policeman.

That evening, Nancy is present at a boxing match where she sings "the old school song" for a rough crowd (Oom- Pah-Pah). However, the fun quickly ends when brutal burglar Bill Sikes enters ("My Name"). Dodger suddenly rushes in, reporting to Fagin that Oliver has been taken in by Mr. Brownlow. Sikes overhears the conversation and orders Nancy to go steal him back. Nancy doesn't want to take Oliver away from his new home, but her love for Sikes compels her to do as she has been told ("As Long As He Needs Me").

In Mr. Brownlow's home, the housekeeper Mrs. Bedwin affectionately sings Oliver a lullaby ("Where Is Love? - Reprise") while the Market Sellers sell their wares outside ("Who Will Buy? - Part 1"). Dr. Grimwig arrives to check on Oliver's health, but he is suspicious that the boy may be taking advantage of Mr. Brownlow. He suggests Oliver complete an errand for Mr. Brownlow, and Mr. Brownlow agrees. Oliver leaves on his errand, wandering into the market ("Who Will Buy? - Part 2"). Nancy, Bet, and Sikes enter the scene, stealing a struggling Oliver away from his new life.

Once Oliver is back among the thieves, Nancy expresses her regret in helping abduct him ("It's A Fine Life - Reprise"). Fagin privately seems conflicted about his involvement as well ("Reviewing The Situation"). Meanwhile, at the workhouse, Old Sally reveals a secret. She stole a locket from Oliver's mother, who gave birth to the boy and passed away in the workhouse. The locket seems to indicate that Oliver's mother came from a wealthy family. Widow Corney and Mr. Bumble set out to find the boy, intent on making a profit from this information ("Oliver - Reprise").

Widow Corney and Mr. Bumble take the locket to Mr. Brownlow, who realizes the locket belonged to his daughter, making Oliver his grandson. Suddenly, Nancy rushes in, revealing to Mr. Brownlow and Mrs. Bedwin why Oliver has gone missing. She tells them she will return Oliver to them that night. Nancy leaves, but she fails to see that Sikes is following her ("As Long As He Needs Me - Reprise"). Later that night, Sikes confronts Nancy and Bet as they are delivering Oliver to Mr. Brownlow. A struggle ensues, and Oliver breaks free, but Sikes strikes Nancy, ultimately killing her. An angry crowd chases Sikes down, but Sikes jumps off a bridge to his death before they can reach him. After a night of terror, Oliver is reunited with Mr. Brownlow and Mrs. Bedwin. Fagin and his gang, meanwhile, flee from the police, and Fagin considers turning over a new leaf.