Dickens’ ‘Oliver Twist’ Running at PICT; DJ Zombo Spins the Discs at Kelly’s (Thurs., 12/17/15)

They're playing with a full deck but the game isn't fair. Fagin (James FitzGerald, bearded) controls the rackets and young folks like the Artful Dodger (Simon Colker, R, in the torn hat) are his minions.

They’re playing with a full deck but the game isn’t fair. Fagin (James FitzGerald, bearded) controls the rackets and young folks like the Artful Dodger (Simon Colker, R, in the torn hat) are his minions. Photo by Suellen Fitzsimmons.

1) Are you ready for a play about nasty street gangs and institutionalized child abuse? PICT Classic Theatre’s Oliver Twist is quite different from Oliver!, the well-known musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel. Besides not being a musical, the PICT version is darker in tone and truer to Dickens’ original. Oliver Twist was first published in monthly magazine installments from 1837 to 1839, with Dickens using the episodes to depict harsh realities that loomed over lower-class youth of the time: The boy Oliver escapes a brutal workhouse for orphans, but only to be treated cruelly as a household servant, and then he’s hijacked into joining a criminal gang.

PICT’s adaptation was done by Alan Stanford before he took his present post as the company’s Artistic and Executive Director. This Oliver Twist premiered to good reviews at Dublin’s Gate Theatre in 2000. Like the novel, the play isn’t all grim. By portraying the young hero’s resilience and the kindness of some people he encounters, it tells a story of hope amid turmoil. 8 p.m. Performances through tomorrow. Charity Randall Theatre in the Stephen Foster Memorial, 4301 Forbes Ave., Oakland. (MV)

2) DJ Zombo (Michael Devine)—hard working DJ, radio host (WRCT Fridays, noon – 4 p.m.), event producer (R.A.N.T. – Rock All Night held annually in Lawrenceville)—brings his extensive, knowledgeable playlist to Kelly’s Bar & Lounge in East Liberty every Thursday night. Free admission, all  you have to do is buy your own drinks. He plays his tunes from a unique stand that is metallic-looking and has retro light bulbs plugged into it along the top, something that could possibly give Frankenstein a jump start.  Zombo’s radio show’s tag line is  “Zombo in Your Brain.” And after hearing him DJ you’ll know that’s a good thing. 6012 Centre Ave.

3) Mario’s East Side hosts Team Trivia Night every Thursday. Win, place, or show and your team will earn Mario’s gift certificates. Play against the Miller Lite Girls, and you could even win Miller Lite trinkets and giveaways! Feed your brain some chewy trivia and your stomach some delicious Mario’s food. 8 p.m. 5442 Walnut St., Shadyside.