Sometimes, size matters.
Last spring, diminutive Walter Panas sophomore Elizabeth Trifone was cast as Marta von Trapp in “The Sound of Music,” answering to her father’s whistle until Fraulein Maria showed up and shook things up.
This year, Trifone is a junior and still diminutive, but she landed the title role in “Oliver!” — with performances at 7:30 p.m., May 2 and 3.
“Oliver” is chock full of memorable songs, from “Oom Pah Pah” to “Where is Love?” to “Consider Yourself” and “Food, Glorious Food.” It’s the musical retelling of Charles Dickens’ story of an orphan boy in London.
“I have to make myself a boy every night,” Trifone says with a smile. “I have a lot of friends who help me.”
What did those friends think when she told them she got a part in “Oliver!” and it was Oliver?
“They were really happy for me. They were excited that I have a big part, the ‘name’ part in the show.”
Still, Trifone’s friends know her and they know that she has “really long hair.”
What does she do to tame those tresses?
“Pin curls and lots of hairspray.”
That’s what it takes to become Oliver: Pincurls and hairspray.
And a lot of rehearsal.
Oliver’s lot is a tough one: orphaned, sold to an undertaker then out on the streets as a pickpocket, part of a gang led by Fagin (junior Steven DeNardo).
So it might come as little surprise that Trifone’s favorite moment in the show is when Oliver is happy, when he first meets The Artful Dodger (junior Chris Nadramia) and they sing and dance to “Consider Yourself.”
“It’s one of the first times in the show I get to be happy,” she says.
Director James Filippelli breaks two theater rules — never work with kids or animals — by casting 30 elementary-school children from Lincoln Titus, George Washington and Van Cortlandtville schools, and having his Bill Sykes bring his own dog, a black pug named Olive.
Olive, meet Oliver.
“Oliver!” 7:30 p.m., May 2 and 3. $10, 914-739-2823, ext. 555.
Here’s the Running Lines video I shot at Panas. Enjoy.