This production of The Wizard of Oz is a wonderful adaptation of the all-time classic. This new production contains the beloved Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg songs from the Oscar®-winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The Wizard of Oz had its world premiere at The London Palladium Theatre in March of 2011. After a successful West End run, the production had its North American premiere in Toronto in December of 2012, and then embarked on a tour in the USA beginning in September of 2013.
The national tour will feature the same award-winning creative team from London and Toronto: Jeremy Sams (direction), Robert Jones (set and costume design), Arlene Phillips (choreography), Hugh Vanstone (lighting design), Mick Potter (sound design), Jon Driscoll & Daniel Brodie (video/projection design), David Cullen (orchestrations) and Graham Hurman (musical supervision). Animals are provided by William Berloni.
Since I mentioned Berloni, I have to note one of the animals that stole the show opening night. Toto was definitely a scene stealer, nailing the audience in the feels (feelings) with cuteness and boasting high-quality training that evening. The delivery of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was respectable. Dorothy, played by Sarah Lasko, belted out a wondrous tune once welcome to Munchkin Land. That was where we’d see the best performance of the night from Good Glinda, played by Rachel Womble.
The inside jokes that were thrown in the mix added to the fun of this family friendly adaptation. The performance overall was very entertaining for adults and children alike, and if I didn’t know any better I’d say the Wicked Witch’s minions visited the AUC showing off dance moves like that!
The Wizard of Oz gets a 9 out of 10. It’s only here through Sunday so get your tickets now and feel free to dress up. You’ll see plenty of Dorothys and red slippers. The amount of parents matching with children was heartwarming. There’s truly no better way to spend this weekend.
Photos by Daniel A. Swalec