Review: Wizard Of Oz – A REFRESHING TWIST ON A BELOVED CLASSIC
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We’re off to see the wizard…..
Oh boy, oh boy! I was beyond excited to finally see this production. I felt like a little kid, giddy and giggly when I read the email confirming 2 media tickets would be at will call. Oh yeah my 4 year old was excited too.
Look at that face
We arrived about 20 minutes early, which was enough time to get a snack, drink and find our seat. Let me tell you the place was PACKED! Wall to wall people, young and old. We sat next to a middle aged couple who, well lets just say wasn’t thrilled to see us coming. The wife rolled her eyes and stared us down with that “Oh my god, that kid better keep his mouth shut” look on her face. Really? You do know that this is a child friendly show right? Well, by the end of the night her face changed when she saw how well behaved and pleasant he was. She even smiled at him when he applauded the actors. Mom for the WIN!
7:38 the lights begin to dim and the music starts. Here we go….
Now unless you have lived under a rock since 1932 when the movie came out, you know what the story is about. But this was so much more. From start to finish I couldn’t take my eyes off of the stage. The lights, colors, costumes and set design “oh my” were superb. You felt like you were right there in the story. It was A REFRESHING TWIST ON A BELOVED CLASSIC.
Sarah Lasko portrays Dorothy, the girl who discovers Munchkin Land in the touring production of “The Wizard of Oz,” at Heinz Hall through Monday. Photo: Luk Monsaert
According to the Press Release: 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 U.S. tour beginning in September of 2013. The national tour of THE WIZARD OF OZ 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 will be provided by William Berloni.
Dorothy and Glinda Photo: Luk Monsaert
Sarah Lasko was spot on in her rendition of the lovable Dorothy Gale. Her energy and breathtaking voice would bring anyone to their knees.
Mark A. Harmon (Professor Marvel & The Wizard) brought his own charisma to the role.
Shani Hadjian (Miss Glutch & The Wicked Witch of the West) showed us what it is like to love your job. Her voice and mannerisms demanded your attention. She owned the stage.
Rachel Womble (Glinda) brought confidence, charm and tons of glitter to the stage. She left you feeling warm and fuzzy.
Aaron Fried (Zeke/Lion), Jay McGill (Hickory/Tin Man), & Morgan Reyonds (Hunk/Scarecrow) were loveable, charming and hilarious. They made you cry, melt and laugh all at the same time.
Randy Charleville (Uncle Henry) & Emmanuelle Zeesman (Auntie Em) were true to form. Their parts were small, had only a few lines.
Ensemble featured a few hometown boys. Nick Morgan who is native to Monroeville/North Huntingdon area, while Dorsey Ziller, Dominick Sannelli and Will Geoghegan are all Point Park alumni. They made us all proud. Way to go guys!
Cast Photo: Luk Monsaert
I very much enjoyed the classic songs like “Somewhere over the rainbow”, “Follow the yellow brick road” and of course “Ding-Dong the witch is dead”. You know I was singing along. But for this production, included were new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Some of which were “Nobody Understands Me” and “Red Shoes Blues”.
Let’s not forget the orchestra which was conducted by David Andrews Rogers. A stellar performance that brought the story to your ears.
What more can I say? I was very impressed and honored to have been a guest during opening night. Thank you to Trust Arts! For more information about tickets please click here Trust Arts Box Office.