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REVIEW: Wizard of Oz a treat for all ages

by Marie Male

ST. JACOBS - To anyone who has felt the sweetness of Dorothy’s song, the fear of the flying monkeys or the joy of skipping on a yellow brick road, this production will thrill again.

Truly a treat for all ages, The Wizard of Oz is this season’s grand finale show for Drayton Entertainment  - and out they go in a blaze of technicolour.

Most on the planet are familiar with Dorothy and the Kansas tornado that lands her in the enchanted land of Oz. Despite the beautiful scenery,  and newfound friends - a lion, scarecrow and man made of tin - Dorothy discovers there is no place like home.

The Wizard of Oz is an adaptation of the classic 1939 movie starring Judy Garland and stays very much true to it. From his novel, L. Frank Baum wrote the first stage version for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1903. The musical version was adapted by John Kane from the movie and premiered at London’s Barbican Centre in 1987.

Amy Wallis plays Dorothy as the wistful girl with the big voice, especially as she sings Somewhere Over the Rainbow. She takes on the role as professionally as she did  Anne of Green Gables at the Charlottetown Festival.

Stephen Roberts gets a brain as the appealing but weak-kneed Scarecrow, Jonathan Whittaker plays the Tin Man with heart and Nick Settimi bravely tackles the role of the Cowardly Lion with a shaking voice and a tail with a life of its own.

Fifty-two local children play  the notorious Munchkins for this production. Working in shifts, they are a lucky and talented gang. Also in a starring role as Toto, is Tilley the Norfolk Terrier, a canine cutie that is always on cue.

Jackie Mustakas, as the miserable Miss Gulch, rode the bike on stage with mean aggression and played the part of the Wicked Witch of the West with wonderful flair and frightful expression.

Drayton Entertainment favourite Karen K. Edissi stars as Auntie Em and Glinda the Good Witch with vivacious skill.  Brian McKay, as Wizard of Oz and Professor Marvel, lends a touch of bravado and great kindness to his roles.

Set designer Jean Claude Oliver has fashioned a series of elaborate scenes with ingenious creativity. A tornado complete with flying cow and twirling house, the giant superimposed face of the mighty Oz and scary forests are among them.

Costume designer Rachel Berchtold we hope had some of the work cut out for her in the costume department, with so many to create.

Flowery munchkins, apple trees, Winkies, people as a poppy field that turns into a snow field and a sweeping black and Gothic looking costume for the wicked witch added much enjoyment.

The Wizard of Oz is directed by Drayton Entertainment favourite Adam Furfaro, music direction by Peter Aylin and choreography by Linda Garneau.

It runs until Dec. 18 and is almost sold out. For tickets call 519-747-7788 or visit www.draytonentertainment.com

 

November 25, 2011

 
 

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