Friday, August 1, 2014

Wizard of Oz: Thoroughly Entertaining

Mads and Pamps all dressed up.
In the excitement of the moment--the moment that returned grandgirl Madeline and me to our tour of the arts--I forgot to look at our tickets for "The Wizard of Oz" tonight at Mill Mountain Theatre in Roanoke. I assumed the show started at 7:30. It began at 7, so we missed Dorothy singing "Over the Rainbow" and some snazzy light work with the cyclone. But we saw the bulk of the play and it was a dandy.

This version of Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen's classic musical was a children's production directed by Mill Mountain Theatre employees Anna Kimmell and Abigail Grubb.

They did a splendid job with a large cast of local children, led by Kelly Devens (Dorothy), Elijah Cortez (Scarecrow), Kyle Fauber (Tin Man), Jack Fishwick (Lion) and Taylor Berenbaum (Toto).  The Wicked Witch was played delightfully by Hanna Ruth Wellons and Glinda was Lizzie Turner. Ben Kennedy was the Wizard.

The cast, all the way from the smallest munchkin through Dorothy, was spot-on for this popular and enjoyable production, one that was a near sellout, as most of the run will be, I suspect.

The combination of Mill Mountain's professionalism and talented local kids is irresistible and if you have a kid or you are a kid (that's me), you'll thoroughly enjoy it. I promise. But don't miss the starting time. It's SEVEN O'CLOCK.

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