Growing up, watching The Wizard of Oz when it came on TV was an annual family event. We’d never miss it! We’d sit in front of our black ‘n white TV set and be entranced for two and a half hours. (I didn’t know, till I was an older teen, that Oz was filmed in color!)
Entranced is exactly how I felt last night at the Ordway Theater in St. Paull. Everything about Andrew Lloyd Webber’s stage adaptation of The Wizard of Oz was captivating: the familiar music (that I so wanted to sing along with!) plus some fun new pieces, the gifted musicians–both singers and orchestra, the bold and colorful sets and vibrant costumes, and, of course, the familiar story. A story that still reaches our children. Some of the loudest laughs came from the many children in the audience–when kids laugh, you know it’s funny. The scarecrow/Hunk (Jamie McKnight) and the cowardly lion/Zeke (Lee MacDougall provided much of the levity.
This production also welcomed newcomer, Danielle Wade, to the stage, and she filled those hard-to-fill ruby slippers with aplomb. Her voice was smooth and pitch-perfect, yet had a child-like quality. Danielle Wade was chosen for this part by Canadian viewers in the CBC’s reality TV show “Over the Rainbow.” (Much like the 2007 show, Grease: You’re the One That I Want, that chose Minnesota’s Laura Osnes to play the party of Sandy on Broadway.) The Canadian voters chose well.
It’s a magical show that families of all ages can and will enjoy.
(Note to parents: There are a few intense moments that could frighten very young children, but if they watch the movie, the play should be fine.)
The Wizard of Oz runs through December 29, 2013, at the Ordway
Tuesday-Sunday at 7:30 PM
Matinee shows at 2:00 PM every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
345 Washington Street
St. Paul, MN 55102
Ticket Office: 651.224.4222
Click <here> to purchase tickets online
I would like to thank the Ordway Theater for providing this opportunity to review The Wizard of Oz. I have given my honest opinion regarding this fabulous performance.