The Flat Rock Playhouse Young Performers Edition kicks off the 2015 season with the stage adaptation of the endearing family film classic, The Wizard of Oz, opened at the Downtown March 13 and runs through Sunday, March 29. If you think you seen it 100 times so why see Flatrock’s stage production, think again. The delightful musical is well done, from the acting, directed by Dave Hart to set designed by Chris Mueller and lighting designed by CJ Barnwell, and choreography by Kylee Odom and music directed by Alex Shields.
Based on the MGM film adaptation of the 1900 children’s novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow, chronicles the adventures of a young girl named Dorothy Gale in the Land of Oz, after being swept away from her Kansas farm home in a cyclone The first musical adaptation of the novel by Baum opened in Chicago in 1902 and went on to play a successful nine-year run on Broadway the following year. The 1939 MGM movie musical, starring Judy Garland won Academy Awards for best song and best score songs by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg.
In the young performers edition, sixteen year-old Hannah Kepple, charms you with her fresh voice and portrayal as Dorothy. Not to be upstaged by Dorothy’s dogToto (Maybe Ruth), supporting actor Christian Carmean tumbles his way into your heart as Scarecrow as do Jackson Pelz as the Cowardly Lion and Samuel Hooper as Tin Man. Hannah Daniels gives a convincingly grouchy performance as Miss Gulch and the corresponding Wicked Witch of the West, and Claire Griffin (alternating with Annabelle Cram who plays March 20 to 29), is dazzles in voice and stature in role of Glinda the good witch of the north Reese Giles also portrays Professor Marvel and the blustery Wizard of Oz.
Perhaps the most entertaining is the chorus of colorfully costumed Munchkins, including the Lullaby League and Lollipop Guild, and the fearsome Flying Monkeys and Winkies. Kylee Odom’s choreography, well executed by the Cyclone Dancers, also works well with Barnwell’s lighting to create a stormy effect. All in all, it is worth a trip down the yellow brick road to meet all of the characters again.
TICKETS AND SCHEDULE
The Wizard of Oz – Young Performer’s Edition runs through 29 at the
Playhouse Downtown located at 125 South Main Street in Hendersonville, NC.
Performances are Friday & Saturday at 7:00pm, with matinees Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 pm.
Tickets ($10 for students and $18 for adults) can be purchased by calling the Playhouse box office at 828-693-0731,(toll-free at 866-732-8008), or online at www.flatrockplayhouse.org.