For the Antigo Times
The Antigo Community Theatre’s fall, musical production of the “The Wizard of Oz” opens up next Friday, November 3.
This heartwarming tale is based on L. Frank Baum’s immensely popular children’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” written in 1900. The story is centered around a young girl, Dorothy Gale, played by Allysa Peloquin, who has big dreams of adventuring out from her all too predictable home life of living on a farm in Kansas with her Aunt Em, portrayed by Lorra Metko, and Uncle Henry, acted by Wayne Gagnon.
Dorothy’s not so friendly neighbor, Miss Almira Gulch, performed by Peggy Benes, is determined to have Dorothy’s pet dog, Toto, impounded, causing Dorothy to take Toto and run away from home. Not too far along the way she meets Professor Chester Marvel, acted by James Engmann, and as he listens to her troubles and after much persuasion, he convinces her to return home.
As Dorothy travels back to the farm, a cyclone approaches and she and Toto take shelter in her home. The home is torn off the foundation and Dorothy is knocked unconscious; when the storm finally stops she awakens to find herself in a strange and beautiful place, Munchkin Land. It is here that she is met by the townspeople, the munchkins, who congratulate her for saving them from the Wicked Witch of the East as they sing “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”. The revelry abruptly ends with The Wicked Witch of the West swooping in and demanding to know who killed her sister.
Suddenly Glinda, the Good Witch from the North, comes to Dorothy’s rescue and gives her the ruby slippers that belong to The Wicked Witch of the East. The Wicked Witch of the West flies off but threatens Dorothy with revenge. Dorothy implores Glinda to help her get back to her home, so Glinda directs Dorothy to “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” to the Emerald City to implore the Great Wizard of Oz to help her. It is on this road that she encounters three new friends, The Scarecrow, acted by Darlaen Jansen, The Tin Man, portrayed by Tim Blahnik, and the Lion performed by Chad Luerssen. All four travel together in search of The Wizard of Oz in hopes of making their dreams come true. Many adventures fall along the way, but in the end all four of the traveling companions find their way as Dorothy finds out what true happiness is.
This Academy Award-winning musical (a total 10 Academy Awards including Best Score and song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”) was first produced in 1939 for the big screen by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg. It wasn’t until 1987 that the movie was adapted to a stage production by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company.
This wonderful musical has Molly Gums as the Artistic Director, with Denise Hale as Choral Director, Elyse Snider as choreographer and orchestral direction by Jeff Burdick.
The play will open Friday, November 3, 4, 9,10, 11 at 7:30 PM at the Volm Theater and a matinee on Sunday, November 5th at 2:00 PM. Tickets are $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 12yrs and under and ACT is offering an “Oz Package” of two adult and two children’s tickets for $25.00. Tickets are available at Neve’s Floors to Go, Furniture & Mattress Gallery at 710 5th Ave. and at the door.