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Review

The Wizard of Oz
by Desert Stages Theatre
 

The Show:  

Lions and tigers and bears. Good witches and bad witches and humbug wizards. Munchkins and Ozians and Jitterbugs. Rusting men made out of tin, dancing scarecrows and cowardly lions. And Toto, too! Yes, we have left the drab turn-of-the-century farmlands of Kansas for the colorful and magical Land of Oz Ė L. Frank Baumís original American fairy tale that since 1900 has been keeping us all young at heart, thanks in large part to the 1939 blockbuster film of the storyís popular musical version where Dorothy Gale first took us Over the Rainbow.  

The Production:  

Angela Kriese directs this Desert Stages Theatre production, also helping to design the beautiful set along with Laurie Cullity, Mark Honaker, and Beth Rose that uses the theater in the round to draw you from the yellow brick roads of the walls and pillars down to the stage where they all intersect in a magical vortex. The show itself varies a bit more than usual from the film, with a few scenes cut and a few little insertions that give more cast members a chance to shine.  

Of course, Dorothy still takes us Over the Rainbow thanks to Haley Johnsonís sweet and lovely vocals, playing her role with a good mixture of whimsy and wide-eyed innocence and wonder. Kiara Adams is her adorable dog Toto, while her trio of Ozian friends includes Haley Cohn as the brainless and floppy-limbed Scarecrow, Jordan Yampolsky as a gentle Tinman, and Jeremy Yampolsky as a lovable cowardly Lion. Also in their corner, Devon Prokopek glitters as good witch Glinda who says everything with a huge, ever-present smile and amusing sing-song voice no matter how dark or harrowing her words might be.  

Speaking of dark and harrowing, Rachel Redleaf is a riot as the Wicked Witch of the West, using great timing, body language, expressions and voice to terrorize Dorothy and the Munchkins and anyone else who dares get in her way of those ruby slippers. Elsewhere, Kaitlin Randazzo is a motherly Auntie Em, Stephen Sanicola is the humbuggy man behind the curtain, and other good performances come from Matthew Villarreal and Ashley Heinrich as gossiping Ozians, Eila Elton and Elizabeth Johnston as a couple of Munchkins who bravely approach the witch-killing Dorothy, and the humorous civic leaders of the Munchkin city. And the ensemble of Munchkins, Ozians, Tornado Dancers, and Winkies keep our journey through Oz an enchanting one with winning grins and enthusiastic dancing and singing of the memorable songs.

Performed August 19 - September 18, 2011

Rob Hopper
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Executive Director
National Youth Arts

~ Cast ~ 


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Dorothy: Haley Johnson
Scarecrow: Haley Cohn
Tinman: Jordan Yampolsky
Lion: Jeremy Yampolsky
Glinda: Devon Prokopek
Wicked Witch: Rachel Redleaf
Toto: Kiara Adams
Auntie Em: Kaitlin Randazzo
Bog: Eila Elton
Zog: Elizabeth Johnston
Emerald: Alexandra Rahman
Pearl: Kaleigh Feuerstein
Wizard: Stephen Sanicola
Verdo: Matthew Villarreal
Jade: Ashley Heinrich
Amber: Haley Miller
Topaz: Ruthie Cox
Winkle: Courtney Wellenstein
Wonkle: Sarah Shipley
Ruby: Hope Fogle
Garnet: Jamie Villarreal
Inky: Grace Helenic
Blinky: Cha-Cha Aranas
Slinky: Stella Marcuzzo
Winky: Chloe Berglind
Mayor: Jack Yampolsky
Barrister: Noah Sygrove
Coroner: Zolie Berencsi
City Father: Ryan Morales
Munchkin #1: Natalie Brothen
Munchkin #2: Zoe Selthun
Munchkin #3: Morgan Lowe
Munchkin #4: Lois Sygrove
Munchkin #5: Autumn Villarreal

Tornado Dancers:
Gabrielle Almeter
Elyssa Blonder
Haley Cohn
McKenna Dersam
Kaleigh Feuerstein
Chantel Frankson
Catherine Fox
Paige Gehringer
Jessica Jenkins
Haley Johnson
Elizabeth Johnston
Devon Prokopek
Jaquelyn Swartz
Sofia Toro
Juliet Wilson
Jeremy Yampolsky
Jordan Yampolsky
Hannah Zieser

Lullaby League:
Ava Adams
Brinley Altman
Lillian Apostolou
Kennadie Coomber
Elizabeth Ducar
Piper Grant
Darlington Guess
Hiraya Manalastas
Ava Sandifer

Lollipop Guild:
Zachary Astrowsky
Hunter Feuerstein
Jack Flaherty
Stephen Sanicola

Ensemble:
Gabby Astrowsky
Sissy Dillon
Alexandra Ducar
Hayley Rhorer
Danielle Ross
Shaina Ross
Nadia Slavieck

Artistic Director: Laurie Cullity
Director: Angela Kriese
Assistant Director: Desiree Vaughan
Choreographers: Megan Sawyer, Hannah Zieser
Dance Captains:
Kristin Alba
Dillan Butler
Kessley Butler
Haley Cohn
Alana Doyle
Haley Johnson
Elysha Nemeth
Rachel Redleaf
Sydney Weinberger
Dance Demonstrators:
Eila Elton
Kaci Feinstein
Riley Glick
Adam Hays
Kasey Hernandez
Elizabeth Johnston
Erin Tarkinggton
Jeremy Yampolsky
Jordan Yampolsky
Technical Director: Lindsey Ihrig
Set Design: Angela Kriese, Laurie Cullity, Mark Honaker, Beth Rose
Stage Managers: Serena Hudson, Haley Miller
Lighting Design: Lindsey Ihrig, Chris Caracciolo
Set Construction:
John Michelet
Enrico Dargenzio
Mark Frankson
Warren Lueker
Steve Prokopek
Randy Randazzo
Adam Robbins
Tech Crew:
Rilie Axtell
Dana Butcher
Austin Grove
Lauryn Martin
Isaiah Timmons
Costume Coordinators: Dagne Vaughan, Pam Weyers, Stephanie Yampolsky
Costume Seamstresses: Mickey and Rhea Courtney, Lia Hunyady
Make-up Design: Jacqui Notorio

   

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