The Wizard of Oz
by Young Star Musical Theatre
Just four years after L. Frank Baum published The
Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the cornerstone for the Elks Theater was laid in
Prescott, Arizona. And finally, in 2006, Dorothy, the Wicked Witch, and her
flying monkeys actually flew through the air of the historic theatre in Young
Star Musical Theatre’s production of The Wizard of Oz.
The double-cast show features Bria Maskovich and Audrey
Roberts as Dorothy, the girl from Kansas who ends up going over the rainbow
into the magical, but sometimes dangerous, land of Oz. Both have good humor and
personality, using lots of “Oh!” and “Oh my!” expressions at the many surprises
they encounter on their trip. Things that one doesn’t typically encounter in
turn-of-the-century Kansas (including the smell of the fog machine, which Bria
doesn’t like at all).
They also have good chemistry with their good friends (and
enemies) who are met along the way. Charlotte Shipley, Addie
Robertson, and Camden Brisco are the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion
who join Bria Maskovich, and they generate some great comedy along the
yellow brick road highlighted by a few little additions as the characters
partially bond via some good-natured teasing of each other. Like Scarecrow
noting he doesn’t get hungry – no stomach. “And no brain,” Dorothy reminds him.
Scarecrow needles Lion when the latter reflects, “I think poppies is my
favorite flower,” with Scarecrow shaking his head and saying, “You really are a
sissy.” Shortly thereafter, Tin Man helps the Lion get back at him, waking the
Scarecrow by hitting him with his axe.
The other group of friends are a little nicer to each other.
Brittany Reed has a great and natural, unassuming comedy about her as Scarecrow. Sami
Austin is the gentle Tin Man who falls asleep by sinking his head into his
body like a turtle. Breanne DeMenna is a ballet-dancing Lion with great
expressions who suffers from terrible nightmares about rabbits.
But not all of the citizens of Oz are friends of Dorothy.
The show is highlighted by a couple of terrific Wicked Witches. Jessica
Place torments Audrey Roberts with classic evil glee and great vocal work. Carly
Jonovich is a hilariously sadistic witch, kicking little munchkins out of
her way, pulling Dorothy’s hair, and ordering her into the dungeon by
shouting at her to “go faster!” causing a terrified Dorothy to scream back, “I’m going!”
Carly and Bria also share an amusing adlib when Dorothy arrives at the witch’s
castle with no Toto. “Where is the dog?” the witch asks with little patience.
“I’m afraid he ran off…” Dorothy begins, looking around nervously before
seeing Toto on the stage and exclaiming, “Oh, there it is!”
Shmaine Shepherd directs this creatively amusing production that includes good Glindas (Chelsea
Soto and Nicole St. Germaine who gets a little irritated at having
to tell Dorothy to just follow the yellow brick road for the unteenth time), a
darling garden of poppies, and a charismatic bunch of munchkins, and a Toto that
does quite well while roaming freely about the old theatre.
October 28, 2006.
National Youth Theatre
~ Cast ~
~ Thu./Sat. ~
Dorothy: Audrey Roberts
Auntie Em: Perri Snear
Uncle Henry: Tristan Soto
Scarecrow/Hunk: Brittany Reed
Tin Man/Hickory: Sami Austin
Lion/Zeke: Breanne DeMenna
Almira Gultch/Wicked Witch of the West: Jessica Place
Professor Marvel/Wizard of Oz: Ben Auer
Glinda: Chelsea Soto
Mayor: Carly Rotolo
Barrister: Shana West
Coroner: Kayla Carson
Guard: Krista Evers
~ Fri./Sun. ~
Dorothy: Bria Maskovich
Auntie Em: Rachelle Bluth
Uncle Henry: Noah Hogue
Scarecrow/Hunk: Charlotte Shipley
Tin Man/Hickory: Addie Robertson
Lion/Zeke: Camden Brisco
Almira Gultch/Wicked Witch of the West: Carly Jonovich
Professor Marvel/Wizard of Oz: Alex Bluth
Glinda: Nicole St. Germaine
Mayor: Lexy Shepherd
Barrister: Cierra Castaneda
Coroner: Emily St. Germain
Guard: Jenna Brisco
Director & Choreographer: Shmaine Shepherd
Music Director: Debbie Place
Stage Manager/Flying Director: Kim Auer
Set Design & Construction: Steve Posey, Kim Auer, and Tom Shipley
Costume Designer: Barbara Cookson