‘The Wizard of Oz’ a delightful take on a classic tale

 

Janet Hanson (l) and Traci Allen Shannon star in Wizard of OzEntertaining and joyful are just a few words to describe Children’s Theatre Company’s (CTC) production of The Wizard of Oz.  Peter Brosius directs the legendary musical led by actress Traci Allan Shannon, who along with the cast, delivers a stellar performance.

The Wizard of Oz is easily a staple in American culture. Beginning as a children’s novel titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by author L. Frank Baum, and popularized through the iconic musical film starring Judy Garland in 1939, the story follows Dorothy Gale’s journey to, and through, the land of Oz. After unexpectedly landing in Oz, Dorothy is anxious to get home, but first has to make her way to see the Wizard.

Shannon, who plays Dorothy, is best known for her 2013 CTC performance as Cinderella. She delivers a five-star performance here.

Reed Sigmund, playing the Cowardly Lion, brings the humor and connected to the children in the audience with his comical approach. While the cast as a whole delivered an outstanding performance, Sigmund and Shannon’s acting and singing seemed to stand out the most and received the most reaction from the audience.

While the cast consisted of CTC veterans such as Dean Holt and Gerald Drake in leading roles for the production, there were many other long-time actors working with the ensemble of youth actors and singing well-known songs like “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.”

The two-hour performance consisted of phenomenal choreography, and a great use of technology that enhanced the theatrical experience. One toddler exclaimed, “Oh cool, look mom!” during the famous tornado scene that featured a screen projector and classic theater techniques to show a virtual representation of being in a twister.

If CTC’s intention was to deliver a performance which would entertain a youthful audience and encourage them to want to return for more performances, then my daughter can confirm that the mission has been accomplished.

Just as other theatrical and on-screen renditions have done throughout the years, CTC has delivered an inspired production of the classic story we all know and love, while utilizing modern technology to give children today a show they won’t forget.

 

The Wizard of Oz is playing at Children’s Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Avenue South, Minneapolis, until January 10. Find ticket and other information at www.childrenstheatre.org/tickets or calling 612-874-0400.

Khymyle Mims welcomes reader responses to khymylewrites@gmail.com.