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The Wizard of Oz: a review
By Sherrie Nist
       I loved this musical!! There was nothing about it I
didn’t like: the actors, the costumes, the music, the
dancing, the stage sets, etc. The Yellow Brick Road has
never been more fun!
       Everybody knows the plot, so I won’t bother telling
you about that. The Wizard of Oz is one of my all time
favorite movies, and I was hoping the stage production
would live up to the movie, and it did, spectacularly!!  
       I was wondering how the theatre company would
stage some of the movie’s classic scenes. I wasn’t
disappointed. The Munchkins were a mixture of children
and adults. The adults were walking on their knees,
wearing shoes on their knees, their lower legs hidden by
long costumes.
       The storm/tornado scene was extremely creative.
Dancers pranced around the stage, waving what
appeared to be white strips of fabric, flapping  them
wildly, representing  all that was flapping in the wind.
One dancer had a stick with a replica of the house on it,
and he spun it around as he traversed the stage.
       Miss Gulch/the Wicked Witch of the East (Sally Jo
Bannow) was every bit as nasty and creepy as you’d
want her to be. The scene during the storm, when Miss
Gulch’s bicycle took flight and she soared over the
stage was a delight.
       The music and dancing were excellent. The actress
(Carly Nicole Grossman) playing Dorothy had an
incredible voice. Her rendition of Over the Rainbow more
than did justice to Judy Garland’s original. This talented
young woman is a senior at Ironwood High School, and
has already appeared in numerous stage productions
around the valley.  Dorothy’s sidekicks, the Scarecrow
(Toby Yatso), the Cowardly Lion (Robert Kolby Harper),
and Tin Man (Ryan Kleinman), played their parts
flawlessly.  Rusty Ferracane gave a stellar performance
as the wizard. Glinda was ethereal and beautiful as she
descended onto the stage in a round contraption that
filled in for her bubble from the movie.
       Some of the side characters I especially enjoyed
were the Talking Trees, the Crows, and the Poppies.  
These ingenious characters contributed greatly to the
fun and liveliness of the story.  Of course the Flying
Monkees were another highlight. Only one of them were
actually flying; this was likely  a practical concern; the
stage is only so big. There would be a lot of mid-air
collisions if they were all airborne.
       I already mentioned the music. It was the classic
songs we’ve known and loved. I still have “Ding Dong,
the Witch is Dead,” and “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”  
running on a loop in my head.
       I highly recommend this play to everybody. It’s a
feel-good production the whole family can enjoy. The
kids will love it, and as for the adults, these beloved
characters have lost none of their charm.
       The Wizard of Oz runs until December 27th, at
Phoenix Theatre, 100 E. McDowell Road, Phoenix,
85004. Visit phoenixtheatre.com, or call the Box Office at
602-254-2151.