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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wizard of Oz a great theatrical experience

Monday, July 2, 2007

We're Off to See the Wizard ... Ethan Sayler, Joe Titcomb, Katie Reed, and Ryan Brown in the Cherokee Community Theater production of "Wizard of Oz". Photo by Dan Whitney
The Cherokee Community Theater's presentation of the classic "Wizard of Oz" is a great experience for theater-goers of all ages. The performance, featuring a very large cast, including 21 youngsters, has evoked both oohs AND Oz (sorry about that) from the full-house audiences at the Cherokee Community Center.

Once again, the performances reminded us that a large group of talented people live in this area. It is hard to single out anyone in particular, since all of the cast are exemplary. The acting, singing, and playing of the classic Harold Arlen score, as well as the special effects, including "Flying by Foy," were all memorable.

The "showy" roles in Wizard are the Cowardly Lion and Wicked Witch of the West, and Ryan Brown as the lion and Dee Murphy as the green-complexioned witch do not disappoint. And much as I love Bert Lahr's performance in the 1939 film, Brown is a much better singer. Katie Reed also does a nice job on the standard "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Ethan Sayler may be a man of the cloth, but he's a man of tin in this production, and comes through with flying colors.

"... Really most sincerely dead" The Munchkinland Coroner (Emilee McGee) announces the Wicked Witch of the East's fate. Photo by Dan WHitney
Wizard is directed by Mollie Loughlin, with Music Direction by Amy Sarchet (who may want to soak her hands after playing piano almost non-stop for 2 hours and 45 minutes at each performance). The true "Wizard" of the production of course, with apologies to Dave Zelle, is Technical Director Wayne Morris, who does his usual stellar job behind the scenes.

Wizard of Oz was presented again the weekend of June 28- July 1, and an additional performance was added on Sunday evening at 7:30, due to the demand for tickets.

We represent the lollipop guild... Three members of the lollipop guild (Zac Taylor, Sara Ramirez, and Matt Keyser) introduce themselves to Dorothy. Photo by Dan Whitney
You're a witch? Glinda, the "Good Witch" (Cheryl Ellis) floats in on her bubble to meetDorothy (Katie Reed). Photo by Dan Whitney

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