THE WIZARD OF OZ set to open at the Colonial Theater

Elizabeth Black as Dorothy Gale, Rebecca Handcock as Aunt Em, Zoey Turner as Toto, Kell Fleshwood as Uncle Henry, Douglas Wright as Zeke/The Lion, Desi Rimon as Hickory/Tinman, Will Cox as Hunk/Scarecrow, Karen Terry as Miss Almira Gulch/Wicked Witch of the West, Buster Freeze as Professor Chester Marvel/Doorkeeper/Wizard of Oz, Susan Thompson as Glinda the Good Witch, Jimmy Martin as Tree one, Tanya Talley as Tree two, Suzy Thomas as Tree three, Kayla Parrish, Laila Jackson, Sadie Clark and Ava Starte as the Lollipop Guild, Emily Kalua as the Mayor, McKensey Franklin as the Coroner, Katie Waddill as the Barrister, Lila Hardee, JoBeth Winter, Charlotte Wilson, Christen Baird, Eden Talley and Hailee Handcock as the Lullaby League, Emma Jones, Emerson Talley, Nicole Stanley, Ava Mason as the Poppies, McKayla Allgood, Autumn Floyd, Molly Kalua and Dava Turner as the Snowflakes, Linda Parham, Jimmy Martin, Krytina Parrish, Tanya Talley, Allen Handcock and Suzy Thomas as the Ozians, Micah Christian, Brody King and Deon Kemper as the Winkies, Kai Coronas, Wyatt Szabo, Ethan Stahl and David Rimon as the Flying Monkeys. 

The Colonial Center’s production of “The Wizard of Oz” will be opening March 9. Director Doug Wright said the show follows the 1939 movie closely and should be entertaining for both old and young, with many familiar lines.  

The Wizard of Oz Show times are March 9, 15 & 16 at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday matinee performances on March 10 & 17 at 2:30 p.m. This production has been sponsored by Parker Oil & Propane; Boyd Honda of South Hill; Boyd Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram of South Hill; and Boyd Chevrolet-Buick-GMC of Emporia.

This show closely follows the story of the 1939 film which starred Judy Garland. All of your favorite songs are included in this staged musical version: “Over the Rainbow,” “Munchkinland (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead),” “If I Only Had A Brain,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard (Follow the Yellow Brick Road),” “The Merry Old Land of Oz,” “If I Were King of the Forest,” and more.

For those unfamiliar with the story  “THE WIZARD OF OZ”, it is the delightful tale of Dorothy Gale (Elizabeth Black), a young girl from Kansas who wants nothing more than to experience the thrills of life away from her Uncle Henry (Kell Fleshood) and Auntie Em’s (Rebecca Hancock) farm. When a devastating tornado hits, Dorothy, her faithful dog Toto (Zoey Turner), and her farmhouse are transported “over the rainbow” to The Land of Oz.

When the farmhouse comes to rest in Munchkinland, Dorothy learns the house has fallen on the Wicked Witch of the East, ending the Witch’s reign of terror over the small inhabitants of Munchkinland. Glenda the Good Witch (Susan Thompson) appears before Dorothy and warns her that the Wicked Witch of the West (Karen Terry) will most likely stop at nothing to avenge her sister’s death. She tells Dorothy she must go to see the Wizard of Oz (Buster Freeze) to ask him to take her back to Kansas before the Wicked Witch of the West catches her. Glenda bestows upon Dorothy a pair of ruby slippers, which will protect her from the evil witch as she travels to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard.

Dorothy sets out on her journey to meet the Wizard and along the way, she meets a clumsy Scarecrow (Will Cox) who longs to be the smartest man in Oz, though when he was stuffed and sewn together, his maker forgot to give him a brain. Dorothy invites the Scarecrow to accompany her on her trip to see the Wizard so he may ask the powerful Wizard to give him a brain. As the pair continue their journey, they encounter a rusted Tin Woodsman (Desi Rimon) who wishes he had a heart inside of his hollow chest. The Tinman also joins their adventure in hopes that the Wizard will grant his wish. When the trio comes across a Cowardly Lion (Douglas Wright) in the woods, they invite him to come along to meet the Wizard, who may give him some courage.

Upon arriving in the Emerald City, Dorothy, Toto, and their newfound friends meet the frightening Wizard who tells them he will grant their wishes in return for the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West. Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Lion set back out to find the Witch’s castle, but before they reach their destination, the Wicked Witch sends an army of her evil Winged Monkeys to capture Dorothy and bring her to the castle as a prisoner. Dorothy’s friends must find a way to save her from the Witch before it’s too late, and hopefully find a way to get the broomstick in the process.

Will Dorothy be rescued from the Witch’s castle? Will she get the broomstick? Will the Wizard honor his promise and return Dorothy to Kansas? Will the Scarecrow, Tinman, and Cowardly Lion have their wishes granted as well? What other magical powers do the ruby slippers possess? All of these questions will be answered when the WIZARD OF OZ hits the Colonial Center’s stage in March. With many performers who are no strangers to the Colonial’s stage, and quite a few new faces, this cast of fifty talented local performers are guaranteed to put on an amazing show.

“The Wizard of Oz” is the first production of a year that will feature “I am King: The Michael Jackson Experience,” “The Odd Couple,” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” as well as country, gospel, and oldies musical performances.  “We try to do a variety of entertainment for everyone,” Wright said.

 “This is your theatre,” Wright likes to tell people. “Come and be a part of it.”

Wright is also encouraging everyone not already involved to come out and enjoy watching “The Wizard of Oz.”

Tickets are $15 each and discounted rates are available to groups of ten people or more. The Box Office is open 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call (434) 262-4170 or stop by 220 S. Mecklenburg Ave. in South Hill to get your tickets today. Tickets are also available online 24 hours per day at www.colonialcenterva.org