By GERMAINE HUPE/Winters Theatre Company
The members of the Winters Theatre Company have selected the musical “The Wizard of Oz” as their holiday production, which opens a nine-performance run on Friday, Nov. 17.
The story of a young Kansas farm girl who is carried off, house and all, by a tornado and deposited in the magical land of Oz has charmed readers and theater audiences for well over 100 years.
L. Frank Baum, a playwright, journalist, and author of children’s books, wrote and published the initial story in 1900 with the title “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” He produced the first dramatization of his book in 1902, and in 1939 it was made into an enormously popular film with Judy Garland in the starring role of Dorothy.
The 78-year old film is still shown frequently on television and in special movie theaters which feature classic films. New generations of children continue to meet the marvelous characters of the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Good Witch, The Munchkins, and even the “great and powerful Oz.”
WTC’s production closely follows the musical film version and includes a cast of over 30 featured players and cameo roles. Audiences will hear the familiar musical score which includes the signature songs of “Over the Rainbow” and “Off to See the Wizard.”
Performance dates are Friday and Saturday evenings, Nov. 17, 18, 24 and 25, and Dec. 1 and 2. There are also three Sunday matinee performances on Nov. 19 and 26, and Dec. 3.
The admission price for the Gala Opening Night performance on Nov. 17 is $15 and includes champagne, non-alcoholic beverages and dessert. The following evening, Saturday, Nov. 18, is a benefit for the Winters Music Boosters. Prices for that show are $15 general admission, and $12 for students under 18 and senior citizens. The ticket price includes assorted desserts and non-alcoholic beverages. Prices for the remaining seven shows are $12 general admission, $10 for seniors and $8 for children 12 and under.