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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
Theater: The Wizard of Oz 
15th-May-2016 08:45 pm
Summer
Forget the two-dimensional, saccerine movie. This was a fabulously rich, musically diverse rebuilding of The Wizard of Oz as it should always have been. There were more songs than I remember and a few nifty drop-ins like Glinda calling the Wicked Witch of The West "cousin." It had excellent casting, spectacular effects, and (gasp!) some actual depth of meaning. And they had a darling live Toto who hit every mark and made every cue.

The set and the special effects were led by a clever series of screens and overlays with figures and lighting to make them 3-dimensional. And the buildings and other two-dimensional objects were built on angles to force the horizon and perspective on the audience.

I'm not saying it was perfect. There were microphone problems with the first few scenes, including the Wicked Witch of the West's grand entrance. And the whole thing got louder and louder and louder until I grabbed my earplugs after intermission. With so many children in the audience, the applause was not terribly contagious, and a few scenes didn't get the recognition they should have received.

My hands-down favorite part was the scene where the winged monkeys flew to go capture Dorothy - the music was "Night on Bald Mountain."
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