Photo: left to right: Patricia Poikkimaki, Isabella Skilliter, Quinn Sheppard, Kate Sheppard, Rosalind Russell, Thomas Morrow, Samantha Seguin and Tammy Sheppard. Photo by Rosalind Russell
By Rosalind Russell – Espanola Little Theatre gives green a whole new meaning, Emerald City, that is!
Espanola Little Theatre is ready for opening night as well as they can be.
The troupe has taken on an ambitious musical-comedy-drama combination with James Barry’s version of The Wizard of Oz.
As director, Warren Tilston, has blended the acts and music in a playful, fun way and, in the process, creates a fantastical world waiting to be discovered by every member of the family.
There are several young people who are taking to the stage, some for the first time, led by Dorothy Gale of course played by Kate Sheppard.
The contemporary story stops there though and goes off on many tangents.
Scarecrow Samantha Seguin, Tin Man played by Isabella Skilliter and Cowardly Lion delightfully played by Quinn Sheppard become her companions on the Yellow Brick Road. But a new character, Riff Raff, see Thomas Morrow at his best, adds an extra dimension to this version.
The battle between good and evil is personified by Tammy Sheppard, all pink and bubbly as Glinda the Good Witch of the North squaring off several times against the Wicked Witch of the West, Rosalind Russell. Tammy is Miss Goody Two Shoes personified while Roz is despicably evil and loves every minute of it!
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz even has a different twist this time around played by … a woman. Patricia Poikkimaki rings true with all the power the Oz can muster.
And, of course, there are the sweetest munchkins and wickedly darling flying monkeys, a whole bunch of them, who will be the tiny stars of the show. They have cute all wrapped up in bright bows and huge smiles.
So, if you are up for it, take in this comedic rendition of The Wizard of Oz at A.B. Ellis Public School (gym) on December 1st and 2nd, and then again, on December 8th and 9th. Curtain time is 7:00 p.m. There will also be one matinee performance at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 10th.
Tickets are: Adults $20, Students $10, Children under Six, $5. Tickets are available at the door or reserve from the box office by calling 705-936-6314.