by Paula Citron
Happily, the production of The Wizard of Oz at YPT is having a long run, because it is wonderful entertainment for both children and adults.
The musical is an adaptation John Kane made for the Royal Shakespeare Company of the beloved 1939 Hollywood film. Director Allen MacInnis’ approach has been one of whimsy. The Munchkins are adorable turquoise puppets and in aesthetic sensibility, the production is geared to children. Part of the enjoyment from an adult point of view is the honest and immediate way the children react to the story.
The really strong cast includes former Stratford types like Thom Allison and George Masswohl and Shaw Fest ex-pat Shawn Wright. Saccha Dennis as Dorothy does push a bit in her high notes, and Michael Gianfrancesco’s cluttered set is distracting. That being said, the show is a delightful homage to an iconic film and works very well with just piano and keyboard.
The Wizard of Oz continues until Dec. 30.
From the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for The New CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.