VOS Brings Magic of The Wizard of Oz to Victoria Hall

In entertainment, Local

VOS Theatre has brought a magic place to the Victoria Hall Concert Hall stage with its production of The Wizard of Oz.

Thanks to the beautiful MGM movie of 1939, almost all of us have visited there some time before. VOS offers us the opportunity for a return visit to the land of our dreams – or, rather, the land of Dorothy’s dreams.

The Land of Oz is a dazzling place that the players have brought alive, through their own talents and some absolute wizardry behind the scenes. Even far back in the audience, you can appreciate details like the beautifully painted wood grain on the farm wagon and the wallpaper pattern in the farmhouse. And you wouldn’t believe how they can (at long last) dispatch the Wicked Witch of the West by making her melt away.

It’s all been carefully worked out at the group’s workshop, set up in an old barn at the Burnham Family Farm (who were the show’s sponsors for opening night).

Once out of Kansas, Dorothy makes new friends and finds herself surrounded by the most colourful scenery and interesting characters. Even Toto’s role is taken over by a young actor who participates in things more fully as they make their way to seek help from Oz the Great and Powerful.

Oz agrees to help Dorothy get home to Auntie Em and to bestow a brain on Scarecrow, a heart on the Tin Man and courage on the Cowardly Lion – but with a string attached. They must destroy the Wicked Witch of the West.

Fans of the movie (and surely everyone in the audience must be) have a treat coming at this point. There’s a scene that was cut from the movie that VOS kept in the play, which is the group’s capture by the dreaded Jitterbugs.

They melt the witch, as previously noted, and win Oz’s help. Dorothy manages to make it home at last to Kansas. It may not be Oz, but it is home. And Dorothy has finally appreciated that there’s truly no place like home.

And there’s no production like home-town theatre, with the faces and talent that have entertained local audiences for so long. Dave Porter Wilson, for example, has been on local stages for at least 30 years and still makes an exuberant Cowardly Lion. He is joined by Kelly Paron as the Scarecrow and Liam Cragg as the Tin Man to guide Mackenzie Annis as Dorothy (accompanied by Maddison Rawley or Rosa Tarle as Toto) makes her way to entreat Gary Potter as the Wizard.

Meghan Flindall shines as Glinda the Good Witch, and opening night brought an especially enthusiastic round of applause for Nelia Amaro as the Wicked Witch of the West. And faithfully waiting back home are Solveig Barber as Auntie Em and Tim Annis as Uncle Henry.

The Wizard of Oz will be at the Concert Hall through April 27. For more information, visit vostheatre.com


Cecilia Nasmith
Author: Cecilia Nasmith

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