The Wizard Of OZ

Published: Friday, August 8, 2014 By: Gary Chattman Source: The Westchester News


            “Somewhere, Over the Rainbow” there’s this dinner theatre in the magical land of Elmsford.  They produce at least eight various musical shows yearly, and thousands flock to this venue.   “If I Only Had a Brain” I’d invite my whole neighborhood to see “The Wizard of Oz”, its current tenant. 

              Dorothy and Toto land in the magical Land of Oz, and the adaption of the royal Shakespeare Company’s version, which recreates the 1939 film on stage using the songs (including some that were deleted from the movie) and an intact screen play.   If we follow our own “Yellow Brick Road” it will lead to the Westchester Broadway Theatre, where the magic has been alive for over 40 years!  

            The plot is memorized by adults and children alike.   The fight between good and evil; the search for our own identities; the childhood innocence that we try to preserve in face of society—and the power of our own dreams come alive on this stage.  You may ask, how does this immense production with glittering costumes by Derrick Lockwood appear on the thrust stage at this theatre?   And how can which witch melt on stage before our eyes?  And those tornado effects were scary and cool.  Flying witches?  In Elmsford, yet?  The effect of the Wizard appearing on screen with fire and brimstone was awesome!  How bubbly the Good Witch of the East (Glinda) flies down to the stage with bubbles!

            Can you imagine how amazing it is to see the house fly (!) and kill the witch and transport Dorothy and Toto of the magical Land of Oz?  And what about those songs by Arlen and Harburg?

            Let us not for get the director of this opus:  Richard Stafford.  Remember how entertaining WBT’s “Mary Poppins” was?  He directed it.  And “Fiddler”, “Guys and Dolls”,  “Gypsy”—I could go on-and-on.  The man is a creative genius.

            Cast:  Devon Perry is Dorothy.  In the playbill it says she is “thrilled” to debut in one of her favorite shows.  We are thrilled to witness her performance.  I witnessed the reincarnation of the movie’s Cowardly Lion—Bert Lahr has returned and inhabited the body of Jayson Elliott.  This is a good thing, y’all.  He plays