Full A-Team Review: Wizard of Oz

* * * * (4 stars)

Thanks, Frank, for the Lessons!

Why? Really. Why does L. Frank Baum’s archetypal tale of hardship and loss, good vs. evil and fantasy vs. reality continue to fascinate and influence audiences decade after decade – whether it’s book, film or stage show? Because it explores those universal themes of homesickness, longing for a better world, protecting the helpless and discovering our inner strengths amid the trials, the tribulations and the storms.

From the overture to the last reprise of “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead,” the music and magical lines will stay with you. (Although the volume was a bit too loud, occasionally.) And whether dancing, singing or emoting, this road show troupe is more cohesive than super glue, with super creds preceding them. And I love the playbill advice from Kristin Stewart who competently portrays Aunt Em and Good Witch Glinda:

“My goodness, dream, whether you leave home or not.”

And I have to tip my hat to the great dancers and their choreographer, Leigh Constantine . . . to Tim McQuillen-Wright and Jimm (cq) Halliday for the stunning set and costumes and Wm. Berloni, the animal trainer, unless Toto was totally hypnotized.

Sure Father’s Day weekend is coming up, and it’s YOUR turn to be treated. But here’s your golden opportunity to hit a homerun with your family. Take THEM to see the “Wizard of Oz.” You’ll be not just a hero, but a thoughtful parent who will, like many adults, find many aspects of this show personally enjoyable.

And then, there are the lessons imparted to the younger, more impressionable viewers without your having to lecture, rant . . . or even say a word. Besides, Dad (or Mom), there’s the 3rd floor Café’, the 6th Floor Outdoor Terrace, the Landmarks Public Art Program in and around the “New” Bass Concert Hall, and some of the best people-watching I’ve encountered in my long time of lobby hopping. But none are as interesting as the Lullaby Girls, Lollipop Boys, the Munchkins, Trees, Crows and Dorothy’s beloved traveling companions.

Preston Kirk
Spicewood (Austin) Texas, USA

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About nowplayingaustin

The Austin Creative Alliance is a nonprofit performing arts service organization working to cultivate an environment where the performing arts can grow and flourish. We serve over 130 arts organizations with marketing, ticketing, audience development services; AEA paymaster, information & referral services — plus access to affordable health, liability, and event insurance. We also provide online professional development seminars, fiscal sponsorship services for emerging arts groups, host annual unified general auditions, annual theatre industry awards, and consistently advocate for the many benefits the arts bring to our quality of life.

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