DIRECTOR Steve Tearle has assembled a cast of 60 for NE Musicals York’s energetic staging of The Wizard Of Oz at the Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, from November 23 to 27.
The company will be led by Libby Anderson and Scarlett Waugh, who will alternate the role of Dorothy. “They are both amazing,” says Steve.
Further principal roles go to Maia Stroud as Glinda; YO1 presenter Chris Marsden, the Wizard of Oz; Perri Ann Barley, Wicked Witch of the West; Finley Butler, the Scarecrow; Kristian Barley, the Tin Man, and Tearle himself as the Cowardly Lion.
Expect an all-singing, all-dancing production with special effects by Adam Moore’s team at Tech247. “This amazing story is full of heart, knowledge, courage and love for our families,” says company chairman Steve.
“With more than 60 cast members and the youngest being just six years old, this truly is a theatre event. Our company is made up of families, with mums and dads on stage and their children or parents chaperoning backstage.”
In the familiar but updated story, when a tornado rips through present-day Kansas, Dorothy and her dog, Toto, are whisked away in their house to the magical land of Oz.
There they meet a good witch called Glinda, who tells them they need to follow the Yellow Brick Road towards the Emerald City to meet the Wizard. Along the way, Dorothy and Toto befriend a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, and a Cowardly Lion, who join them on her quest, but not all is as it seems, alas.
The Wicked Witch of the West is determined to stop them, but will she succeed, or will Dorothy prevail and return home safely, Toto in tow?
“We’ll have a full orchestra, 200 specially designed costumes and 150 wigs, and our amazing projections will only add to this being a truly magical musical adventure,” says Steve.
“Rehearsals are going well, and we go into the theatre from Sunday. Fingers crossed all goes to plan! We’ve sold out the Friday evening show and Saturday matinee, with only seven seats left for the Saturday night and limited availability for the Tuesday and Thursday performances.
“Our opening night is dedicated to Millie May Wright, and the charities we’ll be supporting and collecting for are Candlelighters, Snappy and Stimul8.”
NE Musicals York in The Wizard Of Oz, Joseph Rowntree Theatre, York, November 23 to 27, 7,.30pm nightly and 2.30pm Saturday matinee. Box office: 01904 501935 or at josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk.