Those looking for some family entertainment won’t have to travel over a rainbow or down a yellow-brick road to find it, as Playhouse Merced raises the curtain on their production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
A cast of more than 50 actors, dancers, and singers are bringing the classic L. Frank Baum novel and movie to the stage through March 3.
The story follows Dorothy and her little dog, Toto, who are swept up by a tornado and taken from their home in Kansas to a mystical land called Oz. Having landed in Munchkinland, she receives a pair of magical ruby slippers and sets out on a journey down the yellow brick road, which will lead her to the great and powerful Wizard of Oz, a powerful being that might be able to get her home. Along the way she meets Scarecrow, who needs a brain, Tinman, who lacks a heart, and Lion, who has no courage. They travel together to the Emerald City in the hopes that the Wizard will be able to help them all, but their journey is filled with dangers as the Wicked Witch attempts to steal Dorothy’s ruby slippers for herself.
The film version, starring Judy Garland became a beloved musical and introduced such songs as “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” “If I Only Had a Brain,” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
The Playhouse Merced production has two casts — one for matinees and one for evening shows. The evening performances will feature Cossette Asenjo as Dorothy, Austin Worden as Scarecrow, Dylan Bagwel as Tinman, RC Essig as Lion, Dolly Rodriguez as Toto, Cinnamon Simpson as Glinda and Jessica Dimpel as the Wicked Witch of the West.
The matinee performances will feature Gwyn Quevedo as Dorothy, Edmond Bennet-Young as Scarecrow, Rocky Lein as Tinman, Mox Hamright as Lion, Dolly Rodriguez as Toto, Becca Whitmyre as Glinda and Page Stayer as the Wicked Witch of the West.
The production team is comprised of Corey Strauss, Abigail Roe, David Whitmyre, Emily McSwain and Cindy Strauss.
“The Wizard of Oz” will run through March 3. Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7:30 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. This production is expected to sell out early, so get your tickets now at the Playhouse Merced box office, by calling 725-8587, or at playhousemerced.com. Tickets are $22, with $15 student tickets and $10 youth tickets are available at the box office. “The Wizard of Oz” is a family-friendly show intended for audiences age 5 and above. This production is sponsored by UC Merced.