By Kari Work
On Pitch Performance Arts’ (OPPA!) production of The Wizard of Oz is a reminder of all the things we hold most dear: friends, family, and home. Pitched Perfectly Studios, in Layton, is the ideal venue for such a message. The cozy studio fosters one-on-one interaction with cast members and down-home goodness.
We accompany Dorothy (Lindsey Pagano) from Kansas to the bright and glittery world of Oz where she is befriended by the Good Witch Glinda (Candra Young) and a host of Munchkins. They put her on that famous yellow brick road to see the Wizard (Kelsie Reynolds), who Dorothy hopes can help her return to her beloved home and family. She is joined on her journey by Hunk/Scarecrow (Jake Adams), Hickory/Tinman (Indy Washburn), and Zeke/Lion (Brandon Stauffer), who also desire an audience with the Wizard. Their adventure includes a series of encounters with the Wicked Witch (Sue Alvey) and her minions.
The vast distances covered in Wizard of Oz’s story seem challenging when compared to the size of the theater. The director, Charlene Adams, handles this challenge well by using all available spaces for her players, including aisles, walls, platforms, and screens. Her choices produce an interactive experience where the audience is in the land of Oz. The interactive fun continues for all ages when bubbles fall each time the Good Witch appears or snow materializes over the poppy fields.
The production team does a great job showing contrast between the two-dimensional Kansas (via screens and staging on the apron) versus the more three-dimensional Munchinkinland as the full stage (Stauffer), vivid colors and vibrant costumes (Amanda Larsen) are introduced. The high energy Munchinkinland sequence of songs including, “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” and “We Welcome you to Munchkinland,” may make you want to sing along. These elements announce to the world that “we aren’t in Kansas anymore.”
The show’s large cast ranges in age and experience but each of the leads shows their individuality and strengths. Musical Director Catherine Washburn brings her actors’ voices to lovely harmonies and all the familiar songs we love are over the top great. Choreographers Seante Nelson and Bailey Adams get their cast, including 25+ children starting from age 6 and up, dancing with gusto. Pagano makes for a compassionate and confident Dorothy; Washburn’s Tinman is gallant and caring; Adams’ infectious smile and gangly movement creates a charming Scarecrow. The young travelers are anchored by Stauffer, whose experience illuminates his comedic timing, physicality, and resonant vocals. Stauffer’s rendition of, “If I were the King of the Forest” displays his rich timbre and endears Lion to us with his hopeful vulnerability. Young plays Glinda with sweet sincerity. The talented Alvey makes wicked fun and Brian Washburn rounds out the cast well as steady Uncle Henry and the clueless gatekeeper. Most of all, the camaraderie among the cast shines through the performance.
If you are looking for fun, family-oriented entertainment, look no further. The Wizard of Oz at Pitched Perfectly Studios takes you on a lively, music-filled adventure that leaves you wanting more. It’s community theater at its best.
On Pitch Performing Arts (OPPA!) presents The Wizard of Oz Pitched Perfectly Studios, 1558 W 700 N #8 Layton UT 84041
Telephone: 385-209-1557, Email: email@example.com
Aug 11, 14, 18, 7:30 PM; Aug 12, 19 2:00 PM and 7:30 PM Tickets $12