Tuesday, July 19, 2022

REVIEW: The Wizard of Oz Via The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences Now Playing playing Through August 7th, 2022

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A musical adventure for all ages!

Theatre for Young Audiences returns to the Marriott Theatre.

The Marriott Theatre for Young Audience’s production of the Wizard of Oz transported three generations of my family to a just-dangerous-enough world of magic and brought us safely, satisfyingly home.

My mom, I, and two of my kids, ages 12 and 7, were immediately drawn into Campbell Krausen’s sincere and engaging Dorothy. We were quickly introduced to the Kansas crew; an adorable, living and breathing Toto; and ensemble players Laura Savage, Mandy Modic, and Matthew Bettencourt who created, with the surrounding screens and inventive costuming, a very convincing tornado.

When Glinda (Harriet Nzinga Plumpp, who also plays Aunt Em) appeared along with her shower of bubbles, my 7-year-old was not alone in leaping out of his seat and exclaiming, “Joy, joy, joy!”

Jacquelyne Jones as the Wicked Witch of the West (and Miss Gultch) was a perfect villain for the beloved crew to conquer. We all appreciated the non-traditional casting of Allison Sill in the role of the Scarecrow (with very entertaining physical comedy), the heartfelt performance of Michael Turrentine as Tin Man (his excellent tap skills were a super fun dynamic for his character), and Lorenzo Rush Jr.’s “Cowardly” Lion, who is very funny and, of course, courageous in the end. Kevin McKillip was the perfect well-intentioned bumbler as the Wizard of Oz (and Uncle Henry).

All production photos by Liz Lauren

Artistic Director Peter Marston, props and scenic designer Sally Zack, costume designer Amanda Vader Byl, lighting designer Jesse Klug, sound designer Brandon Reid, and media designer Tony Churchill—along with other tech and stage pros—made this an experience that held my digital-native kids captive.

The Wizard of Oz is playing through August 7th. Don't miss this!

 Kimberly Robb Baker is a Chicago based writer, blogger, consultant, story teller, and mother. You can find her worky stuff here: ThisLittleBrand.com and her artsy fartsy stuff here:  DisruptiveMama.com.

The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences returns this summer with THE WIZARD OF OZ! Families will relive this beloved tale of four unlikely friends on the adventure of a lifetime at the Marriott Theatre, located at 10 Marriott Dr. Lincolnshire, running July 8, 2022 through August 7, with a press opening on July 16 at 10:00AM. The production returns November 15 through December 31. THE WIZARD OF OZ features the classic musical score that has entertained audiences for generations including "Follow the Yellow Brick Road," "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead," and "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." This special one-hour presentation is directed by Johanna McKenzie Miller and choreographed by Tiffany Krause. Musical Direction is by Cameron Miya with Musical Supervision by Jeff Award winner Ryan T. Nelson.

“I am so thrilled to be a part of this special production of THE WIZARD OF OZ in the round,’’ said Johanna McKenzie Miller. “With the eve of Judy Garland’s 100th birthday this year, we thought this would be the perfect time to bring back this classic tale and relive the special moments that will continue to bring generations together and have the whole family humming along.”

THE WIZARD OF OZ tells the classic tale of young Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto who are swept away by a tornado from their Kansas farm to the colorful and enchanting Land of Oz. To get back home, Dorothy must first embark on a journey to the Emerald City, where the Wizard of Oz resides. On the way down the Yellow Brick Road, Dorothy and her dog are accompanied by three new friends they meet along the way– a Scarecrow who wants a brain, a Tin Man who wants a heart and a Cowardly Lion who wants courage. All on the quest to have their wishes come true, they come across the Wicked Witch of the West out on her own quest for revenge.

This production of THE WIZARD OF OZ stars Campbell Krausen as “Dorothy,” Lorenzo Rush Jr. as “Lion,” Michael Turrentine as “Tin Man,” Allison Sill as “Scarecrow,” Harriet Nzinga Plumpp as “Auntie Em/Glinda,” Jacquelyne Jones as “Miss Gultch/Wicked Witch” and Kevin McKillip as “Uncle Henry/Oz”. The ensemble features Laura Savage, Mandy Modic and Matthew Bettencourt, with understudies Isabella Abel-Suarez, Grace Bobber, Emily Ann Brooks, Jake Elkins, Michael Earvin Martin, Jenna Napolitano, and Nolan Fizoires Robinson II.

The Marriott Theatre for Young Audiences team will be led by Artistic Director Peter Marston Sullivan, with artistic associate Emily Marso, props and scenic design by Sally Zack, costume design by Amanda Vander Byl, wig design by Megan Pirtle, lighting design by Jesse Klug, sound design by Brandon Reed, projection and media design by Tony Churchill. The stage manager is Jessica Banaszak.

Marriott Theatre is committed to providing healthy and safe facilities for audiences, performers, and staff. Please check www.MarriottTheatre.com prior to your visit for the most recent COVID-19 protocols.

THE WIZARD OF OZ plays most Wednesdays and Thursdays at 10am, Fridays at 6pm, Saturdays at 10am and 12.30 pm and Sundays at 10am. Visit MarriottTheatre.com or call 847.634.0200 for exact schedule, as show times and dates vary. Tickets are $15, excluding tax and handling fees. Call for group discounts over 20 tickets. Free parking is available at all performances. To reserve tickets, please call The Marriott Theatre Box Office at 847.634.0200 or visit www.MarriottTheatre.com.

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