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    Bit to Do

    The Wizard of Oz
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    In honor of CenterStage’s 100th anniversary season, Artistic Director John Leffert chose the ideal “magic lane” to open 2015. The Wizard of Oz, a beloved family show, at its core remains a classic coming-of-age tale. Via spectacular twister, Dorothy must venture on a vivid flight of rainbow imagination only to find that the land of her dreams is no match for home sweet home. Leffert ambitiously pays homage to the timeless masterpiece we all know and love, while appropriately adding his own inimitable, inspired signature design.

    The scene begins as Leffert promised from's behind-the-scenes interview, complete with sepia-tone-saturated set that vibrantly transforms mid-twister into an absolute Technicolor utopia. This iconic spectacle resonates as all the more breathtaking when witnessed live, kinetic on and off stage vigor pulsating. Under Leffert’s savvy direction, complemented by Theresa Bagan’s dynamic lights, Jason Tumulty’s beautifully detailed props, and Jaclyn Lyons’ deft production management of a tireless (and graceful) backstage crew, the atmosphere hums with a unified flurry of energy. Even through each polychromatic, enchanting hairpiece, envisioned and executed by Mikhail Shulz of J. Michael’s Spa and Salon, depth and dimension are added to this reverie realm. Anticipate glittering ruby lollipops, stunning apple tree headdresses, and a Glinda gown that sparkles like a Swarovski crystal vision. CenterStage’s cast maximizes on space through movement weaving off the stage and interactive effects like snow that leave the audience feeling as if part of the magic. You will be dazzled.

    A star of the production includes Brian Bowles as the charismatic Scarecrow, who performed Valerie Canon’s choreography with impressive dexterity. As he hurdled his body through the air, he demonstrated eager commitment to the physicality of the role. Colette Daney never fails to electrify with her theater prowess, and made her double-cast roles of Aunt Em and Glinda entirely her own. Special honorable mention to Kristy Calman as an unwavering Almira Gulch and Wicked Witch of the West, who despite a perilous fall from one of the Winkies off stage, remarkably remained in character. She still exemplified every ounce of ferocity. Most valuable player of the night should be awarded to Mike Fryman as Professor Marvel and an unforgettable Wizard. There was a tangled mishap that might have shaken a lesser actor, but Fryman hilariously improvised and ad-libbed with his fellow cast members, turning a “show-must-go-on” moment into an audience favorite. He, Bowles’ Scarecrow, Scott Goodman’s Cowardly Lion, Frank Goodloe III’s Tin Woodsman, and Kate Welsh’s Dorothy all handled this scene-stealing moment as consummate professionals and standout entertainers.

    Time and time again, Leffert proves himself to be irreplaceable when it comes to crafting the ultimate virtuoso theater arts vision. With The Wizard of Oz, the most dazzling aspect lies not in the emerald Ozian glamour but in bringing to light the poignant magic that a sense of home really has to offer. By the end of The Wizard of Oz, do not be surprised to find tears rolling down your cheeks as Kate Welsh’s compassionate Dorothy tugs at your heart strings, at last appreciating just how much, “There’s no place like home.” 

    The Wizard of Oz


    The Wizard of Oz, sponsored by Physician's Center for Beauty, opened last night, January 8th, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. at CenterStage at the Jewish Community Center. Take the Yellow Brick Road back to your childhood, and bring your families to experience the magic!

    Additional Show Times:​

    Saturday, January 10 at 7:30 pm
    *Sunday, January 11 at 2:00pm*
    Monday, January 12 at 7:30pm
    Thursday, January 15 at 7:30pm
    Saturday, January 17 at 7:30pm
    *Sunday, January 18 at 2:00pm*
    Tuesday, January 20 at 7:30pm
    Thursday, January 22 at 7:30pm
    Saturday, January 24 at 7:30pm
    *Sunday, January 25 at 2:00pm*

    * Tea with Dorothy & Friends- 12:00-1:00 pm *
    Bring a camera and capture all the wonder on film, as your child interacts with the characters of The Wizard of Oz!

    (Includes one ticket to matinee performance. Only children will need a ticket for this event.)

    Children (10 and under): $16
    Adults: $20
    Group rates (20 or more) available by request, contact Anne Ensign at 238-2773.

    You can also order tickets by calling 502-238-2709,  or by clicking here.
    There is a small convenience fee for online ordering. If the performance you want to purchase tickets for does not appear in the list, please call the box office at 502-459-0660.

    Get your tickets quickly! Shows for Saturday, January 10, and Sunday, January 11 have already sold out!


    Visit for more information about becoming a season subscriber! CenterStage is celebrating its 100th season of shows- and is a Louisville treasure.

    Cover Photo and 2nd Photo: Courtesy of CenterStage

    Julie Lamb's picture

    About Julie Lamb

    Curly-haired owner of one massive sweet tooth, believer of Harry Potter and Disney fairytales, and a fierce lover of all things literary and the arts.

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