Call to Seth Boyden Parents: Please upload your photos and videos of The Wizard of Oz here! We need more, more, more of this great production.
You might think that today's kids are too jaded to make it through nearly three hours of a fifth grade musical production.
You would be wrong.
My fourth grader and second grader have been to IMAX theaters. They've been dazzled by Avatar and Harry Potter and, yes, The Avengers. They have access to iPads and iPods and iPhones.
But I have never seen them more enthralled with an entertainment than they were last night at Seth Boyden's fifth grade production of The Wizard of Oz. My second grader was so excited during certain scenes that she could barely sit, a big grin splitting her face. My too-cool-for-school fourth grader whispered to me several times during the show: "This is REALLY good!" Later (much later) when I tucked him into bed, he wanted me to stay with him for a few extra minutes so we could mull over some favorite scenes and stand-out performances.
A big hit with my kids was William Roth who was channeling Bert Lahr from the original movie in his performance as the Cowardly Lion. They were delighted to see their friend Lucero Shorter tear into Miss Gulch with relish, but also enjoyed Mia Zuckerberg's Wicked Witch of the West. Evelyn Lazen delivered a lovely "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and my daughter was in awe of Trinity Powell — her safety patrol by day — who played Dorothy in Oz. The kids were equally delighted to see "Bernadette from the bus" (Bernadette Clawson) play a spunky Scarecrow.
The production had some inspired moments. The costume for Glinda (a terrific Maisie Conrad-Poor) looked like it was stolen from the MGM vaults. The giant head of the Wizard — complete with light-up eyes and moving mouth — inspired gasps from the audience. Big dance production numbers like "The Jitterbug" had the crowd cheering. A rowdy bunch of crows (Kimani Colthirst, Aaron Galinger, Chevoun Green, Mikkel Henry, Zaire Lewis, Kelvin Robert and Chris Millevoix) got a lot of laughs with funny lines and clever choreography. There was some nice dancing (way to go, Tin Man Trevon Valentine) and a very funny allusion to The Lion King. Plus, a rendition of "Ease of Down the Road" from The Wiz was thrown in for good measure with actual dancing yellow bricks (Bella Jacques-Haeberle, Diamond Leeks, Jada White, Zaria Berry, Benjina Laurent, and Rosa Wolff).
The Wizard visits Seth Boyden again on and . Tickets at the door are $12 for adults and $6 for kids.
Other cast members:
Narrators: Amir Brown-Holt, Ruth Eustache, Ella Opdenberg, Amelia Cintron-Burch.
Tornado Dancers: Darnel Aladin, Zaria Berry, Anna Curran, Cara-an Harrington, Bella Jacques-Haeberle, Jennifer Jeudy, Lilly-Anne Kaderin, Elizabeth Ko, Evelyn Lzen, Lulu Mansfield-Greenwald, Tabitha Oyenuga, Nigeria nanguang, Trinity Powell, Eden Taub, DaiJah Thompson, Maya Turnley, Rosa Wolff, Jada White
Toto in Kansas: Anna Curran
Aunt Em: Olive Fretts Howard
Uncle Henry: Michael Smith
Toto in Oz: Cara-an Harrington
Little Dorothys: Norrah Morinvil, Tess Price
Lullaby League: Lilly-Anne Kalderen, Tabitha Oyenuga, Lillian Englehard
Lollypop Guild: Oliver Morinvil, Zaire Lewis, Jacob Portnoy
Mayor of Munchkinland: Luke Hayes
Barrister of Munchkinland: William Padilla
Coroner of Munchkinland: Roan Price
Munchkins: Maya Turnley, Alessandra Hill, Elizabeth Ko, Eden Taub, J'Meekwa Shaw, Lulu Mansfield-Greenwald, Pneuma Petit Compere, Jacob Portnoy
Apple Trees: Bento Calcador, Shmar Haughton, Travion Harris, Jasper Kransdorf, Diamond Leeks, Daniel Lubiak, Brian Remy, Marlone Remy, Jurai Williams
Poppy Dancers: Lilly-Anne Kalderin, Elizabeth Ko, Christina Anguisaca, Benjina Laurent, Zaria Berry, Diamond Leeks, Lulu Mansfield-Greenwald, Zaniyah Danville, Pneuma Petit Compere, Lillian Englehard, J'Meekwa Shaw, Roodny Ernest, Eden Taub, Alessandra Hill, Maya Turnley, Bella Jacques-Haeberle, Jada White, Jenilee Jean Pierre, Rosa Wolff, Nigeria Nanguang
Poor Little Poppy: Anna Curran
Doorman: Rosa Wolff
Tour Guide: Ameer Brooks
Welcome Committee: DaiJah Thompson, Tabitha Oyenuga
Tailors of Oz: J'Meekwa Shaw, Penuma Petit Compere, Lulu Mansfield-Greenwald
Polishers: Jasper Kransdorf, Oliver Morinvil, Jurai William
Hair Dressers: Christina Anguisaca, Amajanae Crumbley, Jennifer Jeudy
Beauticians: Nai Brown, Roodny Ernest, Elizabeth Ko
Dog Groomers: Evelyn Lazen, Lucero Shorter
Gatekeeper: Myles Springs
Monkeys: Alexander Exume, Zaire Lewis, Aaron Gallinger, Daniel Lubiak, Mario Gomez, Jacob Portnoy, Shemar Haughton, Alec Smith-Cooper, Jasper Kransdorf, Christopher Millevoix, Oliver Morinvil
Jitterbug Dancers: Evelyn Lazen, Lillian Englehard, Christopher Millevoix, Brian Remy, Will Padilla Benjina Laurent, Lilly-Anne Kalderin, Lucero Shorter, Lulu Mansfield-Greenwald, Luke Hayes, J'Meekwa Shaw, Roan Price, Tabitha Oyenuga, Rosa Wolff, Eden Taub, Olive Fretts Howard, Elizabeth Ko, Jada White, Oliver Morinvil, Marlone Remy
Winkie Leader: Isaac Shiftic
Head Winkies: Kimani Colthirst, Jenilee Jean Pierre, Marlone Remy, Kelvin Robert
Winkies: Benito Calcador, Chevoun Green, Luke Hayes, Mikkel Henry, Chigozie Uzondu, Jurai Williams
Munchkins: Darnel Aladin, Chidima Askikaburu, Amajanae Crumbley, Mikkel Henry, Nigeria Nanguang, Marlone Remy, Alec Smith-Cooper, Jurai William, Samantha Alexandre, Nia Brown, Zaniyah Danville, Jenilee Jean Pierre, Danie Lubiak, Myles Springs, DaiJah Thompson, Rosa Wolff, Christina Anguisacac, Ameer Brooks, Roodny Ernest, Jennifer Jeudy, Oliver Morinvil, Isaac Shiftic, Chigozie Uzondo
Citizens of Oz: Darnel Aladin, Aaron Gallinger, Diamond Leeks, Chidima Asikaburu, Chevoun Green, Chris Millevoix, Samantha Alexandre, Bella Jacques-Haeberle, William Padilla, Zaria Berry, Travion Harris, Roan Price, Ihsan Cantine, Alessandra Hill, Brian Remy, Anna Curran, Jenilee Jean Pierre, Eden Taub, Zaniyah Danville, Lilly-Anne Kalderen, Maya Turnley, Lillian Englehard, Benjina Laurent, Jada White, Olive Fretts Howard, Nigeria Nanguang, Marlone Remy
Directed by: Risa Yesowitz
Asst. Director: Brian Bateman
Music Director: Risa Yesowitz
Choreography: Risa Yesowitz, Brian Bateman, Shayna Sackett
Set Design: Risa Yesowitz, Kathy Roth, Maisy Conrad-Poor, Henry Conrad-Poor, William Roth, Brian Batement
Costume Design: Gretchen Henderson
Sound Design: Synergy