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Wizard of Oz offers free show for Friday’s P.A. Day

June 3, 2016   ·   0 Comments

By Marni Walsh

 

LP Stage Productions has announced a free showing of The Wizard of Oz for everyone Friday, June 3rd at Grace Tipling Hall in Shelburne at 12 noon.

It’s just another way the company, which has been working hard for several years to engage area kids in the art of theatre, is giving back to the community.

Local Facebook and on-line community sites have been lighting up with enthusiastic testimonials for LP’s The Wizard of OZ this week, after the show opened to enthralled crowds of school children and continued with the biggest public audiences the company has seen – with standing room only at some shows.

The famous Broadway musical has captured the hearts and imaginations of generations since the film first debuted 1939.

The universal themes of friendship, loyalty, courage, the human desire to reach for something more, while recognizing our intrinsic need for roots and “home”, have a timeless resonance that continue to make The Wizard of Oz one of the most watched movies in history.

The hard working company of 50 area performers, mostly children, some as young as four years old, opened May 26 with school classes coming from across Shelburne and the surrounding area.

“Opening week was such a thrill!” says director Danielle Gamache. “I loved being able to share this magical show that we have been working on since February with so many people. We have been very fortunate to receive such positive comments, such as ‘How did you make that cyclone move?’, ‘there was never a dull moment,’ and ‘I didn’t expect that!’ We were thrilled to receive the following feedback from one of the parents who brought students from her school to see one of our school matinees:

“‘What impressed me so much,’ she said, ‘is that every time the kids started to get fidgety, [the company] threw in something that totally engaged them again. The tornado, the black-light scene, the amazing dance routines….so cool! I thought the use of the head-mics was super-beneficial for the young leads. When I asked the group of students I was with, to choose their favourite part, some said the tornado, a few said the witch, but most couldn’t choose…they simply answered, ‘All of it!’”

“Everyone I have talked to has had different moments that they loved,” adds Gamache, “That’s just what this show offers – something for everyone.”

The show even has a live dog for the integral role of Toto.

“We were lucky to have Sadie (Toto) in our cast; her owner, Laura Riddell, has been an incredible help to this production,” says Gamache. “It pulls at the audience’s heartstrings when Dorothy sings Somewhere Over the Rainbow to Toto, who sits patiently on a stool as the song continues.”

The first time director says she is “grateful, not only to my cast, but also to the many hard working individuals who helped to make this show happen: the costumes and makeup that Alison Port, Krista Harley, Kay Sayer, and other volunteers created are absolutely stunning on stage; the hard work that Dale Lundy put into set design with the assistance of Justin Da Silva transformed each scene; Kristen Gamache’s brilliant choreography; the amazing assistant stage managers backstage; two CDDHS students Morgan Priest and Alannah Halis, who painted the breathtaking Emerald City backdrop; sound by Marcus Catenaro; a stunning lighting design created by Kaylea Angus and run by Justin Da Silva; and the cast of fifty belting out the notes, under the musical direction of Jen Robertson. It was an amazing experience to see this all come together and I feel so much gratitude that for my first time directing a cast of this size, I had such amazing people in my corner.

“Dorothy says there’s no place like home over and over at the end of the show, and at Grace Tipling Hall, with this second family of hard working people, I feel like I am right at home when I am with them. Itwas so beautiful to see this show brought to life and to experience the beauty of Oz just as Dorothy wakes up from her dream describing it.”

 

See The Wizard of Oz this Friday, June 3, at 12 Noon and 8 p.m., and June 4 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door, or by calling the Town Hall or by going to “Eventbrite” on-line. Tickets range from $12-$15. Tickets for the FREE Friday, June 3rd PA Day Show (donations gratefully accepted) will be on a “first come, first served basis.”

 

         

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