Missoula, MT—Follow the yellow brick road to the Missoula Community Theatre because we’re off to see the Wizard! The Wizard of Oz will be presented April 27-May 14, 2017, at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts.
Directed by Heather Adams, this show is the familiar rendition that was adapted into the classic 1939 MGM movie. Adams, an experienced dancer, choreographer, and director, as well as owner of the Downtown Dance Collective, is excited to make Dorothy’s journey come alive on the MCT stage. Adams notes that her affinity for movement guides her directorial decisions. She enjoys “pulling the thread of movement all the way through a show” and believes that “something as simple as stillness or walking from one place to the next is choreography and enhances character development.” Adams was recently named “Best Choreographer” for her work on The King and I for the Arizona Broadway Theatre.
What’s different between the movie and the MCT staging? “Gravity,” says Adams. The iconic special effects of the movie (the tornado, flying Wicked Witch and monkeys, Glinda’s pink bubble) must be created through the magic of theatre. While you’ll recognize all the main characters such as Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion, the stage version has 42 cast members playing characters like Crows, Jitterbugs, and the tornado, which provides “more depth to the story visually and musically.”
Adams says this Missoula cast has been a joy. “All very hardworking, from our youngest Munchkin to our most seasoned of actors.” She gives a “special shout-out” to Washington Middle Schooler, Bella Wright, who is playing Dorothy. “She is in every scene, sings many of the songs, and has a (real, live) dog to manage, all the while relating to her fellow characters.” Adams also gives kudos to the strong, all-female creative team: musical director Ellen McKenzie, choreographer Meagan Hensley, production stage manager Megan Brown, and technical director TJ Jensen.
The Wizard of Oz will take place at the MCT Center for the Performing Arts, April 27-May 14. Tickets are available at MCTinc.org; by calling 406-728-7529; or at the MCT Box Office, which is open Monday-Friday between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. The production is sponsored by Equity Management, Inc.; PayneWest Insurance; and US Bank. On Tuesday, May 9, there will be an adapted performance for people living on the autism spectrum. More information is available at MCTinc.org.