“The Wizard of Oz” at the Paramount”

It never loses its charm! It’s 75 years later and the movie is still standard fare on TV, and for local theatre groups throughout the country “Wizard…” is considered a sure-fire hit. Now comes a new and wonderful version of this old favorite with almost all the beloved songs from the movie along with a few additional ones by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Danielle Wade an adorable Dorothy, filled with wonder, properly adventurous, believably frightened, is endowed with a Garland-like singing voice. She and Toto (who is right on cue throughout the production) make a fine pair. Their travelling companions in Oz, Mike Jackson as Tin Man, Jamie McKnight as Scarecrow, and Lee MacDougall as Lion do awfully well, but it’s hard to forget the memorable trio in the 1939 movie.

The good witch, Glenda, is a shimmering vision of beauty and kindness. Her gown and make-up glitter. Meanwhile her nemesis is a green toned somewhat sexy witch in a slinky dress with a slit up three-quarters of her leg, but even a slinky dress can’t hide a truly nasty character with a truly nasty agenda.

This show has a few new touches. There’s a chorus of crows that you’ll not forget. And Professor Marvel’s travelling cart is truly a marvel, especially its slide show. But the wonder, the true marvel of the production is the special effects. The storm that blows into Kansas will figuratively blow you away, and the cyclone is downright scary. And beware the flying monkeys. If your child is five or under and easily frightened this may not be for her or him. But for all the rest of us it’s a treat.

This fairy tale offers messages that resonate: perseverance, setting a goal and working to achieve it, knowing when to accept help. It’s a great show where the little girl is the hero.

Through Oct. 13 at the Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle, (877-784-4849 or stgpresents.org.tickets.com).

Leave a Reply