Take A Bow Showcase will celebrate the 75th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” this weekend with a two-act musical adapted by the Royal Shakespeare Company to re-create the look and feel of the original MGM film.
In addition to a cast of 32 (including Toto) and a full orchestra, this whimsical re-creation will feature transport the audience from a simple Kansas farmhouse (with scenery and costumes in black-and-white sepia tones) to the dazzling colors of Munchkinland, Oz and the Emerald City.
Special effects include billowing clouds of colored smoke to announce good and evil witches, animated backgrounds and video from the inside of the twister that propels Dorothy to Oz, projected on a 50-foot screen behind the actors.
The show includes scenes and songs that were deleted from the film. Other special features include an audience sing-along performance on Thursday. Audience members are invited to dress up as their favorite Oz character for costume contests at intermission at all four performances. There will be a meet-and-greet photo opportunity with the characters after each performance.
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The cast includes Sarah Paltz, of Maryville, as Dorothy; Spencer and Freddie Rice, of Swansea, and Chrissie Cissell, of Fairview Heights, playing the three Kansas farmhands to become the characters of Scarecrow, Tinman and Cowardly Lion; Sara Gottman s the Wicked Witch of the West; and Robert S. Hopwood, of Belleville, as Prefessor Chester Marvel and the Wizard of Oz.
At a glance
What: “The Wizard of Oz,” a two-act musical
When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday
Where: Belleville East High School Performing Arts Center, 2555 West Blvd., Belleville
Tickets: $5 to $10; children under 5 admitted free. Purchase general admission at the door; to reserve seats near the stage, call 618-409-0015 or email email@example.com