Take a Trip Down the Yellow Brick Road


A review of the theater department’s performance of the musical “The Wizard of Oz” on February 15, 16 and 17.

A lively adventure of talented actors and singers ventured down the yellow brick road this past weekend during the theatre department’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.”

The show opened with sophomore Becca Lipshultz, who was cast as Dorothy, wearing the iconic white and blue checkered dress and toting an adorable puppy –  yes, it was an actual puppy, and yes, it was really cute – to go tell her Auntie Em about the threats her neighbor had given her in regard to Toto.

Lipshultz nailed Dorothy’s timid and, at times, whiny personality with her insistence that her aunt and uncle, played by sophomore Rachel Sedlak and senior Jack Daou, confront her neighbor.

Dorothy’s farmhouse was a great set-piece. It was painted brown, with a texture that made it look real, but even more impressive was its mobility when the tornado came to sweep Dorothy away to Oz. The speed with which the stage crew moved large set pieces like this was also notable, so props must be given for that (no pun intended).

However, even more astounding was Lipshultz’s singing voice. Her rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was beautiful and proved that her hard work in rehearsals paid off. Throughout the performance, she graced the audience with individual and group songs, such as “We’re off to see the Wizard,” accompanied by the Scarecrow (Robert McNickle), the Cowardly Lion (Jacob Campero), and the Tin Man (Mick Hoyle) who all also gave great performances.

Campero was especially funny as the Cowardly Lion, and he gave a convincing (and cowardly) performance. Additionally, McNickle and Hoyle perfectly performed “If I Only Had A Brain,” and “If I Only Had A Heart,” and the Scarecrow’s wobbly legs and the Tin Man’s rusted appendages made the audience chuckle more than once.

Senior Zora Grace’s perfect evil cackle as the Wicked Witch of the West was one that audience members are probably still hearing, and not only were her lines hilarious, but she was able to capture her character completely. Her signature green make-up done by history teacher Kristin Bird, with the help of junior Abby Chillot, junior Audrey Busbee and many other talented artists, brought the witch and other characters even further to life.

Lipshultz was aided by Hunk (Zack Lipshultz), Zeke (Carson Blake), and Hickory (Tim Redmon) in her portrayal of the parallels between these characters and the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, and Tin Man, and allowed Dorothy to return to Kansas as a wiser woman with a greater appreciation for her friends.

Major credit to junior Trinity Kimberly, who acted as Costume Head and hand-made many of the costumes that helped the actors bring their characters to life. The frilly skirts and suit of the Tin Man made the show all the more enjoyable to watch, and Dorothy and the Wicked Witch’s costumes helped keep the classic parts of the story alive.

The amazing background effects also helped to keep the story alive with a beautiful scene of Munchinkland and Oz. The Sound Head, freshman, Rachel Beach, did a great job making sure the audience could hear all of the characters and their melodic voices as well.

The dancing was also impressive with the spunky poppies, faux snow, and jitterbugs who gave off an sense of sass and confidence, making viewers fear for Dorothy’s well-being almost as much as the wish to see them to continue dancing. Can we just take a moment to appreciate how difficult it must have been for Lipshultz to dance with the huge picnic basket on her arm and how great her moves were despite that?

If you weren’t able to catch the musical, be sure to look out for the student directed one-act plays coming in the spring. Congratulations on an amazing performance Theater Department!