They're off To see the Wizard at Stagecrafters In Royal Oak; "The Wizard Of Oz" opens June 6

"Flying monkeys", witches & munchkins

ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) - They’re off to see the Wizard at Stagecrafters in Royal Oak.  The hit family-friendly musical “The Wizard Of Oz” opens June 6th at the Baldwin Theatre, 415 S. Lafayette and runs through June 22. Tickets are available now at or by phone at 248-541-6430.

The show is based on the 1939 classic MGM musical film starring Judy Garland.  The local production includes flying monkeys, colorful munchkins, and a real Toto.  Stagecrafters says it is sure to charm audiences of all ages.

"Ladies Night Out" Fundraiser June 4th - Good Witch/Bad Witch Costume Contest

Kicking off the production’s run is the Good Witch, Bad Witch Ladies Night Out Fundraiser on Wed., June 4th at the Baldwin Theatre. The specially themed evening begins at 6 pm with a pre-glow of hors d’oeuvres prepared by Café Muse of Royal Oak, drinks including a ‘Flying Monkey Brew,’ retail therapy, raffle, costume contest and the preview performance of “The Wizard of Oz.

” Attendees are encouraged to dress as their favorite good or bad witch. Prizes will be awarded for the best costume in the two categories. The preview performance will begin at 8 pm. Advance tickets are $30 each and available for purchase online at or by calling the advance tickets sales at 248-541-6430. This fundraiser is sponsored by Credit Union Advantage.

Opening Night: June 6th

Stagecrafters is inviting audience members on opening night  June 6th to attend the 7 pm pre-glow party.

It  includes complimentary light hors d’oeuvres and beverages from Blackfinn Ameripub of Royal Oak.

The Story

The story starts with Kansas farm girl Dorothy Gale (Gabrielle Phillips of Lake Orion) who is in search of a quiet place to stay out of trouble. Ornery neighbor Miss Gulch (Elizabeth Schultz of Royal Oak) shows up at the farm and accuses Dorothy’s dog Toto (Jo-Jo Troia of Farmington Hills) of biting her leg. She presents Sherriff’s orders to take the dog away and Dorothy’s Aunt Em (Helen Frizzo of Royal Oak) and Uncle Henry (Bill Glace of Ferndale) reluctantly hand over the dog. When Toto escapes, Dorothy decides to take him and run away so that no one can ever hurt him. She meets Professor Marvel (Ron Otulakowski of Eastpointe) who convinces her to go back home. When she arrives home, a tornado hits the area and causes her to fall and hit her head.

This begins her journey as she travels over the rainbow and into the Land of Oz. She makes new friends – the citizens of Munchkinland and a good witch, Glinda (Randi Hamilton of Ferndale). Dorothy also meets the Wicked Witch of the West who is search of the magical ruby slippers that Glinda has already placed on Dorothy’s feet. Glinda tells Dorothy that if she wants to go home, she has to ask the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. As she ventures down the yellow brick road, she meets three new friends – a Scarecrow (Matthew Miga of Ferndale), a Tin Man (Bradley Ellison of Southfield) and a Lion (Jerry Haines of Berkley). The foursome, linked arm-in-arm, make their way to the Emerald City which begins a series of jittery and wonderful adventures! Audiences will enjoy the flying effects by ZFX, Inc., colorful costumes, imaginative set designs and choreography.

The Stagecrafters Twist

The show’s director, Randall Wrisinger of Royal Oak, has modeled this production after the classic film. Wrisinger has directed two previous Main Stage productions at Stagecrafters – The Sound of Music and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, and the youth theatre production of Cinderella. “I wanted to do another show that involved youth and adults. I love working with the young people and seeing them grow up in the theatre as well as the excitement that it creates in their eyes,” says Wrisinger.

Wrisinger chose to use a real Cairn terrier in the role of Toto. “We are very blessed to have Jo-Jo as our Toto. His human parents, Bill and Ann Troia of Farmington Hills, bring him to all rehearsals, work with him on- and off-stage and are exposing him to the all of the mayhem he’ll be part of,” says Wrisinger. Jo-Jo was rescued by the Troias from Cairn Rescue USA. They joke that they are a failure as foster parents because once they had Jo-Jo they knew they had to keep him.

The History

The stage production credits include: book by L. Frank Baum with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, background music by Herbert Stothart, dance and vocal arrangements by Peter Howard, orchestration by Larry Wilcox and adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company. The stage production is based upon the Classical Motion Picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros.

The classic MGM film premiered in August 1939 in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. The cast included Judy Garland (Dorothy), Ray Bolger (Scarecrow), Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion), Jack Haley (Tin Man), Billie Burke (Glinda), and Margaret Hamilton (Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch of the West). Buddy Ebsen was originally cast

as the Scarecrow however swapped roles with Ray Bolger (cast as the Tin Man) who had always wanted to play the part of the Scarecrow. An allergic reaction to the silver make-up used for the Tin Man forced Ebsen to leave the role. His vocals were still used in the song “We’re off to see the Wizard.”  Some of the movie’s lines were voted “The 100 Greatest Movie Lines” by Premier magazine (2007). “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” is listed the highest at #24.

Show dates and times follow:

Friday, June 6                      8:00 pm             

Saturday, June 7                 2:00 pm

Saturday, June 7                 8:00 pm

Sunday, June 8                    2:00 pm

Thursday, June 12               8:00 pm            

Friday, June 13                    8:00 pm

Saturday, June 14               2:00 pm

Saturday, June 14               8:00 pm

Sunday, June 15                  2:00 pm

Thursday, June 19               8:00 pm            

Friday, June 20                    8:00 pm

Saturday, June 21               2:00 pm

Saturday, June 21               8:00 pm

Sunday, June 22                  2:00 pm


Advance tickets for performances are $20 on Thursdays, $22 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Tickets may be purchased online at (online handling fees apply) or by phone at 248-541-6430 using Visa or MasterCard. All seats are reserved.  If shows have not sold out, tickets can be purchased at the box office one hour prior to the performance for an additional $2.00 per ticket. Student, military and senior discounts are available for specific performances.  The Baldwin Theatre is located at 415 S. Lafayette, Royal Oak. The Wizard of Oz is sponsored by Miner’s Den Jewelers of Royal Oak.



The Wizard of Oz Cast and Crew by Community


Jerry Haines                         Zeke/Lion                                      Berkley

Kate Bagdon                        Munchkin                                       Beverly Hills

Gabriel Farnetti-Gerstler        Lollipop Guild                                Birmingham

Don Gerstler                         Ensemble                                      Birmingham

Carter Montri                        Barrister                                        Birmingham

Cassie Najor                         Ensemble                                      Birmingham

Harper Hodgson                   Ensemble                                      Chesterfield

Therese Wisnewski               Chorus                                          Clarkston

Coleen Genette                     Chorus                                          Clawson

Nicholas Genette                  Fiddler                                          Clawson

Emilie McClelland                 Chorus                                          Clawson

Lucy McClelland                   Munchkin                                       Clawson

Reese McClelland                 Munchkin                                       Clawson

Ron Otulakowski                  Professor Marvel/Wizard of Oz       Eastpointe

Jo-Jo Troia                           Toto                                              Farmington Hills

Bill Glace                             Uncle Henry                                   Ferndale

Randi Hamilton                     Glinda                                           Ferndale

Eric Henrickson                    Ensemble                                      Ferndale

Matthew Miga                       Hickory/Scarecrow                         Ferndale

Nancy Zott                           Ensemble                                      Ferndale

Deanna Daly                        Chorus                                          Harrison Twp

Bill Davenport                      Chorus                                          Lake Orion

Gabrielle Phillps                   Dorothy                                         Lake Orion

Cole Skory                           Flying Monkey                               Lathrup Village

Spencer Clark                       Mayor                                           Lincoln Park

Buddy VanLoon                   Ensemble                                      Oak Park

Regan Castle                        Ensemble                                      Pleasant Ridge

Grace Seyferth                     Munchkin                                       Rochester

Nancy Cannava                    Chorus                                          Rochester Hills

Erica Battle                          Producer                                       Royal Oak

Brendan Battle                      Flying Monkey                               Royal Oak

Ed Berger                            Chorus                                          Royal Oak

Alexa Dewey                        Munchkin                                       Royal Oak

Billy Dixon                           Ensemble                                      Royal Oak

Jeanne Dolson                     Producer                                       Royal Oak

Helen Frizzo

                        Auntie Em                                     Royal Oak

Bailey Golding                      Chorus                                          Royal Oak

Madeline Golding                 Munchkin                                       Royal Oak

Tina Golding-Jewett              Chorus                                          Royal Oak

Bryan Hanes                         Coroner                                         Royal Oak

Ethan Heckman                    Lollipop Guild                                Royal Oak

Stephanie Schim                  Chorus                                          Royal Oak

Liz Schultz                            Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch               Royal Oak

Sarah Soraghan                    Munchkin                                       Royal Oak

Randy Wrisinger                   Director                                         Royal Oak

Rich Wilson                          Emerald City Guard/Ensemble        Royal Oak

Jo Woods                            Chorus                                          Royal Oak

Bradley Ellison                     Hunk/Tin Man                                 Southfield

Meredith Ellison                    Chorus                                          Southfield

Christiana Perrault                 Ensemble                                      Southfield

Alan Semonian                     Chorus                                          Southfield

Jacob Burns                         Flying Monkey                               Sterling Heights

Meg Brokenshire                  Ensemble                                      Troy

Mandy Marsili                       Munchkin                                       Troy

Kulin Oak                             Lollipop Guild                                Troy

Kevin Mazur                         Ensemble                                      Warren