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 http://www.stagecrafters.org 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 Stagecrafters.org 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 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 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 http://www.stagecrafters.org (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