Last week I went with my son and his class to see Seattle Children’s Theatre’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.” It is showing until January 6th, so you still have time to see it too.
What really impressed me was that the majority of kids in the audience were experiencing this story for the first time. So when Dorothy (played by Kasey Nusbickel), landed in Oz and all of the Munchkins came out, there was an audible gasp in the crowd. Almost every kid had an “OMG” look on their face.
Then near the end (spoiler alert!), I was scanning the stage for Toto and the “man behind the curtain.” But the kids still had their eyes on the giant floating head. Most of them had no idea that the Wizard was a fake, and were really shocked by the outcome.
My son has read “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum two times, so he was already familiar with the ending. But he has never seen the Hollywood movie version, so he had no preconceived notions of what to expect from the musical.
For my own part, I was surprised to see that they used the actor who played Auntie Em to also play Glinda. Sharva Maynard did a great job performing both roles and none of the kids I talked to realized that she wasn’t actually two people.
Seattle Children’s Theatre says this show is for kids five and up. I completely agree with that assessment. Younger kids might be scared. Julie Bricksman did a tremendous job as the Wicked Witch, and even scared some of the seven-year-olds I was with.
For more information, check out: Seattle Children’s Theatre’s website.