Canada, home of the beaver, hockey, maple syrup, and musical theatre triple threats, has crowned their Dorothy! On Monday, November 5th a sold-out studio audience gathered to watch as Danielle Wade
, 20, of La Salle, ON was presented with the coveted ruby red slippers and the role of Dorothy in Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber
's Canadian production of The Wizard of Oz. Wade had been competing in an eight week long reality show competition in which twenty girls vyed for the lead role in the brand new musical which will be presented by Mirvish this Christmas in Toronto.
The results show featured the final three remaining Dorothy's singing Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber
's brand new Diamond Jubilee song 'Sing' (co-written with Gary Barlow) in front of a live-studio audience who had been taught portions of the song by ALW immediately before the show went live across the country.
The final performances had each Dorothy singing for her life. AJ Bridel sang from CATS, Stephanie La
Rochelle from THE WOMAN IN WHITE, and Danielle delivered a stunning rendition of 'As If We Never Said Goodbye' from SUNSET BOULEVARD. On the broadcast Lord Webber praised her ability to deliver a song clearly meant for a woman twice her age with such emotion and depth.
Canada agreed, and after a tense elimination show Monday night, they made Danielle their Dorothy. Upon donning her Ruby Slippers
, Danielle tearfully exclaimed 'this was my first ever audition, and I hope they all go like this!'. CBC host Daryn Jones
buzzed about how much fun he had with the girls every week, saying that he they 'would all go on to have fantastic careers.' When asked if he would be there for Danielle on opening night, he exclaimed 'I certainly hope so! Make sure to get me a great ticket with good sight lines!'
The judges agreed, consistently commenting on how incredible all three girls were in the final few weeks. Thom Allison
said 'I believe Canada made the right choice, and that any of these girls will have remarkable careers in front of them' while Louise Pitre
raved about their dedication and emotion. More than once Pitre could be seen tearing up from her spot on the judging panel, praising the girl's for their ability to break her heart.
Once the confetti had been swept away and the lights went down, a tearful Danielle took a few minutes to greet fans and press and come to terms with the fact that she had been chosen as Canada's Dorothy. When asked how she felt immediately upon hearing the news, she proclaimed 'it's like a dream. I've literally been dreaming of this day for twenty years and I'm so ready. I can't wait to be Dorothy.' And while she was clearly emotional, the 20 year old small-town girl still had her sense of humour. When asked about judge Thom Allison
's tendency to throw his shoe at the girls after a particularly exceptional performance she beamed 'Thom can throw a shoe at me any day. I will happily get hit by his shoe.'
Luckily for Danielle, the only shoes in her future are Dorothy's ruby red slippers - and I think she's more than up to filling them.
When and Where?
The Wizard of Oz
Performances begin December 20th, 2012 at the Ed Mirvish
Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by phone at 416-872-1212 or online at www.mirvish.com
Photos by CBC