Review Roundup: Toronto's North American Premiere of THE WIZARD OF OZ
Producers Bill Kenwright, The Really Useful Group, David Mirvish, Troika Entertainment & Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures present the all-Canadian cast of the North American premiere of Andrew Lloyd Webber's new stage adaptation of THE WIZARD OF OZ, which opened on December 20 at the Mirvish Theatre.
Danielle Wade of LaSalle, Ontario, stars as Dorothy and Cedric Smith plays the Wizard. Also featured are Lisa Horner as The Wicked Witch, Jamie McKnight as The Scarecrow, Mike Jackson as The Tin Man, Lee MacDougall as The Cowardly Lion, Robin Evan Willis as Glinda the Good Witch and Charlotte Moore as Auntie Em.
The ensemble includes: Larry Mannell as Uncle Henry, Charlotte Moore as Aunt Em, Jordan Bell, Eric Coles, Sam DiGiuseppe, Chelsey Duplak, John Edwards, Kelly Grainger, Sarah Higgins, Julianne Hobby, Jason Huska, Zak Kearns, Ayrin Mackie, Anthony MacPherson, Stewart Adam McKensy, Julia McLellan, Kristen Pottle, Alana Randall, Adam Sergison, Sarah Slywchuk, AnDrew Taylor, Jesse Weafer, Cleopatra Williams, Ryan Wilson and Alyson Workman.
Let's see what the critics had to say:
Robert Cushman of the National Post reports: As Dorothy, Danielle Wade - plucked from the CBC's Over the Rainbow talent show - is a troubled teen rising above her troubles, and does much to keep the show on the Yellow Brick Road (one of the better design elements, incidentally). It isn't her fault the song Over the Rainbow is now so crusted in mythology that it's impossible to accept as part of a story (and the rainbow itself looks very cut-rate)..... Jamie McKnight is a charming Scarecrow; his solo dance is the most delightful thing in the show. Mike Jackson's Tin Man is all right but no more, while Lee MacDougall's Lion is much less.