THE WIZARD OF OZ Opens at the Ordway Tonight

The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts today announced the opening of Andrew Lloyd Webber's all-new stage adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, which will run tonight, Dec. 4-29 at the Ordway in Saint Paul, Minn. This national production features the original music by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg from the 1939 Oscar-winning film, with additional music and lyrics by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

Starring Danielle Wade (as Dorothy), who was chosen by the Canadian public through CBC TV's reality show "Over the Rainbow," the tour of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic. Developed from the ever-popular MGM screenplay, this new production contains classics such as "Over the Rainbow" and "The Merry Old Land of Oz," and new songs like "Red Shoes Blues," as well as the iconic moments and beloved characters.

Joining Wade, the Wizard of Oz cast includes: Jay Brazeau (Professor Marvel/The Wizard), Jacquelyn Piro Donovan (Miss Gulch/The Wicked Witch of the West), Mike Jackson (Hickory/Tin Man), Lee MacDougall (Zeke/Lion), Jamie McKnight (Hunk/Scarecrow), Robin Evan Willis (Glinda), Larry Mannell (Uncle Henry), Chelsey Duplak (Auntie Em) and more than 22 ensemble members.

The national tour of The Wizard of Oz features the award-winning creative team from the London and Toronto tour: Jeremy Sams (direction), Robert Jones (set and costume design), Arlene Phillips (choreography), Hugh Vanstone (lighting design), Mick Potter (sound design), Jon Driscoll (video/projection design), David Cullen (orchestrations) and Graham Hurman (musical supervision). Professional animal trainer William Berloni provides two trained rescue dogs to fill the role of Toto (Nigel) and understudy (Loki).

The national tour is produced by Bill Kenwright, The Really Useful Group, David Mirvish, Troika Entertainment and Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures.

The Wizard of Oz has received nine nominations for the Dora Mavor Moore Awards 2013. These nominations include Outstanding Production, Performance, Design, Direction and Choreography. It was also nominated for a Laurence Oliver Award for Best Musical Revival.

"The Wizard of Oz has a rich history in American culture and has delighted generations upon generations," said James Rocco, vice president of theatrical programming for the Ordway. "Taking this classic production and pairing it with Andrew Lloyd Webber's masterful touch, this tour of The Wizard of Oz will fill the Ordway stage with spectacle this holiday season."

Click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they journey through the magical Land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts' desires.

ABOUT THE ORDWAY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS: The Ordway is widely recognized as one of the nation's leading nonprofit performing arts centers and Saint Paul's most elegant and inviting performance space. The Ordway's Music Theater and soon-to-be completed Concert Hall attract diverse audiences with an array of productions showcasing the finest in American musical theater, world music, dance and vocal performance. Education and community engagement are integral to the Ordway's mission, with major initiatives including the annual Flint Hills International Children's Festival and Ordway Education programs that serve more than 50,000 students annually. The Ordway also sponsors the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, a professionally guided academic and artistic environment that trains aspiring pre-professional performing artists. Together with The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera and The Schubert Club, the Ordway is a member of the Arts Partnership and serves as the principal venue for their performances.

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