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Review: THE WIZARD OF OZ at North Little Rock High School Performing Arts Center

Review: THE WIZARD OF OZ at North Little Rock High School Performing Arts Center

This production went over the rainbow for one weekend only

Review: THE WIZARD OF OZ at North Little Rock High School Performing Arts Center Broadway World joined North Little Rock High School Theatre Department as they took us off to see the Wizard November 10, 12 & 13, in the massive NLRHS Performing Arts Center, 201 W 22nd St., in North Little Rock, with a more classic take on THE WIZARD OF OZ. Directed by Wyatt Hamilton with assistance from Student Directors Theodore Benson, Anna Bennett, and Olivia Jones, the students sang and danced their way from Kansas all the way to the Emerald City.

Written by L. Frank Baum with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, the story follows Dorothy Gale (Emily Bell), a young Kansas girl, who wishes to be over the rainbow. After her dog Toto (Cooper Petit-The Puppeteer) gets in trouble for biting Miss AlmiraReview: THE WIZARD OF OZ at North Little Rock High School Performing Arts Center Gulch (Jerzey Banks), Dorothy runs off, only to find Professor Chester Marvel (Alexander Self), who encourages her to head back home before the tornado hits. Unfortunately, she doesn't make it back in time to join the other farm people in the storm cellar, and is whisked away to Munchkinland, where she meets Glinda the Good Witch (Madison Courage Fleck) and the many munchkins who are thrilled that she killed The Wicked Witch of the East. Then the Wicked Witch of the West (Banks) comes in and tries to get the Ruby Slippers, which are magically placed on Dorothy's feet. Threats are made, and then Dorothy is off to find the Great and Powerful Oz (Self). On her journey, she meets the Scarecrow (Jordan Bethell), the Tin Woodsman (Lily Hirscheider), and the Cowardly Lion (Etan Carr). They finally make it to Oz, where they are told to get the broom of the Wicked Witch. After a battle with the Winkies and the Review: THE WIZARD OF OZ at North Little Rock High School Performing Arts Center Jitterbugs, Dorothy melts the witch, the gang gets awarded, and Dorothy declares 'there's no place like home.'

This production was pretty close to the way the movie played out. They did add in the Jitterbug dance, as well as some crows, dancing poppies, and ghosts in the haunted forest. There was a projection screen for the tornado and other backdrops, and they had snow machines running from the ceiling on the stage. The set from location to location was impressive. You could tell the set crew-Michael Klucher, DeAndre Lewis & Josh Shipman put in a lot of work.

The cast did a wonderful job. Bell, along with the rest of her friends, sang beautifully and led the audience through the beloved tale. Each actor brought their own essence to their characters, which made it even better. I will say that Carr as the Lion may have gotten the most reaction out the audience. Also, I really loved the wicked witch's laugh. The way sheReview: THE WIZARD OF OZ at North Little Rock High School Performing Arts Center ended it each time cracked me up.

The dancing, choreographed by Christen B. Pitts, was enjoyable to watch, especially the scenes with the Munchkins, the Ozians and the Jitterbugs. The extra subtle individual moves in the poppy's scene were a nice touch as well.

As always, I love a live band. The music was awesome. In the Orchestra was Lori Isner on Keyboard, Daniel Schoultz on Bass, and Bryan Withers on Percussion.

NLRHS has an impressive program, and the shows are wonderful each time I visit. I can't wait to see CLUE in the spring. Broadway World would like to thank DeAndre Lewis for the use of these wonderful pictures.

Review: THE WIZARD OF OZ at North Little Rock High School Performing Arts Center

Cast

Dorothy Gale....Emily Bell

Aunt Em/Glinda Good Witch of the North....Madison Courage Fleck

Uncle Henry/Emerald City Guard...Eli Lancaster

Zeke/Cowardly Lion...Ethan Carr

Hickory/Tin Woodsman....Lily Hirscheider

Hunk/Scarecrow...Jordan Bethell

Miss Almira Gulch/Wicked Witch of the West...Jerzey Banks

Professor Chester Marvel/Wizard of Oz.....Alexander Self

Toto Puppeteer...Cooper Petit

Munchkin Mayor....Ava St. Ana

Munchkin Coroner...Danielle Arum

Munchkin Barrister...Jenna Harrelson

Fiddler...Jaslyn Hall

Braggart....Shandracia Smith

Winkie General.....Jackson Ray

Nikko....Alexander Self

School Teachers....Skylar Acebedo & Elli Frensley

City Fathers....Andrew Lawrence, Caitlyn Roberts & Alex Self

Tough Guys....Avery Bursk, Kira Donn & Faith Thomas

Tots....Avery Marvin, Lucy Nooker & Myca Scroggins

Ozian Manicurists...Laney Deal & Vera Newman

Ozian Beauticians...Olivia Rice & Danielle Arum

Ozian Polishers...Lillie Ballany & Elliana Fairchild

Ozian Man....Bailey Sessions

Ozian Women...Anneke Cranor, Madison Courage Fleck & Alexandria Savoy

Jitterbug Dancers....Anneke Cranor, Kayden Ousley, Caitlyn Roberts, Myca Scroggins & Caitlyn Woodmansee

Crows...Kayden Ousley, Mariah Wheeler & Brianna Wood

Trees...Lillie Ballany, Bailey Sessions & Caitlyn Woodmansee

Winkies....Anneke Cranor, Eva Nazario & Ava Purpura

Poppies....Anneke Cranor, Kira Donn, Jaslyn Hall, Jenna Harrelson, Avery Marvin, Lucy Nooker & Ava St. Ana

Ghost in the Haunted Forest....Avery Bursk, Faith Thomas & Shandracia Smith

Review: THE WIZARD OF OZ at North Little Rock High School Performing Arts Center



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From This Author - Theresa Bertram

Prior to becoming a writer for Broadway World, Theresa Bertram has had an extensive career in the media/entertainment business. Born in Las Vegas, Nevada to a professional poker-playing mother, The... (read more about this author)


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