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Axelrod Performing Arts Center Rising Stars Presents THE WIZARD OF OZ

Axelrod Performing Arts Center Rising Stars Presents THE WIZARD OF OZ

The Axelrod Performing Arts Center's Rising Stars youth performing arts program will celebrate the 80th Anniversary of MGM's classic, "The Wizard of Oz," with six performances on Sunday May 5 at 1:00 and 5:00 PM; Saturday, May 11 at 2:00 and 7:00 PM, and Sunday, May 12 at 1:00 and 5:00 PM.

Based on the beloved novel by L. Frank Baum and featuring songs by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg, the technicolor film first premiered at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on August 15, 1939. Starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Billie Burke, and Margaret Hamilton, the movie musical opened to critical acclaim and achieved legendary status through decades of annually televised broadcasts.

This beloved tale, in which a Kansas farm girl travels over the rainbow to discover the magical power of home, has been entertaining audiences for generations.

The performance features classic and iconic songs the entire family will love including "Over the Rainbow," "Munchkinland (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead)," "If I Only Had A Brain/A Heart/The Nerve," "We're Off to See the Wizard, "The Merry Old Land of Oz", and "If I Were King of The Forest."

The production features local rising stars that include Skylar Gothelf (Manalapan) as Dorothy Gale; Simon Clissold (Manalapan) as Scarecrow; Giada Garcia (Manalapan) as Tinman; Joseph Grisanzio (Howell) as Cowardly Lion; Chloe Hreha (Howell) as Glinda the Good Witch; Alexandra Colaiacovo (Ocean Township) and Zoe Seitz (Freehold) sharing the roles of Miss Gulch and the Wicked Witch, and Victoria Bahary (Ocean Township) as the female version of Prof. Marvel & the Wizard of Oz. [Photos available upon request].

Toto will be played by a local rescue dog from the Pick Your Paw Animal Rescue in Shrewsbury.

Lisa Goldfarb, Rising Stars Youth Performing Arts director, stages "The Wizard of Oz" with choreography by Wendy Roman and musical direction by Randal Hurst. Completing the artistic team are Set Designer Fred Sorrentino, costumes by Joanne Deluca and Donna Silogy-Gigante of Playtime Costumes, and aereography by Flying by Foy, the most prolific and widely-respected theatrical flying service in the world.

"We are so excited to present this classic and iconic story in celebration of the Wizard of Oz's 80th Anniversary," says Goldfarb. "It's a tale for all ages."

Tickets are $27 for adults and $23 for students and can be purchased online at; by phone (732) 531-9106, x14, or in person at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, 100 Grant Ave., Deal Park. The theater offers ample free, onsite parking and is completely handicap accessible.

The Axelrod's Rising Stars Youth Performing Arts Program is directed by Lisa Goldfarb and produces two musicals a year (winter and spring). The program is opened to young people ages 8 to 19 years. Rising Stars focuses on teaching the basic fundamentals of musical theater-singing, acting, dancing-with the end result of presenting a fully staged musical overseen by the Axelrod's professional theater staff. The production team has been nominated for multiple awards by the New Jersey Association of Community Theaters over the past few years.

In addition to instilling a passion for the performing arts, the program offers young people the opportunity to learn the importance of responsibility, discipline and focus, encouraging a positive attitude, team building, public speaking, self-confidence and much more.

The Axelrod Performing Arts Center is New Jersey's newest professional theater, offering main-stage musicals with casts and production teams from New York City and beyond as well as original concerts throughout the year. The Axelrod fosters artistic excellence by showcasing varied and distinct cultural programs that enrich the imaginative, intellectual, and creative soul, while cultivating an appreciation of diverse communities through the pursuit of the arts. For more information, please visit

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