BWW Review: THE BOY FROM OZ at Stages St. Louis performed with energy and excitement!
Opening its 33rd Season, Stages St. Louis entertains with high energy and incredible performers in THE BOY FROM OZ.
The story of singer-songwriter Peter Allen (David Elder) starts with his humble beginnings in the Australian backcountry pubs and follows his rise to international stardom beside Hollywood icons such as Judy Garland (Michele Ragusa) and her daughter Liza Minelli (Caitlyn Caughell). The production features beloved Peter Allen hits, such as "Don't Cry Out Loud", "I Honestly Love You", and the show-stopping "I Go To Rio".
The Midwest Premiere of this production does not disappoint. Elder starts the performance by drawing in the audience, and making a connection that deepens throughout the night. Impressively singing, dancing, and engaging the audience, Elder makes the story very personable. Ragusa commands the stage in her portrayal of Judy Garland, a truly believable performance. Caughell sings with great strength as Liza, and especially noteworthy is the "You and Me" duet with Elder in Act 2.
Marion Woolnough (Corinne Melancon), Peter's mother, and Greg Connell (Zach Trimmer), Peter's partner, both integral people in Peter's life, are played with a natural sincerity and bring humanity to critical moments in the story. The supporting cast and ensemble keep the action alive with dazzling vocals and choreography.
The artistic team, led by Michael Hamilton (Direction and Musical Staging), along with Lisa Campbell Albert (Musical Direction), and Dana Lewis (Choreography), have brought this poignant story to life with a balance of humor and seriousness. Technically, James Wolk (Scenic Design) and Sean M. Savoie (Lighting Design) have worked together seamlessly, creatively giving the entire performance a nightclub feel. And not to be outdone, the incredible designs by Brad Musgrove (Costume Design) brought more spectacle to every scene. (No spoiler here, but just wait for the final scene!)
THE BOY FROM OZ brings a new story to the Midwest, and to the audiences of Stages St. Louis. From the reaction of the crowd, it is a must see. It will have you wanting to dance like you were at the Copacabana...and wishing you had worn your feathers and sequins!