Photo Flash: THE WIZARD OF OZ At Theatre In The Park
Join Theatre in the Park for a fabulous trip over the rainbow during the final production of its 50th OUTDOOR season with the classic musical THE WIZARD OF OZ! Packed with some of the most memorable songs in musical theatre, 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow', 'Follow the Yellow Brick Road' and of course, "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead!' THE WIZARD OF OZ is a colorful adventure full of magic, the meaning of friendship and family, dancing jitterbugs, and of course, flying monkeys!
THE WIZARD OF OZ opens on Friday, Aug. 2 for its seven-performance-run at TIP's beautiful amphitheater in Shawnee Mission Park. Performances continue through Sunday, Aug. 4. Join Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tinman and Cowardly Lion as the musical continues Wednesday, Aug. 7 through Saturday, Aug. 10 with show time at 8:30 p.m. The TIP box office opens at 6:30 p.m. each evening and gates to the seating bowl open at 7 p.m. THE WIZARD OF OZ runs approximately two and half hours with one 20-minute intermission. After the show families will be able to meet Dorothy and Gilda the Good Witch on stage for a photo op!
THE WIZARD OF OZ is based on L. Frank Baum's treasured tale of Kansas farm girl, Dorothy Gale, and her quest to return home after she is swept away by a vicious tornado to the magical land of Oz. During her adventure down the yellow brick road to meet The Wizard, Dorothy befriends a walking, talking, dancing Scarecrow who wishes for a brain; a rusty Tinman who wishes for a heart, even though he knows the pain it could cause him; and a cowardly lion who dreams of being King of the Forest. She convinces each of them join her on the yellow brick road to the Emerald City because if the Great Wizard of Oz can help her get home then surely he can grant their wishes as well. But no quest is complete without its villain and Oz surely packs a punch with Wicked Witch of the West, the worst of the Oz witches, who attempts to capture Dorothy, and her magic ruby slippers, at every turn. In the end Dorothy must face her fears and conquer the wicked witch if she is ever going to get home.
TIP's THE WIZARD OF OZ is directed Tiffany Schweigert with musical direction and conducting by James Levy and choreography by LB. The production also coincides with "Expanding Oz," a special exhibit at the Johnson County Museum with one-of-a-kind memorabilia from the original books to stage productions and pop culture. The museum is located at the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., in Overland Park.
The cast and crew of THE WIZARD OF OZ come from varied backgrounds and spanning the entire KC Metro area. Makenna Neef, Dorothy Gale, and David Thompson, Cowardly Lion, are both long time and cherished TIP performers. AND David is making his second appearance as the Cowardly Lion on the TIP stage! For many in the cast and crew THE WIZRD OF OZ has also offered the unique family experience of being able to work and perform with children and spouses. Director Tiffany Schweigert has gotten the chance to direct both her wife, Jennifer Colville-Schweigert, making a very green TIP debut at the Wicked Witch of the West, and their daughter Amelia Coville-Schweigert who dances in the children's ensemble; Brian Brewer plays the Munchkin Mayor while his daughter Kaitlin dances in the ensemble; and longtime TIP performer Nicole McCroskey dances alongside and her furry baby, Blair, as she makes her stage debut as the rascally, loveable Toto. Tom Nelson, Scarecrow, returns to TIP after a standout turn as Cinderella's Prince/The Wolf in last summer's production of INTO THE WOODS. Several cast members have appeared in TIP productions earlier this summer including Don Leonard, The Wizard, who did a star turn as Mr. Coggins in CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, and Jacob Jackson, Tinman, who appeared in both FOREVER PLAID and CHITTY CHITT BANG BANG.
Celebrating the importance of love, family, and home THE WIZARD OF OZ is the perfect production to close TIP's 50th OUTDOOR season!
TIP OUTDOOR ticket prices are $8 for adults, $6 for youth (ages 4-10) plus tax, and children three and under are free (but require a ticket for entrance). Reserve seats and parking are also available. Tickets may be purchased online at www.theatreinthepark.org or at the theatre box office on performance evenings.
But Wait! The fun doesn't end with THE WIZARD OF OZ! TIP will continue it's 50th season celebrations INDOORS at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center with SWEET CHARITY (October 11-27) and FROZEN JR. (Dec. 6-15). Full details about TIP INDOOR performances are available at www.theatreinthepark.org
There's one film left as part of MOVIES IN THE PARK the outdoor amphitheater with the showing of A DOG'S WAY HOME (PG) on Monday, Aug. 5. ALL movie tickets are only $1! Gates open at 7:30 p.m. with films starting at 8:30-8:45 p.m., depending on sunset.
Theatre in the Park is an award-winning program of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District and is the largest outdoor community theater in the country. Program sponsors are Advent Health and First National Bank. THE WIZARD OF OZ is sponsored by Renewal by Anderson.