My 6 year old niece, Sarah, was following the CBC Over the Rainbow reality show last year. She would give me an update once in a while leading up to the final selection of who would play Dorothy in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s newest production of The Wizard of Oz. I thought it was great for her to see how hard people work in order to reach their dreams.
Once the winner was announced with Danielle Wade as the new Dorothy, my sister started mentioning that this is one show they really want to go and see since they’ve been following it religiously. They had originally thought another contestant on the show would have been given the final role call. So, I asked my niece..”do you think this Dorothy will be good?” And the little critic said, “Well, we will see!”
So last night we followed the Yellow Brick Road to the Ed Mirvish Theatre for the evening’s performance. By the way…there really is a yellow brick road inside the Yonge Street entrance of the theatre. It was created by donations made by Mirvish patrons in support of Sick Kids Hospital.
We all already know the classic story of The Wizard of Oz, but translating it onto stage had us curious. Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s visions are always grand. So it was exciting to see how it would all unfold. How would they possible give the depth and fear of the twister scene when it hits Kansas? Well, there definitely is no shortage of visual effects and loud kabooms in this show! The set designs were constantly changing and swirling enough to keep any little one’s attention. Plenty of vibrant costumes, flying witches and monkeys too! Everything to delight on top of all the singing and dancing.
It’s a family show full of what you would expect! A formula for good entertainment at the theatre.
Danielle Wade delivered a perfect performance as Dorothy at last night’s performance. She seems to be totally comfortable in her role and in those ruby red slippers! As my sister said “she sounds exactly like Judy Garland in the original.” Her mannerisms and innocence played well. Not gonna to lie — I got goosebumps hearing her sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
Toto clearly was a crowd pleaser with the occasional “aww” heard from the audience. Was there only one dog performing during the show? Not sure. But darn cute!
Glinda the Good Witch (Robin Evan Willis– who has spent the past five years performing at the Shaw Festival) delighted all the little girls with her sparkly personality and dress. While the Wicked Witch of the West (Lisa Horner– you may recognize her in the Ikea commercial – Start the Car!) played her green-eyed evilness to a T! Cackle and all…very convincing! You will recognize most songs from the original movie but there are a few new ones written for this musical production as well.
So did the show live up to the expectations of my 6 year old niece? Yes! And she added, “Danielle is a really good Dorothy!” …and I have to agree! It’s an entertaining evening that is great for families!
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of The Wizard of Oz is now on stage at the Ed Mirvish Theatre, (formerly The Canon Theatre) in Toronto. The show runs for a total time of 2 hours and 15 minutes with one 20 minute intermission. For more information on dates/tickets please visit www.mirvish.com