It must have been a thrill for the young members of the Curtain Call Kids to present The Wizard of Oz on the Thomaston Opera House stage. On Opening Night the house was almost full of friends and family and lots of young children.
This stage version folllows the script of the 1939 movie and included almost everything, even the deleted "Jitterbug" dance number. I enjoyed seeing how cleverly the young Director Richard McKenna along with his mother (Producer Deb McKenna,) interpreted some of the technical aspects of the scenes, especially the snow on the poppy field transition.
This large cast barely fit on the stage and every member of the chorus was asked to play at least four roles. They all did so with aplomb, even when there were some traffic jams during exits, and all but a couple of the youngest ones resisted the urge to wave at family members in the audience. The uncredited costumes ranged from cute to absolutely adorable and lit up the stage with color.
The super-talented T.J. Thompson (who's daughter Lily was in the cast) served as Musical Director and played keyboard in the pit with three other musicians.
"Dorothy Gale" was played by a sophomore at the Greater Hartford Academy for the Arts Emily Bordonaro. Ms. Bordonaro sang on the . In the lead role, she was able to show off her lovely singing voice and speak her lines with the proper accent. Brandon Arnold pulled off the stiff movements of the "Tin Man." Theron Johnson () played the "Scarecrow" loosely and with lots of charm. Katherine Ross, a freshman at WAMS, was a convincing "Wicked Witch of the West," while Kathryn O'Donnell was a lovely "Glinda the Good."
As the "Cowardly Lion," WAMS seventh grader and stage veteran Connor Barth () was stupendous. His maturity as a performer does not match his age. Another seventh grader, Lauren Stango () was wonderful in the role of "The Wizard of Oz" and surely made her father Chuck Stango proud.
Finally, kudos to Alison Goth for a wonderful job on the 24 page program. Each cast member's bio included their most recent stage credit, interests, a message from their family, and the answer to the question "If I could ask the Great and Powerful Oz for one thing..."
Take the kids!