Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Annandale High School the Wizard of Oz

By • Feb 1st, 2009 • Category: Cappies

“Toto, I have a feeling we aren’t in Kansas anymore.” No, we’re at Annandale High School’s production of the Wizard of Oz! This classic story was brought alive along with laughs, smiles, and a bit of magic.

During a tornado, Dorothy is swept from her comfortable home to the bizarre world of Oz, where she befriends the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Lion. All four join together with a common goal to find the all-powerful Wizard, whom they think can grant them what they seek the most. Once they arrive at Oz, the Wizard sends them off on the seemingly impossible quest to kill the Wicked Witch of the West and bring back the stolen golden cap. Luckily, the evil witch is water-soluble and the four friends successfully eliminate her and then journey back to the Emerald City, where they learn some surprising things about the Wizard and eventually get their desires of home, heart, brain and courage.

This production was perfect for a young audience with its bright colors, characterizations, and energy.

Lauren Kinch looked exactly like Dorothy and carried the show whenever she was on stage. She had fitting facial and body language and carried off a complete performance.

John Odom had perfect characterization as the Wizard. He was able to pull off the challenges of the role, such as in the scene when the four friends first requested their respective wishes, and he could only act with his voice, unseen by the audience. He left the audience laughing repeatedly and had fantastic chemistry with all of the other characters on stage.

Julie Jurenas portrayed the Wicked Witch of the West and she completely brought this malevolent character to life. She commanded with her convincing stage presence and triumphant evil laugh, moving the story on solidly. Although there were a number of breaks in character among the cast members, most of them seemed to have a firm understanding of their respective roles.

The set, designed by Tyler Young, was simple, but effective. He used varying colors to show different settings: green for the Wizard’s palace and yellow for the Witch’s castle. The scene changes were spotless, completely unheard and unseen by the audience, which was no small feat for a high school performance. The technical aspects in general were a very good addition to the show.

Annandale’s cast put on a show that playfully appealed to a child-like mentality. Though it is true that “there’s no place like home,” it was a good choice to venture out on this cold night and see this production.

by Alex Riehle of Thomas Edison High School

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