Starting October 5 and running through November 17, The Yellow Brick Road is returning to The Media Theatre. This time, it’s a 70 minute one-act version of “The Wizard of Oz” based on the legendary 1939 MGM film with all of the iconic songs such as “If I Only Had A Brain” and “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”. Audiences have the opportunity to enjoy the Youth Series production Saturdays at 11am and Sundays at Noon.
The show has been specially designed and adapted in a shortened version specifically for elementary and middle school age children. All ages, however, will enjoy the nostalgia upon hearing the songs Judy Garland and company made famous.
The Media Theatre’s New School students portray the principal and supporting roles. The New School is a conservatory-style music theatre education program with two age groups that meets for two semesters from September to April. Jesse Cline, the theatre’s Artistic Director, instructs The New School in the art of acting, while Resident Music Director Tom Fosnocht educates students in basic music theory and vocal studies. Dancer and actress Megan Rucidlo, currently in Media’s “Spamalot”, will take on the movement component of the course throughout 2013.
Theodora Greco, 9, of Media, adds her talent as Dorothy. Theodora enters her second year in the New School. She was recently seen in a successful run of last summer’s “101 Dalmatians”.
Elaina Fitzgerald, 10, of Wallingford, will portray Dorothy the weekend of October 12 and 13. She was also seen in “101 Dalmatians” as well as the Broadway Series production of “Dr. Dolittle”.
Media resident Emily Smith, 11, who won the 2013 “Vocalist Junior” competition due to her spot on vocals and vibrant personality, adds her humorous charm to the role of The Scarecrow. Another contest winner, who won 2012’s competition when it was titled “Delco Idol Junior”, plays The Tin Man (Gianni Palmarini, 13, of Aston).
Andrew Moretti, 13, of Glen Mills, takes on the legendary role of The Cowardly Lion. He has been seen in the Youth Series productions of “Willy Wonka, Junior” and “Sleeping Beauty”.
In this specially adapted production of “The Wizard of Oz”, the role of Toto is given life by a young actor. Sebastian Fitzgerald, 5, of Wallingford, will speak his own canine language which includes many “R’s”. He was in the highly successful “Pinkalicious” at the tender age of four, creating his stage resume which continued with “101 Dalmatians”.
Two adult professional performers add their unique personalities to the life of “Oz”. Shiron Denise, who has become a recurring actress in the Youth Series, is going to be humorously intimidating as The Wicked Witch of The West. Jim Conte, seen at Media in “Death on the 16th Fairway” and “Nunsense Jamboree”, becomes the all knowing Oz, the man behind the curtain.
The cast has over 40 young actors and actresses who will portray everything from Flying Monkeys to Munchkins as they sing “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead” and “Follow The Yellow Brick Road”. Audiences are welcome to come dressed for the occasion and sing along to the classic Munchkin songs.
For tickets to “The Wizard of Oz” at The Media Theatre October 5 through November 17 (weekends only) call 610-891-0100 or visit mediatheatre.org. All Youth Series and Broadway Series productions are produced by Media Music Theatre Company, the professional music theatre organization housed at The Media Theatre which was awarded Broadway World’s “Best Theatre Company of Philadelphia” honor in 2012.