‘The Wizard of Oz’ – a truly fun, modern revision of the old classic.
After premiering in Brisbane and a successful season in Sydney and Adelaide, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s London Palladium production of The Wizard of Oz and is now playing in Melbourne.
Starring one of Australia’s finest and most renowned musical theatre performers, Anthony Warlow, ‘WICKED’s’ leading ladies Lucy Durack and Jemma Rix and rising star Samantha Dodemaide as ‘Dorothy’, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ is an enchanting revision of the all-time classic. With such a star-studded cast, story developed from the ever-popular MGM screenplay, containing the beloved songs from the original film and some new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, it is not surprising the show has been such a winning formula and has been so successful with audiences of all ages.
The modern set is beautifully crafted and perfectly captures the whimsical world of the film. There is a lot of bright colour and some clever use of projection. The costumes are dazzling, with Lucy’s ‘Glinda’ dress a sparkly beacon of hope in the fight against the evil ‘Wicked Witch of the West’. The new songs are very catchy and well written by the dream-team combination of Webber and Rice who have collaborated on many productions including: ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ and ‘Evita’.
There are some nice nods to the production of ‘WICKED’ for fans of Lucy and Jemma as they reprise their characters and the chemistry between the two is as strong as ever. Samantha’s performance of Dorothy would no doubt have made Judy Garland proud with her stunning voice and heart-warming character. Anthony Warlow is incredible as the ‘Wizard of Oz’, as you might expect and the trio of: Eli Cooper, Alex Rathgeber and John Xintavelonis as the loyal companions of ‘Dorothy’ are fantastic. The ensemble is also a highlight as they transform between ‘Munchkins’, ‘Citizens of Oz’ and the followers of the ‘Wicked Witch’. There are however a couple of stars, much brighter than all of these fantastic performers who capture the heart of the audience from the opening of the curtain to the finale and that is of course Flick and Trouble in the role of ‘Toto’. The beloved dogs are exceptionally well trained and causes audible “awwws” from the audience throughout the performance.
With only two weeks left of the show, if you have not yet seen this incredible piece of theatre, get your hands on a ticket. With limited availability left, get in fast! This is definitely a show for people of all ages.
Playing until: 29th July
Venue: Regent Theatre – 191 Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000