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Question: Who's your favorite character in the Wizard of Oz? (Because I KNOW you have one.)
For me, it's the witch. Ever since I was little, she's been THE litmus test of my wimpyness. Honestly? She freaked me out for years. I knew that I had finally developed true courage when I could watch the movie all the way through without hiding my eyes. And truly, without the evil witch, Oz would just be a sweet little story.
Here are some movie-version "Wicked Witch" fun facts:
1. The actress was Margaret Hamilton, a 36-year-old single mom.
2. Another actress had originally been chosen, but she was considered too 'glamorous'.
3. Margaret went on to play 'Cora' from the 70's Maxwell House commercials.
4. For years after 'Oz', she would speak to groups of school children, who would ask the same question: "Will you do the laugh?" She always obliged. She scared kids like me for over 4 decades.
So, when "The Wizard of Oz" came to the stage at Beef and Boards, I was all too eager to check out you know who.
Lynne Perkins swept onto the stage as the atrocious Miss Gultch, followed by a suitably nasty rendition of Miss Wicked. And much to my surprise, she nailed the cackle.
Other characters were also very well cast. Let me first say that the entire performance, from the talented ensemble, to the clever costumes, to the terrific musicians was very entertaining for me AND my children. But if I had to choose, these were my favorites:
First, Jayson Elliott as The Lion. He was perfect. (Okay, I was going to write the feline version of that phrase, but I refrained. You're welcome.) Big voice. Big acting. Big Coward. Jayson was hilariously engaging, extremely watchable and at the end of the performance, he received the loudest applause from our table.
Trisha Shepherd was sensational as Glinda the Good Witch. I loved her as a newscaster; I love her even more as an actress. Lovely voice. Lovely lady.
But, I'll tell you who stole the show: Toto. Of COURSE you have to have a real dog on the stage, but this little guy (or gal) was amazing. Completely unfazed by the lights, applause, and stage chaos, Toto hit all of his cues, endured being jostled during the dance sequences and barked on command. Good doggie.
Wizard of Oz will delight even the most skeptical teenager (I speak from experience) and is a terrific show for a special event with your family.
Wizard of Oz runs through July 15.
For reservations call the Beef and Boards box office at 317-872-9664. Or visit beefandboards.com.
Tickets range from $37-$60 and include an all you can eat buffet. Discount tickets for children ages 3-15 and for groups of 20 or more.
I'm Lisa Whitman. The "Lisa" of LocalLisa.com, a one-stop website for women in Indianapolis. C'mon over to my website. Follow me on FB and Twitter. I'd love to get to know you.
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