The Placer Performance Calendar


Great Local Shows - Theatrical Reviews

Title The Wizard of Oz
Organization Rocklin Community Theatre
Date(s) of show December 4-20, 2015
Reviewer Letha Dawson

Who doesn’t know “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and “Follow the Yellow Brick Road?”  These terrific songs, written by Harold Arlen with lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, are part of America.  Since 1939, when it came to the big screen, starring Judy Garland as Dorothy, audiences have been thrilling to the sweetness of The Wizard of Oz.  The Rocklin Community Theatre brings it to us this holiday season, filling the Finnish Temperance Hall with the music of the children of this area, introducing a whole new generation to songs they’ll sing long after the last curtain falls.  Young and old will feel their hearts warm as they listen to Dorothy, (Abigail Dixon in the opening night show) and her friends, the Scarecrow (Carson Sloan), the Tinman (Mike Reinero), the Cowardly Lion (Mike Mechanick), and of course Dorothy’s doggie, Toto (Joey Boose in this show), skip along the Yellow Brick Road looking for the Wizard of Oz. 

The show has a large cast of thirty-seven singers and dancers.  Since I can’t name each delightful performer, let me say all of them whisked the audience along the yellow brick road in a most entertaining way.  Perhaps they were energized by the frequent and enthusiastic applause and cheers from the opening-night audience. Whatever the reason, this cast looked like they were having as much fun as the audience.  There were Munchkins with tall pointed wizard hats, Apple trees who talked and threw their apples, Winged Mondeys flying around, Snowflakes gently falling, and Jitterbugs who couldn’t stop dancing.  Tina Wojcik did an outstanding job creating interesting, funny, and for Glinda the Good Witch (Lori Thomson), beautiful costumes. 

Shows come alive with actors who can sing and dance.  This Rocklin production lives up to its reputation.  Thanks to Jill Page, Director, Kay Hight, Music Director, and Cassie March, Choreographer, and all the others who coached these talented young actors, they made this musical live again.  Abigail Dixon as Dorothy was so charming and sweet, and her voice is full and wonderful.  Scarecrow (Carson Sloan) stuffed with straw flopped and fell down and scampered up again to dance along.  His make-up enhanced his dopey smile, but it was Carson who brought the “if I only had a brain” wish to this roll.  Tinman (Mike Reinero) was stiff as a man of tin should be.  He could flex those legs, however, when the oil can was applied.  Bravo, Mike.  The Cowardly Lion (Mike Mechanick) almost stole the show.  The audience couldn’t get enough of this “if I only had some nerve” lion.  Mike has a voice which can roar out of the Temperance Hall, and in the next instant mimic the sweet meow of a pussycat.  He owns the Cowardly Lion part.  But he gets some competition from Miss Almira Gulch, (Maggie Hamrick Mechanick) who also has a set of lungs to set your hair tingling.  With her green face, witch’s hat, and that blood-curdling laugh as she plans her next evil deed, she had the kids in the audience wide-eyed and scared.  Toto, (Joey Boose in this production), was adorable, scampering along the ground following Dorothy. 

There’s a father and daughters team on stage with Bill Dixon playing two roles, Uncle Henry and Emerald City Guard, and as mentioned above, Abigail Dixon as Dorothy.  And there’s another young one coming up, Madelyn Dixon, playing one of the Poppies and one of the Ghosts.  There’s the Mastro family with several actors, Mom, Dad, and Daphne and Phoebe.  We notice Mike Reinero (Tinman) and his daughter, Sophia, who will play Dorothy in future productions.  How nice to see families acting side by side.    Everyone in this show gives outstanding performances. 

The production crew uses video cleverly to show the tornado which sweeps Dorothy and Toto out of Kansas.  I can’t imagine how they did it, but they showed through the window projected on the screen the Kansas farm house, then the fences flying, and the chickens and a rowboat with men fishing, all caught up in the storm and blown into the sky, and to the audience’s delight, even mean Miss Gulch screaming and carried up and away.  Well done, production crew. 

The homemade desserts available at Intermission are to die for.  Thanks to all the volunteer bakers!

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