“Follow the Yellow Brick Road” March 4-6 to the Palmdale Playhouse to witness the stage presentation of L. Frank Baum’s immortal “Wizard of Oz.” Showtime is at 5 and 8 p.m. March 4 and 5; the March 6 matinee begins at 2 p.m.
Presented by special arrangement with Tams Witmark music library, the stage production is based on the 1939 classic MGM film directed primarily by Victor Fleming. Musical favorites will include “Over the Rainbow,” “Munchkinland-Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard” and “The Merry Old Land of Oz.”
“Come join us and travel the universe of Dorothy’s imagination on her journey with the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Toto to the Land of Oz,,” said Annie M. Pagliaro, Palmdale recreation supervisor.
The cast principals include Elizabeth Aguilar as Dorothy, Catherine Conterno as Auntie Em and Glinda (Good Witch of the North), Michael Vermetti as Uncle Henry and the palace guard, Mike Pemberton as Zeke and the Cowardly Lion, Travis Melrose as Hickory and the Tin Man, Shea Dittman as Hunk and the Scarecrow, Lynda Larson as Ms. Gulch and the Wicked Witch of the West, and David Holloway as Professor Marvel and Oz. Director Clare Durand has donated her dog, Winkie, to portray Toto.
“When you do the Wizard of Oz, you have a Toto and there are a couple different approaches you can take,” Durand said. “I’ve heard of productions that used puppets. We also talked about making a little dog robot or something like that. But it was always preferred that we have a live dog.”
Winkie is a former rescue pet.
“My husband and I had been thinking about getting a dog, after the one we had died about a year ago,” Durand continued. “So we went to the shelter and looked at a lot of different terriers. We found ‘Winkie,’ brought him home and started training him for the show.” Durand said she and her husband knew the dog was trainable and would be great for the production.
“If not, we’d have a great new addition to the family and we will have given a dog in need a new home,” she said.
Tickets are $20 for adults, and $15 for students, seniors, military (with ID) and children under 12 years. They may be purchased on line at www.cityofpalmdale.org/playhouse or at the Palmdale Playhouse box office, 38334 10th St. East, open two hours before each show. For more details, call (661) 267-5684.