Last night, I went to see The Wizard of Oz at the Fox. I figured, what can go wrong? I was going to one of my favorite venues to see a play based on one of my favorite childhood books and movies. I still remember which corner of H. Grady Bradshaw Library the L. Frank Baum books were in, because that is where I spent most of my childhood.
Boy was I whelmed (referencing another great adaptation of a classic – 10 Things I Hate About You, based on Taming of the Shrew, and the first time I ever laid eyes on Heath Ledger).
In the past three years, I’ve seen some great shows – Motown Magic, The Sound of Music, Jersey Boys and Kinky Boots, just to name a few. I saw classics like The Phantom of the Opera here, and Miss Saigon at the Atlanta Civic Center. Maybe I have high standards – which also explains why I’m single?
Back to Dorothy and her little dog…
The script was great, but a little predictable with its well-timed LGBT humor like the Cowardly Lion claiming to be “A Friend of Dorothy”. The most underwhelming aspect of the show was the scenery. I felt like I was watching a CGI version of the movie because the tornado and forest were projected onto screens. The stark landscape of Kansas vs the rich pageantry of Oz with its yellow brick road and rainbows – it was flat on the stage.
The costumes and choreography were average; I felt like more could be done with Dorothy and her trio. The best choreography was with the troupes of dancers – the munchkins, monkeys and citizens of Oz. The best part of the costumes were The Good Witch Glinda’s entrance and Dorothy’s dress in The Emerald City.
The dog who played Toto (Nigel) and the Cowardly Lion stole the show, and definitely got the most applause!