A snazzed-up ‘Wizard of Oz’ at the Paramount
The touring production of “The Wizard of Oz,” which contains all the songs from the film as well as new tunes from Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, is in Seattle through Oct. 13.
The stage show “The Wizard of Oz,” now making a stop on its North American tour at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre, has a bit of a real-life fairy tale behind it: its clear-voiced, enthusiastic Dorothy (Danielle Wade) was chosen by Canadian viewers of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reality show “Over The Rainbow.” Can you re-create the magic of the beloved film on a stage? Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jeremy Sams, who adapted the story — and added some new tunes, with Tim Rice — have said they didn’t try; they aimed merely to tell the same tale. The audience on Wednesday traveled right down that Yellow Brick Road. When Wade launched into “Over the Rainbow,” there was an audible intake of breath from my section, and a long sigh when she hit the grand finish. Heads bobbed during “We’re off to See the Wizard.” Several folks around us whispered “Oh my!” on cue during the “Lions and tigers and bears” bit. Even Toto (portrayed in a very professional turn by a dog named Nigel) was greeted with enthusiastic applause at the curtain call. My 8-year-old companion, a fan of the original film, proclaimed the evening “very exciting.” Through Oct 13 at the Paramount, 911 Pine St., Seattle; (877-784-4849 or www.stgpresents.org).
Melissa Davis, NWArts&Life editor