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“Wizard of Oz” Opens July 15 at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore

July 9, 2017

The Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre presents the classic family favorite, The Wizard of OZ, at the Bankhead Theater in Livermore, opening July 15th, running through July 30th. Written in 1900 by L. Frank Baum, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” became the well-known film in 1939, but this stage production was only recently created in 1987 by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

For those hoping to see the movie recreated on stage, you are in luck, the show follows the script almost word for word, with the extra addition of the song and big dance number, “The Jitterbug”, originally filmed for the movie, but sadly didn’t make the final cut. Included in the production everyone’s favorite songs, “Over the Rainbow”, originally dropped from the movie, but thankfully added back in, and of course, “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”, “If I Only Had a Brain”, “If I Were King of the Forest”, “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead”, “We’re Off to See the Wizard” and the rest.

2-Dorothy and Scarecrow

We are all familiar with The Wizard of OZ and we think we remember the story, but what we really fell in love with and what made us watch over and over, is that the story and each character has so much heart. We know how the story ends, (spoiler alert), but when Dorothy leaves the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, no matter how many times we have seen the story, our hearts hurt and we still cry.

The message is very simple, but remains timely and relevant, be grateful for what you have, love and accept people for who they are and you might find happiness in your own backyard. Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre’s, The Wizard of OZ is a show with familiar music and great dance numbers.

The Wizard of OZ is Produced by Kathleen Breedveld, Directed by Brian Olkowski with Musical Direction by Sierra Dee and Cary Litchford, Choreography by Heidi Amstrup and Melissa Joy Ganz, Light Design by Paul Vega and Sound Design by Brendan West.

The cast is filled with many local favorites. Ally Murphy plays a very sweet yet determined Dorothy with a beautiful voice. Sheila Viramontes has her cackle nailed down as the Wicked Witch of the West. The Scarecrow, Rune Lauridsen, bends, flips and dances and sings wonderfully, as does Max DeSantis when he sings and dances as the Tin Man. Robert Sholty playing the Cowardly Lion is a special treat, he will make you laugh while rooting for him to find his courage. He too has a fantastic voice. All cast members are exceptional performers with terrific voices and are triple threats. This show even includes twenty-five talented children, cast out of 120 who auditioned for the role of Munchkins!

The Wizard of OZ runs from July 15 thru July 30, 2017: Saturdays, 7/15 & 7/22 & 7/29 at 8pm; Saturday matinees, 7/29 at 2pm; and Sunday matinees 7/16 & 7/23 & 7/30 at 2pm. Rated PG. All performances will take place at the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First Street, Livermore, CA.

Tickets are $19-$39 each (plus Bankhead facility fees) and are available at the Bankhead Theater Box Office, by phone at (925) 373-6800, or online at http://www.lvpac.org. Tuesday thru Saturday, noon to 6pm. Group discount rates are available to groups of 10 or more, contact the box office.

This is a perfect show to introduce a first-time theatre goer to and the chance to see performers of all ages in a familiar family friendly production. Make sure to leave some extra time after the show, many cast members come out to the lobby to meet the audience after each performance. For more information visit the TVRT website: www.trivalleyrep.org.

Photos by Robert Sholty and DC Scarpelli

5-Wicked Witch and Dorothy

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