See the wizard this school holidays

The Wizard of Oz Interactive Show comes to the Middleback Arts Centre during the October school holidays.
The Wizard of Oz Interactive Show comes to the Middleback Arts Centre during the October school holidays.

Click your heels together and get ready to follow a yellow brick road full of fun, adventure and colourful characters when The Wizard of Oz Interactive Show comes to the Middleback Arts Centre during the October school holidays, with a Children’s Hospital Toy Appeal and pre-show drama workshop for children.

Celebrating 4,600 performances with The International Yellow Brick Road Tour, The Wizard of Oz Interactive Show is brighter and wackier than ever. Kids can rap with the Tinman, roar like a Lion, wake up sleepy Shakey the Scarecrow and dance with Dorothy in this interactive, new adaptation of Frank Baum’s evergreen story.

“Our shows are really about inviting kids to get up and move around, to relate to our music and to laugh and have a great time”, director Brian Laul says.

This show is no sit-down-and-watch affair – the kids are even invited to come dressed as their favourite characters to celebrate their visit to the Wizard. Live action comes together with 3D animation on screen, catchy tunes and loads of interactive fun in this ‘toto-ally Oz-some’ treat ideal for two to eight-year-olds.

After watching the show in America, Robert Baum, great grandson of Oz author L. Frank Baum said: “If great grandfather was alive, I’m sure he would be clapping, singing along and smiling with your show!”

This cast has been honoured to perform with and for the last living cast members from the 1939 MGM classic and other Oz royalty and have represented Australia at many prestigious festivals including This Is Australia Festival, China, International Storytellers Festival, India and International Wizard of Oz Festival, America.

“I’ve seen lots of Oz productions but this one was truly extraordinary,” exclaimed Margaret Pellegrini, celebrated Munchkin from the 1939 Judy Garland-starrer.

There have been many colourful moments down this show’s long yellow brick road as children throng to meet the Oz Gang wherever they go, dressed up like their favourite Oz characters!

“We’ve had some absolutely magnificent dress-ups from little Tinmen and Glindas to bricks from the Yellow Brick Road. A grandma in New Zealand even came twirling through the foyer dressed as Dorothy’s house in the whirlwind!” Christerine Laul, programme co-ordinator says.

As part of The Wizard of Oz Interactive Show’s initiative to introduce young children to the fun and benefits of live performance, the Oz cast will conduct a pre-show drama workshops, introducing children to elements of tableaux, expression and voice. These children will then have the exciting opportunity to show off what they’ve learned as they appear on stage in the show.

“It’s about making live theatre exciting for children and being able to share our knowledge in a way that they will remember”, Brian Laul says.

The Workshop costs $12.20 per child and you need to book your place in advance by calling the theatre.

Asked how Oz provided the inspiration for this popular kids interactive show, Brian Laul says, “Besides having all the ideal elements of fascinating entertainment, it also carries a powerful message of hope so necessary for young people today – that somewhere over the rainbow, you can make your fondest dreams realities if only you dare to believe that you have the power within you to do so”.

Presented by Rainbow Crossing Inc, and produced by Sydney-based company Youngstars2.com, The Wizard of Oz Interactive Show is about more than giving kids a good time. It spreads a message of hope and self-esteem to the young. The audience is requested to bring along a toy or book for the show’s Children’s Hospital Toy Appeal.

More details at www.thewizardofozshow.com. Tickets are available at the venue and online.

Performance:

Thurs 11th - 10.30am Whyalla - Middleback Arts Centre ($15-$19)

Drama Workshop 9-10am. $12.20pp Phone: 8644 7300