Review submitted by KiAnna Dorsey of Bullis School.
The classic story of The Wizard of Oz, written by L.Frank Baum, is about a girl from Kansas named Dorothy, who learns the importance of home and family after being swept away by a terrible twister. The tornado takes her to the odd city of the Munchkins and from there she embarks a journey to meet the Wizard of Oz to help her return to Kansas. During this mission, she meets a scarecrow, a tinman and a lion who tag along so that the Wizard can also grant their wishes. Connelly School of the Holy Child put a unique and entertaining spin on their production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
Justine Verheul brought the characters Auntie Em and Glinda to life from the moment she stepped onstage. Her consistent southern accent and physicality as Auntie Em was very believable and intrigued the audience. She continued to impress the audience when she embodied Glinda. Her vocals were outstanding and her delicate and sweet movements were elegant and clean. Verheul added a ballerina-esque feel to Glinda, which pleasantly surprised the audience. Verheul did an impeccable job at differentiating her two characters and gave them completely different choices which the audience loved.
Sophia Seymour was dedicated to her performance of the Wicked Witch. It was evident that Seymour was comfortable onstage and was having a blast performing. Seymour added her own personal touch to the Witch and made the character her own with her frequent change of vocals along with her good comedic timing. Seymour was a riot to watch and embodied the Wicked Witch perfectly. From the laugh to the threats, Sophia owned the stage and continually scared the audience with intrusive entrances and sudden exits.
The Tinman, played by Khoudia Diop, had great physicality and made the character her own. From the moment Diop was rusted on stage to her final line, she was interesting and fun to watch. She added comedy to lines and interacted well with her companions. When the Tinman was de-rusting it was very believable and funny. Diop continually engaged the audience and fed off of the audience’s energy. Diop was confident onstage and had great stage presence.
Lastly, the set was very well done and added a lot of flavor to the story. Set changes were clean and seamless and very creative. The use of props fit the story and timeline perfectly as if it were stolen out of the movie itself. With a limited stage, the tech crew did an awesome job of utilizing what they had to make the play’s setting come to life. The audience was also surprised by the tornado. The tornado was an organized mess that looked similar to the movie and was very well choreographed. Overall, tech did a phenomenal job of recreating the feel of the movie.
I encourage you to follow the yellow brick road to see Connelly School of the Holy Child’s performance of “The Wizard of Oz!”
The performance reviewed was from Saturday, 3/4/2017.
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