Theater Review: Theatre Three presents the world premiere of ‘Dorothy’s Adventures in Oz’
By Heidi Sutton
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Theatre Three in Port Jefferson has a brand new children’s show and it’s over the rainbow!
First published in 1900 as a children’s book titled The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, the story of Dorothy Gale and her three travel companions in the Land of Oz has given rise to many sequels, spin-offs and adaptations including radio shows, musicals and the iconic 1939 MGM film starring a 16-year-old Judy Garland.
Now Theatre Three presents a brand new take on the classic tale with the world premiere of the family-friendly musical Dorothy’s Adventures in Oz. While the message stays the same, the show features over 10 original song and dance numbers as it travels down the Yellow Brick Road.
We first meet Dorothy at the L. Frank Baum Central School in Harrison Corner. As the editor of the Baum Bugle, she is on deadline trying to get the paper out when a big storm approaches. A wind knocks her down and when she awakens she finds herself in Munchkinland.
Her news stand has landed on the Wicked Witch of the North causing her demise. When confronted by the Wicked Witch of the West, Dorothy is protected by Glinda the Good Witch who gives her those famous ruby slippers and sends her down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City to find the Wizard of Oz who can help her get home.
Along the way Dorothy meets a Scarecrow who wants a brain, a Tinman who yearns for a heart, and a Lion who longs for courage. The three join her on her quest and the adventure begins.
Directed by Jeffrey Sanzel, the cast of nine adult actors embrace the wonderful script and run with it. Incredibly all of the scenes from the iconic movie are there: the talking apple trees, the poppies, meeting the Wizard, the flying monkeys, the Winkies and the melting scene, with several actors playing multiple roles.
With a wonderful singing voice, Katie Lemmen is perfectly cast as the sweet yet determined Dorothy who learns many lessons on her journey. Sari Feldman knocks it out of the park as the limber Scarecrow with a great tap dance number titled “I Think” and Steven Uihlein is excellent in the role of the Tinman who keeps rusting up.
However, it is Finn MacDevitt, in the role of that fraidy-cat Lion terrified of his own tail, who draws the most laughs and is simply divine. His “I’m a Lion” solo is terrific.
Toto, played by the incomparable and adorable Shay Francis Feldman, makes a well-behaved appearance in the first and final scene.
Stephanie Moreau and Josie McSwane make a wicked good pair as Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West, Jason Furnari is a wise Wizard, Liam Marsigliano is a hilarious Winkie and Heather Rose Kuhn’s winged monkey is charming.
The song and dance numbers choreographed by Sari Feldman and accompanied on piano by Douglas J. Quattrock are energetic, creative and fun with special mention to “Pitta-Pat” and “Poppies!”
The astounding special effects with the lighting and sound, the awesome props (wait until you see the crystal ball!) coupled with the impressive polished costumes by Jason Allyn are the icing on the cake.
A fun afternoon for the entire family, Dorothy’s Adventures in Oz is a wonderful reminder that “there’s no place like home!”
Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson presents Dorothy’s Adventures in Oz through March 26. Children’s theatre continues with The Adventures of Peter Rabbit from April 16 to May 7 and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from May 28 to June 18. All seats are $10. For more information or to order, call 631-928-9100 or visit www.theatrethree.com.