Reviewed by Kerry Cooper
It is hard not to be swept up in this classic tale, celebrating it’s 75th anniversary. the
Wizard of Oz never gets tired. Musical director Josh Belperio conducts a breathtaking
score which never misses a beat. Rachel Rai in her directing debut for AYT does a fine
job in bringing a freshness and energy to this production; with such a huge member base
the audience witness the ruby cast in all its glory.
With a sparse stage, the colour is provided by costumes and projection on the back wall
which works very well in transporting you to the mystical land of Oz. With such a large
cast this show could be in danger of getting messy, but stage managers Jess Nash and
George Boxhall do a great job in making this production run smoothly.
Lead roles were cast very well, showing a talent beyond their years. Madeline Grey is wonderful in the pivotal role of Dorothy, her stage presence and theatrical voice were a delight. Benji Riggs as Scarecrow, Wade Lindstrom as Tin Man and Jamie Hornsby as Lion although not as strong vocally made up for it with hilarious physical which is essential in these roles.
Toto is played cleverly by Berkley in the opening scenes and humourously there after
by Sascha Czuchwicki. Georgia Bolton is amazing as the wicked witch, her timing,
energy and characterisation is to be applauded. The ensemble work well together and
their enthusiasm contagious as this show rollicks from one musical number to another.