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The Wizard of Oz receives standing ovations on Mr. Johnston’s last stand

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On Friday, April 28th, the theatre and choir students performed a musical of the classic “The Wizard of Oz”. The crowd laughed, as the characters performed creatively timed intermittent jokes that were strategically placed throughout the play, or were in awe of the beautiful voices that sang the classic songs attributed to “The Wizard of Oz”.

As the play began, Dorothy, played by Johanna Keithley, entered and mesmerized the crowd with her beautiful voice. If the audience closed their eyes, you could imagine Judy Garland singing “Over the Rainbow”. As Dorothy sang, the crowd went wild when Alexius Sullivan’s dog, “Toto”, entered the stage for his debut as Dorothy’s loving companion throughout the show. The choice to use a real dog made the scenes come to life. I felt like I was living in the play itself.

The wicked witch character stood out, performed by Nicole Knickerbocker, as she rode onto the stage on her signature bike, the crowd roared in laughter. With every line she said, she really had the audience fooled with the part of the wicked witch of the west that she portrayed. She fully conveyed her supposed hatred towards Dorothy’s dog, Toto, by convincing the audience that she was passionate about what she loathed.

With the help of two set crew members, they helped make the twister scene memorable. This choice of special effects was baffling, because the simplicity of it; however, the way it looked from an audience’s point of view gave it an iconic look that only the Huntsville theatre production could achieve.

Memorable moments easily filled the two and a half hours of the play. When Dorothy finally made it to the Emerald City, and met the Wizard of Oz, played by Tyler Malher, it was apparent that this was yet another impressive moment. Anticipation filled the air as the creative use of smoke, lights and projection depicted the wizard behind the screen. Mahler’s use of these effects coupled with eloquent speech, made him the perfect choice to play the wizard.  

The way the special effects were put together for the production gave the audience a feeling of awe that no play will ever be able to reproduce. Each character, Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tinman, Lion, flying monkey’s, Dorothy’s family, etc., was well portrayed with attributes consistent with that of the original TV production of the musical.

With this being the last performance of this year, and the last production Tim Johnston will direct at HHS, he has left the school and Huntsville with a performance worth a standing ovation

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The Wizard of Oz receives standing ovations on Mr. Johnston’s last stand