December 15, 2011
Reviewed by Paula Citron
The Wizard of Oz is a Ross Petty pantomime, which, in the time honoured British tradition, totally skewers the norm.
Lorna Wright and Nicholas Hune-Brown have adapted L. Frank Baum’s famous novel to ensure that the little kiddies will be entertained by all the crazy goings on, but have included enough adult references and double entendres to keep the parents and grandparents amused.
Right from the get go, things go off the rails. The land of Oz is Australia, what else. The writers have kept all the characters and the basic tenants of the story intact, with well-known pop songs as the musical score.
The cast this year is very strong, but I wish that director Tracey Flye had slowed down her actors’ delivery so we can hear every joke. Petty, of course, plays the wicked witch – a green face, evil, single mom.
The filmed sponsor commercials are a hoot.
The Wizard of Oz continues at the Elgin Theatre until Jan. 6.