HEADING OUR WAY: Youngstars2.com’s The Wizard of Oz Show celebrates the 75th anniversary of the book, The Wizard of Oz .
HEADING OUR WAY: Youngstars2.com’s The Wizard of Oz Show celebrates the 75th anniversary of the book, The Wizard of Oz . Contributed

Follow the yellow brick road to anniversary production

THIS year marks the 75th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, MGM's classic movie based on the book by L. Frank Baum, published in 1900.

After more than 3800 performances internationally, Youngstars2.com's The Wizard of Oz Show celebrates the jubilee with a Queensland Yellow Brick Road Tour in the school holidays and a Children's Hospital Toy Appeal.

It comes to Gympie Civic Centre on Tuesday, July 8 at 10.30am.

Click your heels together and get ready to follow a yellow brick road full of fun, adventure and wacky characters. Kids can rap with the Tinman, roar like a Lion, wake up sleepy Shakey the Scarecrow and dance with Dorothy in this interactive, new adaptation of America's best loved fairy tale.

"Our shows are really about inviting kids to get up and move around, to relate to our music and to laugh and have a great time," director Brian Laul said.

This show is no sit-down-and-watch affair - the kids are even invited to come dressed as their favourite characters to celebrate their visit to the Wizard.

Live action comes together with 3D animation on screen, catchy tunes and loads of interactive fun in this 'toto-ally Oz-some' treat ideal for two to eight year olds.

After watching the show in America, Robert Baum, great-grandson of the book's author, praised it.

"If great-grandfather was alive, I'm sure he would be clapping, singing along and smiling with your show," Mr Baum said.

The MGM classic's jubilee is special to cast members as they performed with and for the last living cast members from the film and other Oz royalty.

"I've seen lots of Oz productions but this one was truly extraordinary," said Margaret Pellegrini - original Munchkin from the 1939 film starring Judy Garland - after the performance.

There have been many colourful moments down this show's long yellow brick road as children throng to meet the Oz Gang wherever they go, dressed up like their favourite Oz characters.

"We've had some absolutely magnificent dress-ups from little Tinmen and Glindas to bricks from the Yellow Brick Road. A grandma in New Zealand even came twirling through the foyer dressed as Dorothy's house in the whirlwind!" Christerine Laul, program co-ordinator said.

As part of The Wizard of Oz Show's initiative to take drama workshops to regional Australia, the Oz cast will conduct a drama workshop, introducing children to elements of tableaux, expression and voice. These children will then have the exciting opportunity to show off what they've learned as they appear on stage in the show.

"It's about making live theatre exciting for children and being able to share our knowledge in a way that they will remember," says director Brian Laul.

Produced by Sydney-based company Youngstars2.com, The Wizard of Oz Show is about more than giving kids a good time. It spreads a message of hope and self-esteem to the young.

The audience is asked to bring a toy or book for the show's Children's Hospital Toy Appeal.

Gympie Times


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