The Emerald City Meets Beantown When ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Comes to Boston

Posted April 18, 2016 by Jon Erik Christianson in Theater & Arts
The show runs April 16th to April 24th. Photo Courtesy of Wang Theatre.

‘Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.’

That’s right, Dorothy, you’re not in Kansas. Welcome to Boston, home to a very different kind of green monster.

One of the most iconic stories of friendship and bravery, The Wizard of Oz, is set to follow the yellow brick road straight into Boston later this month. From April 16th to April 24th, Dorothy Gale, Toto, the Wicked Witch of the West, and all of their companions are set to join the city’s thriving theater scene at the Wang Theatre.

The stage musical is based on the hit 1939 movie starring Judy Garland, which is then based on the iconic story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum and W. W. Denslow. The story follows Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto after they’re swept up by a freak Kansas tornado and deposited in the curious land of Oz. Though she’s dazzled by the fantastic and glittering landscape, Dorothy just wants to return home to her family and friends back in Kansas. The following story sees Dorothy join forces and start friendships with the Scarecrow, Tin-Man, and Cowardly Lion as they all travel to the Emerald City to get whatever it is—a brain, a heart, courage, or home—they most desire. All the while they must dodge and avoid the deadly Wicked Witch of the West, who desperately wants revenge on Dorothy for (accidentally) killing her sister.

The musical preserves all the magic and wonder of the famous film and adds some new things, including new songs from the legendary Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber and a few “new surprises.” The additions only enhance the experience and make the original story all the more exciting and better fit for the musical stage.

Classic songs like “Over the Rainbow,” “Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead,” “We Welcome You to Munchkinland,” and “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” make their return alongside new performances such as “The Wonders of the World,” “Red Shoes Blues,” and “Bring Me the Broomstick.”

The iconic role of Dorothy Gale is played by national tour newcomer Sarah Lasko, whose past credits include The Fantasticks (Luisa), Romeo and Juliet (Juliet), and She Loves Me (Amalia). Mark A. Harmon (Mamma Mia!HairsprayThe Normal HeartUrinetown) plays The Wizard and Professor Marvel, while Shani Hadjian (Beauty and the BeastFancy Nancy, Spamalot) brings menace and flair to the roles of the Wicked Witch and Miss Gulch.

For over 90 years, the Wang Theatre building has served Boston as one of its core centers for theatre and musical entertainment. Though its ownership has changed hands many times over its history, its core mission remains the same.

Tickets may be purchased now through Boston Theater’s website. Seats are available from April 16th to April 24th for performances at 2 p.m., 7 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. The show is suitable for the entire family, though the Wicked Witch of the West may scare particularly young or sensitive children.