Judy Garland. If you didn’t fall in love with her as a kid, you have a friend that did. It’s been awhile since we were at our grandparents’ house at Thanksgiving time, but back then, that’s when you caught it on TV: The Wizard of Oz. Brothers, sisters, even parents would have a curious conversation about how MGM organized so many small people actors, and how did the visual crew do such a good job making Glinda appear to float in that bubble, in ancient times like 1939? So many amazing things.
Our favorite part is when the band of adventurers comes to a Dante-esque sign in the haunted forest: Abandon hope, all ye who enter here, or words to that effect, and Dorothy goes nope, we’re not stopping, I need my Kansas. And our favorite incarnation of the Frank L. Baum story is currently the Main Stage Production of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz, at the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine (142 Free St.) on Friday, August 4 at 4 p.m. It also plays on Saturday, August 5 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., with the same Fri-Sat schedule each weekend until August 19. Tickets prices are $9 for Children’s Museum members, $10 for visitors, and $16 for ‘stay and play.’
The production is the work of Steve and Kathy Hotchner, who based it on Baum’s book. It’s a rollicking rendition, featuring audience participation (they’re the munchkins) and all the favorites: the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, two witches (one friendly and one wicked), and of course, everybody’s darling, the bright-eyed Ms. Gale. The cast is from the Hotchners’ company of young actors, and they do justice to the wonder and excitement of the classic kids’ favorite. Go and root against the Wicked Witch. Does your soul good.
Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz | Through August 19 | At the Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine, 142 Free St., Portland | Fri 4 pm; Sat 11 am & 1 pm | $10 | 800-838-3006 | http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3021852