By Jude Cartalaba
Manila, Philippines, August 17, 2012 - A day before the musical opened, Repertory Philippines' (Rep) "The Wizard of Oz," held a press preview at Greenbelt One's Onstage Theatre with Cara Barredo as Dorothy Gale, along with James Stacey as the Scarecrow, Hans Eckstein as the Tin Man, and Oliver Usison as the Lion.
The musical was based on the classic children's book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," featuring book and lyrics by Jim Eiler, and score by Jeanne Bargy and Eiler. None of the popular songs from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's film adaptation titled "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), starring Judy Garland, were included in this stage adaptation - it was a completely different musical presentation.
In this production, some of the musical numbers were titled "Kansas," "Storm," "Munchkin Holiday," "Glinda's Hello," "Little Girl from Kansas," "Who Did It," "Revenge," "So Far, So Good," "No Brain Have I" (Scarecrow's song), "No Heart Have I" (Tin Man's song), "No Guts Have I" (Lion's song), "Emerald City," "Wicked Witch Stew," and "Dorothy's Farewell."
Among the show's characters were the winged monkeys, allies to the Wicked Witch of the West, who was played by Pinky Marquez; the Munchkins; the citizens of Emerald City; and the Secretary to Oz and Uncle Henry, both were played by Rem Zamora.
The musical's story started when a young farm girl, Dorothy, and her house were swept away by a twister in Kansas and landed in the magical land of the Munchkins, where she met fun-loving creatures, along with the Good Witch of the South, Glinda, played by Liesl Batucan. Since Dorothy's house was destroyed by the tornado, and it landed on the Wicked Witch of the East, which killed the evil sorcerer, Glinda rewarded Dorothy with a pair of magic slippers. However, the Wicked Witch of the West came to avenge the death of her sister, the Wicked Witch of the East, but failed to defeat Dorothy and fled away; she promised to return to eventually kill the girl.
In the meantime, Dorothy sought the help of Glinda to find her way home to Kansas, but the good witch was not able to help her further in her journey. Instead, Glinda told Dorothy to seek the help of Oz, the great wizard of Emerald City. Dorothy, together with her newfound friends - the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion - travelled to Emerald City. Upon arrival, they were greeted by the Secretary to Oz, and they were eventually permitted to speak with the great wizard.
Oz clearly stated that whatever the four visitors were wishing - a brain for the Scarecrow, a heart for the Tin Man, courage for the Lion, and a safe way home for Dorothy - they must first destroy the Wicked Witch of the West. So the four friends pursued and succeeded in getting rid of the evil witch. Unfortunately, the four friends discovered that the Secretary to Oz, who pretended to be the great wizard, was a fraud; he admitted to them that he was just an ordinary hot air balloonist from Nebraska, and he had no power to grant their four wishes.
So how can Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion make their wishes come true? You better catch Rep's "The Wizard of Oz"!
"The Wizard of Oz" is the 20th anniversary offering of Rep's Children's Theater. The show runs till Sunday, December 16.
The artistic and creative team of "The Wizard of Oz" is made up of Baby Barredo (artistic director), Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (associate artistic director), Joy Virata (artistic director for Rep's Children's Theater), Natalie Everett (choreographer), John Batalla (lighting designer), Lex Marcos (set designer), and Raven Ong (costume designer).
For more details, ticket inquiries, and reservations, visit Rep's official website, www.repertory.ph, or www.ticketworld.com.ph. You may also call (632) 891-9999 or (632) 571-6926, 571-4941.