A road best traveled

WCT production of “The Wiz” takes Watertown by storm

GEMMA C., Watertown Splash staff

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! The lights dim, and people hurry to find their seats as Dorothy and Toto come on stage, singing and dancing.

“The Wiz” was one of the many productions from the Watertown Children’s Theater. WCT, located in the Arsenal Center for the Arts, is an afterschool activity for many kids.

It was founded in 1983 and has been making wonderful plays ever since. “The Wiz” was the winter play in the 2009-2010 season for kids in grades 4-8.

This play is the 1970s version of “The Wizard of Oz.” It includes the main characters — Dorothy, Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man — but not everything is the same. There are crows that talk, first-order winkies, and monkeys on scooters.

Dorothy, who was played by Elisabeth Brown, is lead to Addaperle, the Good Witch of the South, played by Elisa Portz. The dancing Yellow Brick Road sets Dorothy off on her adventure to see The Wiz. On the way there, she meets Scarecrow, played by Sasha Forbath, and finds out that her newest companion needs a brain.

They set off together to continue their trip on the Yellow Brick Road, played by Karissa Coady, Molly Fenn, Shayna Farmelant, Rebecca Krieger, Lucy Farnsworth, and Nicholas Ryan. They’re forced to make a stop in the Forest of Fir Trees, where they meet Tin Man, who wants a heart, played by Sam Hoban.

The final main character is added when they go to A Scary Part of the Jungle and meet Lion, played by David Green, who is in dire need of some courage.

Once the four main characters have gotten together, they set off for the Emerald City where they meet the The Wiz, played by seventh-grader Adeline Cimino. When they finally get to meet The Wiz, she promises them everything they need — on one condition: They need to get rid of Evillene, the evil Witch of the East, played by Kristina Ayanian.

When the Lion, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Dorothy go to Evillene’s Castle, Dorothy mistakingly kills Evillene by pouring water on her. Soon they arrive back in Emerald City and are able to speak to The Wiz once again. This time though, The Wiz is different.

Without so much confidence and pizzaz, the Wiz breaks down in front of Dorothy and her team. She admits that she is no wizard and has no powers, but that she wants to help them all the same, and that she does. A heart, a brain, and some courage are delivered and Dorothy learns how to go home. The Wiz departs on her hot air balloon and Dorothy returns to Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and her beloved Toto.

The classic story, twisted to be funny and original, was a sure crowd-pleaser and WCT will definitely produce many more like it!

–May 3, 2010–