‘The Wiz’ hits MCHS stage March 10

By on February 24, 2016

The curtain goes up on Baron Stage’s production of “The Wiz” on March 10. The show will be performed at the Manheim Central High School auditorium, 400 Adele Ave., at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 10; 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, March 12 and 13; and 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 13.

A contemporary revision of “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Wiz” infuses L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” with a mix of rock, gospel, and soul music. This fun, family-friendly musical tells the timeless tale of Dorothy’s adventure through the Land of Oz and features all the original characters in an updated setting.

 

(Left to right) Tyler Shull (the Wiz) is confronted by Jordan McKey (Lion), Marcus Huber (Tinman), Cassandra Edwards (Scarecrow) and Kaley Yeager (Dorothy). - Photos by Rochelle Shenk

(Left to right) Tyler Shull (the Wiz) is confronted by Jordan McKey (Lion), Marcus Huber (Tinman), Cassandra Edwards (Scarecrow) and Kaley Yeager (Dorothy). – Photos by Rochelle Shenk

Baron Stage director Max Hunsicker said that the school’s production will feature nearly 100 students — 50 on stage, 25 stage crew members, and 23 students in the orchestra.

“The students do everything for the production including building scenery and serving as stage crew,” he said.

He explained that the show was selected with the students he would be working with in mind. The cast was selected in mid-December, and rehearsals began right after students returned from the holiday break.

“This is a rebuilding year for Baron Stage,” Hunsicker explained. “We had a large number of our students graduate in the past two years, so we want to get new talent involved. It doesn’t make sense to select a show that doesn’t match the range of talent that you’ll have available. We always try to put on a quality production — one that we hope the audience will enjoy.”

He said that the production will feature the iconic characters from that people have come to enjoy such as the Lion, Tinman and Scarecrow.

“Even though they’ve been updated in ‘The Wiz,’ people will still recognize them,” he assured.

Hunsicker explained that the Wicked Witch of the East ,or Evillene as she’s known in “The Wiz,” and the monkeys, which are often scary to children, are not as scary in this adaptation.

“It’s a family-friendly show,” he stressed.

 

(Left to right) Jordan McKey (Lion)  Kaley Yeager (Dorothy), Marcus Huber (Tinman) and Casandra Edwards (Scarecrow) are ready to “Ease on Down The Road.”

(Left to right) Jordan McKey (Lion) Kaley Yeager (Dorothy), Marcus Huber (Tinman) and Casandra Edwards (Scarecrow) are ready to “Ease on Down The Road.”

 

Kaley Yeager, a junior who’s performed in Baron Stage productions since she was a freshman, will play Dorothy.

“When people think of Dorothy, they think of a polite, ‘girlie girl,’ as Dorothy,” Yeager said. “I’m going to be a bit quirky and a bit funny &tstr; not the typical Dorothy.”

Other cast members include: Marcus Huber as the Tinman; Jordan McKey as the Lion; Chloe Nelson as Evillene; and Tyler Shull as The Wiz. Several of the roles will be shared between actors. They include: Erin Wee and Jenny Stoudt as Aunt Em; Alyssa Wells and Sophie DeRise as Addaperle; Gretchen Enterline and Cassandra Edwards as Scarecrow; and Emily Kreider and Savannah Heisey as Glinda.

“It’s a very fun, upbeat show with some sweet moments,” Yeager said. “I hope the audience has as much fun watching it as we do performing it.” .

Tickets for The Wiz cost $8 for adults and $5 for students; and may be purchased from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the high school lobby March 7, 8 and 9. Tickets will also be available at the box office the night of the show.

Rochelle Shenk is a correspondent for the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your comments and questions at RAASHENK@aol.com.

 

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