THE WIZARD OF OZ is coming to The Chicago Theatre (175 N. State St.) from May 8 – May 20, 2018. This magical production is a celebration of the classic 1939 MGM movie, and will be presented with breathtaking special effects that will sweep audiences away, from the moment the tornado twists its way into Kansas. Featuring the classic songs, composed by Harold Arlen with lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, “Over the Rainbow,” “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” and “If I Only Had A Brain,” along with the beloved characters, “THE WIZARD OF OZ” will have the entire family captivated as they travel down the yellow brick road for an unforgettable day at the theater.
Director, Choreographer, and Actors
Dean Sabon is the Director and previously created the national tours of “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.” Amy McCleary created the magical choreography and was the Director/Choreographer of the national tour of “Memphis, the Musical” and the choreographer of the national tour of “The Wedding Singer.” The team of Sobon and McCleary will take Dorothy, Toto and their friends the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow “Over the Rainbow” to adventures in Munchkin Land, the Haunted Forest and the Emerald City.
Leading the cast as Dorothy is Kalie Kaimann. She previously played this role for the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. She has also performed as Bonnie in “Anything Goes,” Logainne in “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” Ulla in “The Producers,” Millie Dilmount in “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” Belle in “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” and Minnie Fay in “Hello Dolly!” She received a Best Featured Actress in a Musical by BroadwayWorld.com for her performance as Minnie Fay.
Chris Duir will play the role of Scarecrow/Hunk. For Prather Entertainment Group he played the role of Bert in “Mary Poppins” and Eugene in the national tour of “Grease.” Regional credits include “Crazy For You” (Bobby Child), “Damn Yankees” (Smokey), “The Drowsy Chaperone” (George), and “Singin’ in the Rain.” He was also a singer for “Celebrity Cruises” and “Galaxy Macau Resort.”
Christopher Russell will portray Tinman/Hickory. He performed as Avram/Perchik understudy in the national tour of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Regionally he has performed in “Funny Girl” (Eddie Ryan), “The Producers” (Leo Bloom), “The Full Monty” (Jerry Lukowski), “Lend Me A Tenor” (Max), “Steppin’ Out” (Geoffrey), “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” (Freddy Benson), and “Second Chances: The Thrift Shop Musical” (Wally), for which he also composed the original score.
Victor Legarreta will portray the Lion/Zeke. Legarreta has performed professionally in 150 productions nationally, internationally, and on cruise ships including the recent roles of The Cop in the comedy “Shear Madness”, Public Enemy #1 in “Anything Goes,” and numerous comedies for Prather Entertainment Group. Legarreta is also a director and has written many musical revues. He previously portrayed the Cowardly Lion at the “Broadway Palm” in Fort Myers, Florida.
Toto will be played by Murphy, a white Brussels Griffon/Cairn Terrier mix with scruffy fur and an adorable underbite. Murphy was rescued on February 5th, 2016 from the ASPCA in Chandler, AZ by Lizzie Webb (music director for “THE WIZARD OF OZ” tour) and was immediately welcomed into the theatre world. He has been a trusty backstage companion, a pit orchestra puppy (sleeping at mom’s feet while she plays piano and conducts shows) and within a few months of adoption he was onstage as Willoughby in “Mary Poppins.” This will be his second time playing Toto. He even has his own hashtag! #montanamurphy
Run Time and Age Recommendation
The performance is 100 minutes We recommend for ages 5 and up due to some possible scary elements, such as the witch and tornado, but it is up to your discretion. For more information visit: www.wizardofoztour.com
Tickets for THE WIZARD OF OZ are currently one sale and range from $39 – $129. Tickets are available online at www.chicagotheatre.com and are also available at The Chicago Theatre box office and Ticketmaster (1.800.745.3000).