Follow the Yellow Brick Road

St. Edmond High School is off to see the Wizard

-Submitted photo
The Tinman, portrayed by Jonah Hindt; Scarecrow played by Rene Cazares; Dorothy played by Hallie Ehn; and the Cowardly Lion portrayed by Nick Lawler, left to right, pose in costume for their roles in “The Wizard of Oz,” St. Edmond High School’s musical stage production coming this month.

“The Wizard of Oz” is a familiar story.

Here’s how it happens in the St. Edmond High School version: After running away from the home she shares with her Auntie Em (Jacque Oberg) and Uncle Henry (Sean Flattery), Dorothy Gale (Hallie Ehn) takes a trip to Oz when she gets caught in a Kansas tornado.

While she makes an enemy of the Wicked Witch of the West (Clare Condon) as soon as she arrives in Oz, she also makes new friends throughout her Oz journey when she meets the Scarecrow (Rene Cazares), Tinman (Jonah Hindt), and Lion (Nick Lawler).

Dorothy can’t quite put her finger on why her new friends seem so familiar to her after having just met, but she grows to love them just the same.

Eventually, the Wizard of Oz (Jed Tracy) tries to help her get back home to her family in Kansas, but ends up disappointing Dorothy when he disappears on his own. Glinda (Jacque Oberg) ultimately reveals that the ability to get home was inside Dorothy all along and Dorothy finally returns to Kansas with her family by her side.

-Submitted photo
Dorothy is played by Hallie Ehn.

While the story is familiar, there are two full-length versions of “The Wizard of Oz” musical available: the Royal Shakespeare Company version and the Municipal Theatre of St. Louis version. Stage Directos Alyssa Sparks, Choral irector Benjamin Wegner, and Pit Director Michelle Curtis have chosen the version first performed by the Royal Shakespeare Company.

This version is a more faithful adaptation of the MGM film with which most people are familiar. From the inclusion of Toto to the flying monkeys led by the Wicked Witch of The West and her simian minion, Nikko (Grant Heldorfter), the RSC version includes all the favorite scenes from the movie.

Choreographer Rachel Bell is working with the students to show off their dancing skills during the large, showstopping numbers, as well as to recreate the familiar scenes between Dorothy and the Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion.

Staging a familiar show like “The Wizard of Oz,” with its multiple costumes and sets is no easy feat. According to Sparks, it takes the additional dedicated effort from parents, music boosters, costumers, and stage crew to pull off this type of show. There will be some interesting special effects on stage this year.

“When I told the students what was going to be included for staging this year, they were very excited,” Sparks said. “I don’t want to give away any secrets because I want the crowd to be surprised by what we’re hoping to pull off. But it will be very cool.”

While the spring musical is meant to showcase the talented high school students, this year a handful of fifth- and sixth-graders have been cast as the munchkins who welcome Dorothy to the Land of Oz. Their smaller voices provide a contrast to the teenage voices. There is simply no other way to recreate that little giggle coming from the hidden munchkins when Dorothy lands in Oz.

St. Edmond Catholic High School will transport the audience to the Land of Oz on March 14, 15 at 7 p.m. and March 16 at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and are available at the St. Edmond Activities Office.

Cast

Dorothy Gale: Hallie Ehn

Aunt Em/Glinda: Jacque Oberg

Uncle Henry/Guard: Sean Flattery

Zeke/Cowardly Lion: Nick Lawler

Hickory/Tinman: Jonah Hindt

Hunk/Scarecrow: Rene Cazares

Almira Gulch/Wicked Witch: Clare Condon

Professor Marvel/Wizard of Oz: Jed Tracy

Toto: Abby Landwehr

Crows

Grant Bemrich, Cooper Fleming, Zach Lawler, Jed Tracy, Grant Webster

Trees

Zoe Assadipour, Jillian Cosgrove, Erin Flattery, Maggie Lennon, Ella Vratny, Michelle Waller

Oz Beauticians

Zoe Assadipour, Morgan Border, Claire Fleming, Olivia Kolacia, Maggie Strickland

Oz Polishers

Grant Bemrich, Cooper Fleming, Zach Lawler, Grant Webster

Oz Manicurists

Jillian Cosgrove, Sydney Engels, Mya McClain, Sidney Messerly, Michelle Waller

Winkie General: Natalie Nordstrom

Nikko: Grant Heldorfer

Jitterbug: Morgan Border

Jitterbug assistants: Claire Fleming, Olivia Kolacia

Chorus

Katelyn Adson, Aleksandria Aljets, Jacey Ash, Zoe Assadipour, Aubrey Bemrich, Grant Bemrich, Morgan Border, Cameron Brown, Jillian Cosgrove, Sydney Engles, Mandy Finnegan, Erin Flattery, Sean Flattery, Claire Fleming, Cooper Fleming, Lizzie Gailey, Avery Galles, Gracie Harvey, Grant Heldorfer, Leah Johnson, Kelli Kersten, Olivia Kolacia, Kacey Kruthoff, Alexia Kvale, Zach Lawler, Maggie Lennon, Mya McCain, Ryan McGonegle, Sidney Messerly, Leah Neverman, Aly Nieland, Natalie Nordstrom, Neely Nordstrom, Cole Rautenen, Amanda Richman, Emma Roe, Sydney Schulte, Caroline Shelly, Charlie Shelly, Maggie Strickland, Ella Vratny. Michelle Waller, Grant Webster, Isabel Woodhouse

Citizens of Munchkinland

Mayor: Manuela Rodriguez

Coroner: Jonah Carlson

Barrister: Anna Lursen

Fiddler: Samantha Aljets

Braggart: Madalynn Cripe

School Teachers

Aneliese Schuur, Maggie Flaherty

City Parents

Tessa Carlson, Katherine Dawson, Luke Royster, Ethan Swisher

Lollipop Guild

Thomas Knobbe, Christopher Lacina, Jackson McElroy, Drake Vandi

Lullaby League

Ava Anderson, Hongah Kim, Faith Shirbroun, Briley Singer

Pit Orchestra

Flute: Luanne Xiao, Valerie Cazares

Clarinet: Max Bacon

Saxophone : Milena Naughton, Madigan Peimann, Jack Stackhouse

Trumpet: Korbin Brown, Aaron Simpson, Clare Conrad

French Horn: Josephine Perry

Trombone : Brady O’ Brien

Auxiliary Percussion: Ellie Wallace

Drums: Michael Peterson

Piano: Nancy Blair

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