In an interesting bit of synchronicity, this year is the 80th anniversary of  Rockdale Musical Society  as well as it being the 80th anniversary of the original movie of THE WIZARD OF OZ

As family shows go, this is one of the best as demonstrated by the many  families enjoying this matinee performance.

I’ll be short with the scenario as most readers will be familiar with it.  When a tornado rips through her home town if Kansas , Dorothy and her dog, Toto, are whisked away in their house to the magical land of Oz. They follow the Yellow Brick Road toward the Emerald City to meet the Wizard, and en route they meet a Scarecrow that needs a brain, a Tin Man missing a heart, and a cowardly Lion who wants courage. The wizard asks the group to bring home the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West to earn his help.

This was a very polished and fun loving production. Everything worked well; the sets including  a back wall screen which displayed computer generated images, the costumes were vibrant, the show tunes were performed with style and passion. There were many highlights. I enjoyed especially the If Only songs- If Only I had a heart’, ‘If only I had a brain’, ‘If Only I had the nerve’, ‘If I were King of the forest’.

The creative team were in top form. Carina Herbert  directed the show with aplomb with musical direction by David Lang of a very fine orchestra.  Donna Brotherson was in charge of choreography and Anthony Halpin was the set designer.

The principal cast were all excellent. Georgina Herbert was a vibrant Dorothy, Tim Wotherspoon played the Scarecrow as well as hunk, Brad Gavin played the Tinman as well as Hickory, Daniel Schneider played a  personal favourite, the Cowardly Lion as well as Zeke, Nicole Butler played the Wicked Witch as well as Miss Gultch. Sue Green played Aunty Em, Alan Tate played Uncle Henry as well as Oz Guard, Paul Miller played Professor Marvel and the Wizard Of Oz. and Laura Garrick played Glinda.

A great ensemble cast included Tana Laga’aia, Tara Manna, Madi Moses, Aaron Okey, Alexis Panaretos, Georgia Rosario, Jay Viney, Jordyn Burns, Elizabeth Carter, Elizabeth Halliwell, Anthony Halpin, Mala McAlpin, Jack Miller., Grace O’Brien, Ellis Pinkerton, Gemma Snowball, Bella Speranza, Stacey West, Tianna Wittey, Tori Barlow, Billie Rose Brotherson, Piper Brown, Cameron Clark, Gabriella Dicello, Aila Edmonds, Ashley Howell, Amy Hummerston, Zoe Jasczyk, Shyla Marcic, Jasmine Salinas, Brooke Stanford and Tara Effeney.

Recommended, THE WIZARD OF OZ is playing Rockdale Town Hall until 17th March, 2019. Check the website for performance times.. The remaining performances are daytime performances.