Adirondack Theatre: Off to see the Wizard!

Once again Pendragon Theatre has been able to breathe new magic in an old classic. For those expecting a theatrical version of the movie, this production of The Wizard of Oz is a wonderful surprise. The simple set is cloaked in darkness, allowing the vibrant costumes to pop out from the black walls. The focus is on the actors. There are still plenty of quests for a heart, a brain and some courage and least I forget, the best-loved message that there really is, “no place like home.” That still holds all the power with a simple click of Dorothy’s ruby slippers.
I ask my children how they like the “black box” theme. My son has no idea what I’m talking about. I remind him that the theatre walls were painted black, the stage had a minimal of props and the cast used very simple techniques to get the action and story across. It is like I’m talking to a wall. Did we see the same production?

He is not concerned about the black box. He is more curious about the switching of costumes, the lighting and how the witch melts through the stage. He wants to know if I really think all that could happen if the stage is set any other way. He nods to show that he is correct. My daughter just wants to make sure I saw Dorothy get the magic shoes. I did. Personally, I always like the bestowing of the gifts from the Wizard to Dorothy’s cohorts. I like that this production can focus on the journey without a lot of fanfare.

We leave the theatre all grateful for being able to see the show, all for different reasons. I am always amazed that the Adirondack Park’s only year-round professional theatre is in my backyard. I know that, of course. But every once in awhile, I forget. It is such a staple of the community. Thankfully we don’t have to drive anywhere to get our live theatre fix. I just have to make the effort to take advantage of the things right in my own backyard, like mountains, ponds, and the “lions and tigers and bears.”

There are only a few opportunities left to see the show, August 13, 22 and 29 at 11:00 a.m. So if you wish to catch this sweet performance of Oz or other performances please call the Pendragon Theatre at www.pendragontheatre.org or call 891-1854.

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