TribLIVE

| AandE


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Theatre Factory also taking a walk on the 'Oz' side

‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'

Presented by: Theatre Factory KidWorks

When: 2 p.m. March 16, 17, 23, 24; 7: 30 p.m. March 22

Admission: $7; no reserved seats but reservations are recommended

Where: Theatre Factory, Trafford

Details: 412-374-9200; www.thetheatrefactory.com

Friday, March 15, 2013, 1:15 p.m.
 

On a weekend that offers a prequel to the 1939 film classic on area movie screens and an orchestral arrangement and screening at Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra concerts, Theatre Factory joins “Munchkin mania” with the opening of its adaptation of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

Like the other cultural offerings, the Theatre Factory KidWorks production is based on the 1900 book by L. Frank Baum. But in this stage version, playwright V. Glasgow Koste tells the story from the viewpoint of the author (portrayed by Michael Byrne), who serves as the narrator.

“I think it's special because it's so theatrical,” says director David Little. “It doesn't rely on spectacle to tell its story. It allows the audience to fill in all of the specific details of the story with their imagination.”

Little returns to Theatre Factory to direct this production after having worked on shows in other states. He most recently directed “A Christmas Carol” in Fayetteville, N.C., at the Gilbert Theatre and the opera “La Boheme” in Twin Lake, Mich., for Blue Lake Opera. He previously served as artistic director at Theatre Factory and directed “Harvey” at the Trafford community theater in 2011.

He has a personal reason for wanting to direct this production.

“I have a special connection with ‘The Wizard of Oz,' since all of the original L. Frank Baum books were read out loud to me as a child by my mom,” he says. “This version is much closer to the original book than it is to the Judy Garland movie. But the basic story is still the same.”

All of the familiar “Oz” characters are in the cast. Among the actors that Little is directing is his sister, Alissa Little, who portrays the Witch of the North.

“This is actually the third time I have been in a show he has directed,” Alissa says. “I love being involved in his shows.”

Other families sharing credits in this production are Michael Byrne (narrator and Wizard of Oz) and his two sons, Michael Byrne V as the Tin Woodman and Stephen Byrne as one of the Winkies/Munchkins; John McCarthy as Uncle Henry/Guard and his daughter, Mary Cate McCarthy as Toto; and sisters Grace Bender as Dorothy and Amelia Bender as a Winkie.

The cast also features Carrie Lee Martz (Witch of the West), Dotty Weisberg (Aunt Em/Glinda), Victoria Perl (Scarecrow), Dominic Raymond (Cowardly Lion) and Jacob Capets, Carleigh Drakulic, Maura Marston, Natalie Norman, Mason Servello and Savannah Simeone as Winkies.

Although “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is part of Theatre Factory's children's schedule of shows, Alissa Little says grownups will enjoy it, too.

“It allows the audience to use their imagination in so many ways,” she says.

Candy Williams is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Official: Buyer expected soon
  2. West Mifflin Area schools boost security in response to threat against student
  3. SWAT raid results in city settlement to Carrick family
  4. Glassport plaque gets new home
  5. Nearing season’s midpoint, Steelers still have issues to sort out
  6. Steelers film session: Watt kept under control
  7. Officials unite to combat violence in New Kensington
  8. Bill Clinton to campaign in Pittsburgh for Pa. gubernatorial candidate
  9. Rostraver woman victim of home invasion
  10. Pa. Congressional candidates hear about wide range of issues, concerns
  11. Justice blames feud for his ouster; chief of court admits he did seek to remove him
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.