The greatest family musical of all time, “The Wizard of Oz,” is touching down in Wilmington at The Playhouse on Rodney Square with eight performances, Nov. 14–19, to open its 2017–2018 Broadway in Wilmington season.
Featuring the classic songs, as composed by Harold Arlen, “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, and breathtaking special effects will sweep audiences away from the moment the tornado twists its way into Kansas.
Leading the cast as Dorothy is Kalie Kaimann, who previously played this role for the Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati. She has also performed as 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. Chirs Duir will play the role of Scarecrow/Hunk. Christopher Russell will portray Tinman/Hickory. He performed as Avram/Perchik understudy in the national tour of Fiddler on the Roof. Victor Legarreta will portray the Lion/Zeke. He previously portrayed the Cowardly Lion at the Broadway Palm in Fort Myers, Florida.
And of course everyone wants to know who will play Toto. His name is Murphy, and he is a white Brussels Griffon/Cairn Terrier mix with scruffy fur and an adorable underbite. Murphy was rescued on Feb. 5, 2016, from the ASPCA in Chandler, Arizona by Lizzie Webb (music director for “The Wizard of Oz” tour) and was immediately welcomed into the theater 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.)
The team of director Dean Sobon and choregrapher Amy 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.