National Theatre, St Kilda
29 June to 9 July
Following the success of their production of Tony Award winning musical Green Day’s American Idiot, acclaimed new musical theatre company Theatrical is thrilled to present their new production of The Wizard of Oz.
Based on the beloved 1939 movie and the classic L. Frank Baum tale of the same name, the crowd-favourite musical is being staged in Australia for the first time in six years. The production will be staged for a strictly limited season from29 June – 9 July.
Book your seats now via Theatrical and be the first to follow the yellow brick road to your tickets to the theatre.
A full orchestra will accompany a skillful cast of over 30 performers, filling Melbourne’s historic 783-seat National Theatre with one of the most celebrated stories of all time. Featuring music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, this fantastical stage adaptation follows the journey of Dorothy from Kansas who finds herself carried away to the land of Oz, to discover what really lies over the rainbow.
The nostalgic musical includes songs from the original MGM film starring Judy Garland, such as ‘Follow The Yellow Brick Road / You’re Off To See The Wizard’, ‘Munchkinland’, the iconic number ‘Over The Rainbow’ and more.
Beyond The Wizard of Oz’s musical fantasy, the show explores themes of belonging, friendship, and what it means to be home.
Two time Musical Theatre Guild Award winning director Kim Andersonexplores the adventures of Dorothy in Oz. Kim recently directed the world premiere of Not Finished With You Yet starring musical theatre superstar Christie Whelan-Browne and has over 18 productions to her directorial credit, as well as seven additional nominations for the aforementioned award.
She is thrilled to work with Theatrical again after directing their production of Little Women. “The Wizard of Oz is a delightful classic, a musical I have directed once before. For this new production, we are shifting from the traditional look of the show and making our female characters grounded and fiercely independent,” says Kim.
“We will be setting the story in a time period not too far off into the future from our own. It’s a bit Steampunk, think of a cross between 1930s dustbowl and Jules Vern. The heart warming story, loveable characters and iconic songs remain, woven into a new fantasy world.”
Rising triple-threat musical theatre star Lyla Digrazia (Theatrical’s Freaky Friday, Xanadu Jr, Grease) will play the inquisitive Dorothy. At 19 years old, Lyla has performed in no less than 29 musicals, and been nominated for a Female in a Leading Role Award by the Musical Theatre Guild of Victoria.
“Dorothy is strong willed, caring and honest, and wants to have a life of her own, and venture out and explore – but she is rarely listened to. I feel a real affinity for her, so I can’t wait to perform the role. I am also over the moon that I get to sing Somewhere Over the Rainbow on the impressive National Theatre stage, a song that has always hit close to home for me,” says Lyla.
Lyla will be joined on stage by NIDA graduate Kael D’Alterio (Shrek Jr., Matilda) who plays the role of the Scarecrow in search of a brain. Ashley Wilsnach (Spring Awakening, Little Women) will play the Tin Man in search of a heart and Leigh Roncon (Chicago, Rent) plays the Lion in search of gaining courage.
Resident artist of Broadway Unplugged, Keyanna Burgher (Into The Woods, The Rocky Horror Show, The Last Five Years) takes on the role of the Wicked Witch alongside her good counterpart, Isobel Smart (Freaky Friday) who plays Glinda the Good Witch and Aunt Em. They will be joined by Jason Fabbri(Beauty and The Beast, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat) as the ever-elusive Wizard.
The lead cast is joined by 25 talented performers filling the roles of the Friends of Dorothy, Trees, Munchkins and ensemble to round out the staged telling of this adored story.
Theatrical is a not for profit and registered charity from former radio personality and Executive Producer Andrew Gyopar (Spring Awakening, The Boy From Oz, Rock of Ages, Seussical, If/THEN, Freaky Friday, American Idiot).
The independent musical theatre company has a mission to combat social isolation by encouraging inclusion, social connections and creative expression through theatre, while promoting diversity and positive mental health and wellbeing.
The company launched in 2019 with a dedicated Theatrical Community Shed (Victorian Men’s Shed Association member), welcoming people of all gender identities, ability and ages. The program seeks to offer enriching training opportunities for those that may have not yet have had the privilege of access to theatre skills training.
“Theatrical is a safe space for people to be themselves, share skills and work with like-minded people,” says Andrew.
“It’s such an incredible experience to see talented but relatively inexperienced people from all backgrounds come to audition for us and then really blossom by the time they get on stage after our intense and supportive rehearsal process.”
“Our audience is getting behind what we are doing and seems to be really loving our shows.”
Theatrical also runs workshops for those who may not have had access to musical theatre, aimed at helping underrepresented groups of people build their skills and confidence in many disciplines of theatre production.
The company will stage their third musical of 2023, the hauntingly beautiful Dogfight (based on 1991 Warner Bros film) from 9-23 November at Chapel Off Chapel. The production will be directed by Pip Mushin (The Book of Mormon – national tour, Midnight – world premiere).
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