The Blue Ridge Studio for the Performing Arts is presenting “The Wizard of Oz” on Saturday, June 6 at 7pm and Sunday, June 7 at 2pm at Millbrook High School in Winchester. The cast features members of the Senior Performing Arts Company, as well as selected members of the Junior Company.
Based on the 1939 fantasy film, The Wizard of Oz, as well as the popular book series written by L. Frank Baum, The Blue Ridge Studio spent a year constructing the ballet. Nela Niemann, director and founder of the studio said, “It was creatively challenging to put together an entire ballet based on a movie and novel. Although there is plenty of music to draw from the original movie and Broadway shows, I still had to search long and hard for just the right musical pieces to complement our dancers and keep the story line flowing. I have Tap, Jazz and Modern dancers, as well as Ballet, so I looked for a variety of styles and composers.” The Blue Ridge Studio production includes the usual cast of cherished characters, but Niemann has put her own twist on their interpretation: “I decided to feminize Dorothy’s friends a bit. Who wants to dance in a full lion’s costume or tin man’s suit? I also added a few characters from the original Oz books, and that will surprise some of the audience. My father read the entire series to me and my siblings when we were children, and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to bring these characters to life.”
Tickets to “The Wizard of Oz” can be purchased in advance from Sweet Pea’s Children’s Shop, 5B East Main Street, Berryville. Ticket $12/adults and $6/children 12 and under. Tickets may also be purchased at the door. For information, visit www.blueridgestudio.org or call 540-955-2919.