20 January 2011
9. I can't imagine this ever got anywhere close to Broadway (despite being part of the Bushnell's Broadway Series). It's a nice production, but not Broadway-quality. It's a REALLY REALLY REALLY good children's theatre production, but South Pacific it ain't.
8. Dusty's "Toto" got the final bow of the night.
7. While I really liked the inclusion of the "Jitterbug" number (which had been cut out of the film), the jitterbugs' costumes were too Seuss-ish. Oz ain't the Jungle of Nool.
6. There needed to be more flying monkeys, and they needed to be scarier. Live theater can be and should be even more visceral than film (unless the producers didn't want to scare the little ones in the audience which, if true, would seem to prove that this really is a children's theater production).
5. Pat Sibley's "Wicked Witch of the West" was way too Margaret Hamilton.
4. Jesse Coleman's "Cowardly Lion" was way too Bert Lahr.
3. The only Yellow Brick Road was on the backdrop or projected onto a screen.
2. The volume of the sound effects of the creaking of the rusty Tinman even annoyed the 6th Graders with whom I attended the show.
1. EVERY SINGLE TIME that dog came on stage the audience "awwwwwwwwwww"'d. Really, audience? EVERY time?
1. The "Poppies" number was an ingenious piece of choreography and costuming that made one realize the magic of the theatre!
(I'm not mentioning the obvious: the Arlen/Harburg score is absolutely BRILLIANT.)