`Oz' follows the road to success


Howard Live


River Hill's production of The Wizard of Oz is a magical adventure in which four friends brave the world of Oz to find things they each want most. Just like the beloved characters in the musical, the audience that came to see this marvelous show last week seemed to find all it was looking for.

Originally a book by L. Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz became a stage production in 1902 and a well-known Oscar-winning movie in 1939. The story follows Dorothy Gale, a young girl living with her aunt and uncle, who runs away. While she is gone, she gets caught in a tornado and whisked away to the Land of Oz. Dorothy embarks on a long journey to the Wizard, who she thinks will help her get home. Along the way, she meets the Scarecrow, who wants a brain; the Tin Woodsman, who wants a heart; and the Cowardly Lion, who wants courage. The three join Dorothy to ask the Wizard for help.

River Hill's production turned out beautifully, with some small glitches but a very nice flow.

The highlight of the show was the chemistry among the four leads: Dorothy (Sarah Ezzat), the Scarecrow (Alex Fast), the Tin Man (Robbie Metzbower), and the Lion (Andrew Boetcher).

Ezzat's beautiful voice and innocent portrayal of Dorothy were not only entertaining but provided the base for the show. Fast, Metzbower and Boetcher all had very strong voices and used physical humor to great effect, bringing wonderful reactions from the audience.

Emily Woodhouse did an excellent job as the Wicked Witch of the West, bringing humor to the part. Sarah Randolph played her counterpart, Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, which was fitting with her beautiful voice. Two other notable characters were the Wizard (Gabe Fremuth) and the Oz Gatekeeper (Leo Dandeneau). Both of these characters made the most of the humor in these roles. The chorus was a little hard to hear but made up for it with visual energy and dancing.

The set, though fairly simple, created striking scenes without overpowering the performers. The makeup (Lauryn Fantano) also was well-done, and the special effects were incredible.

With a combination of performance and technical achievements, River Hill High School turned out an entertaining show that the audience certainly seemed to love.

Shannon Nabors, a sophomore at Hammond High, reviewed "The Wizard of Oz" for the Cappies of Baltimore, a program in which students review high school productions under the direction of their teachers and vote on awards for outstanding performances.

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