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Hartnell College Theatre Department presents the final run of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ over the weekend

Dorothy follows the Yellow Brick Road with the Tin Man (Eric Wishnie), the Scarecrow (Matthew Reich) and the Cowardly Lion (John Bridges).
Photo Courtesy of Hartnell College
Dorothy follows the Yellow Brick Road with the Tin Man (Eric Wishnie), the Scarecrow (Matthew Reich) and the Cowardly Lion (John Bridges).


SALINAS, Calif. (KION) The Western Stage Company presents an adaptation of 'The Wizard of Oz' for their final show on Oct. 8, 9 and 10 at Hartnell College. The show was supposed to go on last year but was put on hold because of the pandemic. Now, Hartnell's Mainstage welcomes the classic 1900's storybook for their last show this weekend but with their own twist, especially in the wardrobe department.

The musical tell's the story of Dorothy Gale, played by Amanda Cardoso, who is swept by a tornado to the magical land of Oz, where she meets several characters that help her get back home. Cardoso wears overalls over a gingham shirt instead of a gingham dress. The Wicked Witch of the West, played by Anjoli Johnson, wears a rust-red dress with a leather bodice, unlike the original 'Oz' film, instead of the iconic green make-up.

“It was a challenge to get beyond the iconic version, but at the same time, it allows you more creativity.” - Ellen Brooks, director

Young dancers in a frenetic “Jitterbug” number, which was cut from the movie, was included in the play and you can see them glide across the stage on skateboards.

“It was a challenge to get beyond the iconic version,” Ellen Brooks, who's directing the play, said. “But at the same time, it allows you more creativity.”

Brooks performed classical Japanese comedy and drama with the Theatre of Yugen in San Francisco for over 20 years. Her daughter, Jen Brooks, is also the choreographer of the production.

“I probably hadn’t watched it since maybe the last time I directed the show ('Wizard'), which was in the mid-nineties, so it’s been a while,” - Jon Selover, Professor Marvel

For actor Jon Selover, who plays Professor Marvel, this will be his last performance in his 36-year career at the Western Stage. He said the version of the character is inspired by the bartender, Coach, from the 80's sitcom 'Cheers' and Doc Brown from 'Back to the Future.'

Veteran actress, Pat Horsley said she got her for her character Aunti Em from her farm family.

"... trying to save the chicks, trying to make everything work, and supporting her husband so much. I saw that; I saw it with my farm family.” - Pat Horsley, Aunti Em Gale

“My aunts were farm women,” Pat Horsley, who plays Auntie Em Gale, said. “So Auntie Em is real to me, in being on that farm, doing what Auntie Em is doing – trying to save the chicks, trying to make everything work, and supporting her husband so much. I saw that; I saw it with my farm family.”

"The Wizard of Oz” will run through Oct. 10 at the Center for Performing Arts (Building K) on Harnell College’s Main Campus in Salinas. COVID-19 vaccination or negative testing is required for admission. Tickets are available here.

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Melody Waintal

Melody Waintal is the Digital Content Reporter at KION News Channel 5/46.

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