“The Wizard of Oz" at the Timber Lake Playhouse -- July 11 through 28.

Thursday, July 11, through Sunday, July 28

Timber Lake Playhopuse, 8215 Black Oak Road, Mt. Carroll IL

At Mt. Carroll's Timber Lake Playhouse from July 11 through 28, family audiences are invited to follow the yellow brick road toward a magical stage treat in the theatre's new production of The Wizard of Oz, a delightful stage adaptation of the L. Frank Baum tale boasting the beloved musical score from the MGM film and unforgettable songs including "If I Only Had a Brain," "Ding Dong, the Witch Is Dead," and, of course, the iconic "Over the Rainbow."

As viewers of all ages know, The Wizard of Oz finds Dorothy Gale, a young girl living on a Kansas farm with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, dreaming of escaping her mundane life. The family’s mean neighbor Miss Gulch threatens to impound Dorothy’s cherished dog Toto, so Dorothy and Toto run away. They meet up with kindly Professor Marvel, who subtly convinces Dorothy to return home. Suddenly a cyclone hits, and Dorothy and Toto, seeking shelter in the house, are transported to the Land of Oz. Shortly after arriving, Dorothy meets Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Apparently, Dorothy’s house has landed upon – and fatally stricken – the Wicked Witch of the East. Dorothy consequently seeks a way back home to Kansas, and sets off to see the Wizard of Oz alongside three new friends: The Scarecrow, The Tinman and the Lion. But the departed witch's malevolent sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, has other plans for our storybook heroes.

According to the U.S. Library of Congress, the legendary, 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland is the most-seen film in movie history. In 1989, it was selected by the Library of Congress as one of the first 25 films for preservation in the United States National Film Registry for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant," and the work is also one of the few films on UNESCO's Memory of the World Register. The Wizard of Oz was ranked second in Variety's inaugural 100 Greatest Movies of All Time list published in 2022. Additionally, it was among the top 10 in the 2005 BFI (British Film Institute) list of "50 films to be seen by the age of 14" and is on the BFI's updated list of "50 films to be seen by the age of 15" released in May of 2020. A source of many quotes referenced in contemporary popular culture, principally "There's no place like home," the movie frequently ranks on critics' lists of the greatest films of all time.

Timber Lake's Wizard of Oz is directed and choreographed by Chaz Wolcott, with music direction by Matthew W. Surico, costumes by Chakira Doherty, and lighting design by Alexa Wiljanen. Caroline Lynch Desmarais will take on the role of Dorthy Gale, and other cast members include: Anya Katherine Jones as Glinda; Lucas Diego Marinetto, Nathan Wright, and Jack Catena as the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow, respectively; Malaika Wanjiku as the Wicked Witch of the West; and Joel Briel as the Wizard. The TLP Resident Company will perform the remaining roles, along with 26 young area professionals as the Munchkins of Munchkinland. Additionally, two local dogs, Grizz and Odie, will share the role of Toto, while the flying mechanisms for Glinda, the Witch, and the flying monkeys will be supplied by Vertigo Flying Effects.

The Wizard of Oz will be performed at the Mt. Carroll theatre from July 11 through 28, with scheduled performances at 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Admission is $25-35 and more information and tickets are available by calling (815)244-2035 and visiting TimberLakePlayhouse.org.

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