Boulder Theatre puts new spin on Land of Oz

Harriet Hunter Ford, Around Town
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I’ve probably see “The Wizard of Oz” at least 20 times including playing the role of the Cowardly Lion in high school way back in the middle of the last century. I have never seen a more creative interpretation than the current production at Boulder’s Dinner Theatre. I can’t tell you the number of times I said to myself, “I don’t remember that part.”

BDT veteran Alicia Dunfee not only handled the roles of director-choreographer with abundant skill, she also played the roles of Auntie Em and an apple tree. In addition, she was frequently on stage as a member of the ensemble. She must have had at least eight costume changes. And, she was our beverage server.

The folks at BDT are definitely not one-trick ponies.

Wayne Kennedy (The Wizard/Professor Marvel) also did the audio design which was excellent. Matt Peters and Jessica Hindsley choreographed and performed the impressive cyclone aerial number which was a real crowd pleaser.

Sarah Grover quickly won the hearts of the audience in her inaugural BDT role as Dorothy, and one can only hope this will be the first of many appearances on the boards in Boulder. Seth Caikowski made me proud to have once been the lion. He had the audience in the palm of his paw, while Bob Hoppe and Scott Beyette turned in stellar performances as Tin Man and Scarecrow. Brian Norber was perfect as the stoic Uncle Henry and his green-jeweled eyebrows only enhanced his role as the keeper of the gate at the Emerald City. He’s also a fine dinner server…but he’s a better actor.

Barb Reeves took the role of Wicked Witch of the West to new heights — literally. She spent lots of time hanging onto the scaffolding. Her evil cackle brought down the house.

And, no one could be sweeter or more sparkly than Glinda, The Good Witch (Tracy Warren). She was the essence of precious. Joanie Brosseau nearly stole the show as Nikko, one of the flying monkeys. She had strong competition in the show-stealing department from the Children’s Ensemble, not to mention, Max the dog, who didn’t miss a single cue.

All in all, a delightful evening. Ticket sales are brisk (and no wonder). “The Wizard of Oz” plays through Aug. 31, which will be here more quickly than you think. For tickets and information, call 303-449-6000 or visit the website atwww.bouldersdinnertheatre.com.

On the radar

Phamaly Theatre Company presents “Fiddler on the Roof,” July 18-Aug. 11 at The Space Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts.

Phamaly veteran Mark Dissette stars at Tevye and Steve Wilson directs. Wilson says, “For me, “Fiddler on the Roof” is the quintessential statement about the strength of the human spirit.” Phamaly Theatre Company epitomizes that belief. For tickets and info: 303-893-4100 or www.phamaly.org.

Until next time, I’ll see you around town.

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