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Sarah Viloa as Glinda & Caroline Chisholm as Dorothy Gale. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

THE WIZARD OF OZ presented by The Carnegie through Jan. 31. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the opening night performance.

The true wizards of this production of THE WIZARD OF OZ are scenic designer Pam Kravetz and costume designer Alison Lechlak. Their imaginative creations and sheer volume of work both impresses and entertains. As the show progressed, I looked forward to see how each new challenge would be tackled. Every penny of their budgets is visible on stage.

Director Matthew Wilson does well in the staging, especially considering the limitations to his available space with the orchestra on stage and a cast of 20. There were times during some of the side entrances, I chuckled at the thought of a touring production finding themselves in a theater a bit too small for their production. But the talented and experienced ensemble made it work.

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Jack Manion as Scarecrow, Tyler Kuhlman as the Tin Man, Caroline Chisholm as Dorothy Gale & Sean P. Mette as the Cowardly Lion. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

The vocals, directed by Steve Hinnekamp, were strong across the board, but there were multiple times when the music overpowered their voices. Even some of the asides were lost if the actors dropped their volume when delivering them.

I would have liked to have seen the faces of the Dorothy’s traveling companions visually broken-up somehow. I understand the reasoning for not doing a full-face make-up on the Tin Man, for example, due to the lack of time to get out of it. But with nothing at all, they all seem unfinished.

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Lesley Hitch as The Wicked Witch of the West and her youth ensemble Flying Monkey. Photo by Mikki Schaffner Photography.

Small complaints aside, this is a fun and successful, family-friendly production. It is a great introduction to musical theater, beautifully accompanied by the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra.

My rating: 4.25 out of 5.

In case you missed it, the Carnegie has announced their 2016-2017 season. Details are available here.

I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.

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