By Sue Suchyta
Oz is a place that was “green” before its time. True, L. Frank Baum was probably more interested in money than the environment when he wrote his classic story, but he was a keen judge of character, and his observations hold true even today.
The Allen Park High School Drama Club will follow the yellow brick road to the Allen Park Center for the Arts, 19001 Champaign, where it will present “The Wizard of Oz” April 15 to 17. Shows are at 7 p.m. Thursday to Saturday, with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
Children will enjoy the magical tale of a land beyond the rainbow, while adults will chuckle at the keen political satire that shows human nature has changed very little in the last century.
When Dorothy runs away from her aunt and uncle’s home in Kansas to prevent her dog from being put down by a wealthy but cold-hearted power-broker, she is caught off guard by a tornado.
She ends up in a parallel universe – Oz – whether from a bump on the head or prevailing winds. And she finds her way home only when she truly understands that it is where her heart’s desire has been all the time.
“The Wizard of Oz” is the consummate political satire – and what we enjoyed as a fanciful story as a child now takes on more levels of meaning as we see the political posturing it so keenly skewers.
High school theater also brings to the stage the undeniable energy and enthusiasm of youth. It’s a great part of the high school experience for any teen.
The cast is led by junior Dylan Kamalay as Dorothy Gale, senior Brooke Palazollo as Glinda, and junior David Vileo as the Wizard of Oz.
Also in the show are junior Luke Bandoske as the Scarecrow seeking a brain, senior Joshua LaPeer as the Tin Man who longs for a heart and senior Jon Sturgill who longs for the courage he lacks.
Junior Paige McElmury plays the Wicked Witch of the West (who you’ll see in a different light if you’ve seen “Wicked”).
So click your heels, show the box office some green, and buy a ticket to support the Allen Park High School Drama Club. They’re no place like to home stage advantage.