THE WIZARD OF OZ @ Regal Theatre gets 8/10

The Wizard of Oz 
@ Regal Theatre
Saturday, August 17, 2019


APAN Entertainment, partnering with HAMA Productions, have raised the bar for local theatre with their latest musical The Wizard of Oz. To re-tell the much-loved story by L. Frank Baum, APAN have brought together a cast of over 100 performers of all ages with more than 500 costumes to dazzle Perth audiences.

At first, the use of pre-recorded music was disappointing, but the quality of the soundtrack only added to the visual beauty of the narrative. The show moved naturally between moments of quiet simplicity, minimalist sets and well-flowing dialogue, to scenes where the stage was jammed with performers donning hundreds of bright, one-off custom made costumes. The young cast of school-aged children were delightful, bringing an air of absolute confidence to the stage. The production team went to great lengths to re-envision this 1939 classic and delivered a crowd-pleasing result with polished energy, dancing, acrobatics, aerial artists and performers on stilts.

Due to an unfortunate accident during rehearsals, Elaina O’Connor was unable to perform the leading role. However, Amy McCann’s incarnation of Dorothy was so good that it was hard to believe this was the performance of a 17-year-old. Fluffy terrier Toto Tudor won the audience’s hearts from his first entrance, as the crowd collectively sighed in adoration. Vincent Hooper’s homage to Bert Lahr’s original performance of the Lion was uncomplicated, funny, tender and absolutely lovable. Together with Isabella McSporran playing the witty and loyal Scarecrow, and Ethan Churchill as the Tinman, this trio supported Dorothy in her quest to return home with energy and fun.

Notably, their interpretation of Somewhere Over the Rainbow was a beautiful piece created to showcase the dancing talent of the cast, complete with contemporary dancers wearing rainbow spandex and aerialists spinning in the air above them. It did seem a bit frantic and overstated for this beloved ballad but nevertheless a flawlessly constructed scene.

Musicals such as this one provide a tremendous opportunity for local talent throughout the greater Perth community to develop and further their performance careers. APAN’s production of The Wizard of Oz is on for three weeks at The Regal Theatre which is a great chance for families to enjoy this gorgeous show.