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by Charlsie Dewey | charlsie@revuewm.com THEATRE Other Performing


Dust Off Your Ruby Slippers for The Wizard of Oz in Grand Rapids


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HIS HOLIDAY SEASON the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre is offering up a family favorite, The Wizard of Oz. Based on the 1939 film, the production will have adults and


children alike excited to travel down the yellow brick road with Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion. “At Christmastime we’ve made it our mission to really supply the


community with something that all the family can go to,” said Penny Notter, the show’s director. Part of the theatre’s Christmas rotation, The Wizard of Oz has had


THE WIZARD OF OZ Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Dec. 1-5, 7-11 and 14-18, show times at 2 and 7:30 p.m. $16-$30 grct.org, (616) 222-6650


a six-year hiatus. Its return this year will include more than just a little dusting-off of sets and costumes. Notter says technology has allowed for the use of faux fire that resembles the real thing quite convincingly, lighting upgrades that will create an enhanced magical ambiance and a full costume makeover for the lion. Several cast members also have been trained in stage flying so audiences can ex- pect a visually stunning and thrilling show. The set also includes motorized rotat-


ing scenery, turning the Land of Oz into the witch’s castle, an array of fun backdrops and the cast will travel up-and-down the aisles throughout their journey. There will also be a real dog on stage playing the part of Toto. The show often brings out little Dorothys, tin men and even young


scare crows, but for older audience members who need a little help getting into the production there will also be a sing along to crowd favorite, “We Are Off to See the Wizard.” A full orchestra will accompany the cast members through the classic


soundtrack, including, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Ding-Dong the Witch is Dead.” Notter said one of her favorite parts of the show will be seeing the


munchkins make their debut. Young actors, ages six-11, will play all 20 munchkins. Most of the children are part of the Civic Theatre’s education program. Some have been involved in the program since they were four years old. This will be Notter’s third time directing The Wizard of Oz. She has been directing productions for the past 40 years, and during her career with Civic Theatre she typically directs three to four productions per year. n


Arts Events | by Carl Dunker


The Nutcracker DeVos Performance Hall


303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Dec. 9-11, show times at 2 and 7:30 p.m. $20-$53 devosperformancehall.com, (616) 742-6500


This perennial holiday classic is based on the story


“The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” written by Ernst Hoffman and features soaring orchestrations by Tchaikovsky to go along with the magical choreogra- phy. Centered around Clara, a girl who is given an enchanted nutcracker by her godfather, this ballet features glorious sets, a battle between mice and gingerbread men, and sugarplum fairies that will dance in your head. A fan favorite, The Nutcracker is perfect for anyone looking to get in the Christmas spirit.


Holiday Pops DeVos Performance Hall


303 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids Dec. 15-18, show times at 3, 7:30 and 8 p.m. $18-$90 devosperformancehall.com, (616) 742-6500


Another way to get into the mood for Christmas is the Fifth Third Holiday Pops concert, coming to DeVos Performance Hall. A yearly tradition to some Grand Rapids families, the Pops features orchestrations of many Christmas tunes in the beautiful setting of DeVos Performance Hall. Audience members will surely be tapping along to holiday favorites performed by the Grand Rapids Symphony, Symphony Chorus and youth chorus, delighted by a visit from Santa Claus and awed by Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.


62 | REVUEWM.COM | DECEMBER 2011


SCHEDULE | DINING |SIGHTS


SOUNDS | SCENE


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