‘The Wizard of Oz’ Plays to a Packed Auditorium

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West Babylon High School’s talented cast and crew drew a full house on the opening night performance of “The Wizard of Oz” on Feb. 27. Under the direction of Joseph Barone, musical director MaryAnn Cafiero, orchestra conductor Dana Meadows, and choreographer Mary Napoli, the cast and crew amused the audience with this iconic tale about Dorothy (Alexa Lucchesse) and her dog Toto, who embark on a journey to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard (Michael Grosso).  On their way, they meet a scarecrow (Matthew Lightsey), Tin Man (Thaddeus Plezia) and Cowardly Lion (Marek Ardito-Proulx). The Wizard instructs them to bring him the broom of the Wicked Witch of the West (Angeline Meller) before he will help Dorothy return home, and in several instances, they meet Glinda (Paige Leddy), who help them realize “there’s no place like home.”

Not only did the musical incorporate computer technology and a large screen to portray the tornado that swept Dorothy to a magical land, the crew did an excellent job of managing changes of the large, multi-colored set and providing special effects. In addition to the crows, trees, poppies, featured dancers, members of the select women’s chorus and citizens of Oz, fifth-grade students lent their acting talents in the portrayal of the munchkins, who point Dorothy toward the Yellow Brick Road. The lyrics of popular tunes, including “Over the Rainbow” and “We’re Off to See the Wizard” were also expertly rendered by the cast.   

“The musical was challenging,” Mr. Barone said. “But the cast presented a strong and excellent delivery of the story which was extremely entertaining and one the audience will not forget.”