David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Excellent Musical Theater at American Fork High School
The celebrated magic of The Wizard of Oz is mostly lost on me and always has been. But the magic of American Fork High School's excellent performance of that musical last evening was not lost on me at all. This is a very enjoyable production, with much to recommend it.
I don't love The Wizard of Oz. Its celebrated magic is mostly lost on me and always has been. I don't suggest this as a badge of superiority; it is simply a fact which separates me from most of my family and, no doubt, from hundreds of millions of other people. However, I am fond of the theater, musical or otherwise, and I'm a fan of excellence achieved in any worthy endeavor (except those that involve cooking eggs, spinach, or squash). Therefore, I very much enjoyed attending American Fork High School's production of The Wizard of Oz last evening.
The auditorium was filled or nearly so. The cast was excellent in every respect, from diction and dancing to singing and . . . witchiness. Aly Rutter excelled in the lead role of Dorothy; among other things, she sings beautifully. The costumes and sets were clever and effective. The musical score was recorded, but this was only occasionally conspicuous -- it limits the actors' interpretation at times -- and the sound quality was very near lifelike.
Four performances remain, including a 2:00 p.m. matinee today and 7:00 p.m. performances tonight, Monday, and Tuesday. The show runs under two hours, with an intermission. According to the Daily Herald,
Here are some additional notes:
Two final thoughts. First, I'm impressed that high school students can pull off scenes in which they are Munchkins and Winkies with such abandon and, so to speak, with straight faces. And second, much of what I have praised about the production is inevitably the work of director Neal Johnson, musical director Tracy Warby, and choreographer Kathy McFarland.
Heidi Rodeback comments (11/25/09):
Courage! What makes a king out of a slave? Courage! What makes the flag on the mast to wave? Courage! What makes the elephant charge his tusk in the misty mist, or the dusky dusk? What makes the muskrat guard his musk? Courage! What makes the sphinx the seventh wonder? Courage! What makes the dawn come up like thunder? Courage! What makes the Hottentot so hot? What puts the "ape" in apricot? What have they got that I ain't got? Courage!
How can you not love this stuff?
Being a Christian woman, I can't find the words . . .
Copyright 2009 by David Rodeback.