Volume 12 Week 5

Friday, Feb. 23


Updated March 20

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

survey solutions

Orléans Ward
Bob Monette



(Posted 4:30 p.m., April 4)

Sir Wil 'Wiz' an all-age production that can't be missed
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

The Sir Wilfrid Laurier production of 'The Wizard of Oz' stars Meg Atkinson as Dorothy and Trevor Desjardins as the Scarecrow. Fred Sherwin/Photo

"The Wizard of Oz" is one of the most popular movies of all time. It's also one of the most popular plays of all time, having been performed from Broadway to Barrhaven.

Because it is so well known, the difference between an excellent production of "The Wizard of Oz" and a so-so production usually comes down to the performance itself.

Fortunately the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School production of "The Wizard of Oz" is filled with great performances, starting with Meg Atkinson as Dorothy.

Atkinson is perfectly cast as the young farm girl who gets caught in a tornado and ends up in the Land of Oz. She plays the part with a dash of Judy Garland and a pinch of Anne Shirley.

Other great performances are turned in by Kelly Korim who plays the Wicked Witch of the West, Andrew Pearson as the Tim Man and Trevor Desjardins as the Scarecrow.

But my favourite performace of all was that of Nick Moolenbeek as the Cowardly Lion. It Moolenbeek doesn't get a CAPPIE nod for best supporting actor it would be a travesty.

I can't say enough about his treatment of the timid lion. He also has some great lines. Such as when he tells Dorothy about the time when he was a youngster and his father took him to the top of a mountain.

"He held me out and said 'some day this will be all yours'," he says in an obvious reference to "The Lion King". "I was scared of heights, so I ran away."

Although she wasn't on stage as much as the lead characters were, I was also impressed by Caroline Trippenbach who plays Glinda the good witch. The Grade 9 student has a tremendous voice and I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of her in the future.

As strong as the acting was, the cast was almost upstaged by Toto who is played by Axel Shamus Stewart, a Cairn terrier with a penchant for being extremely cute as well as obedient.

All in all, the Sir Wilfrid Laurier production of "The Wizard of Oz" is well worth the price of admission. The performances are exceptional and the script is filled with some very funny moments like when Dorothy and her companions are attacked by a bunch of apple trees who pelt them with apples as they try to make their way through the Haunted Forest.

It's impossible to review a production of "The Wiz" without commenting on the musical performances, and here again, the Sir Wil production hits all the right notes, from Atkinson's performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow to her duet with Desjardins of "If I Only Had A Brain".

The costumes are top rate, the sound and lightning are professionally done and the orchestration, provided by the school's concert band, is pitch perfect.

The Sir Wilfrid Laurier production of "The Wizard of Oz" really is superb. The play runs until Thursday night. Curtain time is 7 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

The Sir Wilfrid Laurier production of 'The Wizard of Oz' has several musical . Fred Sherwin/Photo

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)



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