Spectacular Production Of "The Wizard Of Oz" Coming To The Red Barn Aug. 15-17, 22-24, 29-31
Ginger Boerman, stage manager for the 63 Street Productions, sits among her sets onstage and talks about the upcoming theater event of the year: the production of the Wizard of Oz at the Red Barn Theatre in Saugatuck.
“I’m in charge of the sets, tracking down costumes for Carol Overhuesun the official costumer, and just about anything anyone wants, they come to me,” says Ginger.
“I painted the sets, take care of the props and painted the yellow brick road (adorning the floor of the theatre.) I fix problems.”
Ginger has been involved in well over 100 productions.
The entire Red Barn interior has been transformed for this upcoming extravaganza that will be performed for three weekends this month: August 15-17, 22-24, 29-31. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets are: $15 – adults, $12 for students and seniors.
Tickets will be available at door or you can purchase them by calling (800) 838-3006.
All the old black fabric has been torn down at the historic Red Barn and curtains are up on the walls. The yellow brick road wraps around the audience in the aisles. The show will take place in and among the audience. The forest in the play is in the back of the theater. The giant purple head on stage referred to as the ‘Oz head,’ winks its red-lighted eyes as Ginger describes the cast.
“There are between 30 and 35 children in the cast and about 25 adults,” she says.
“Brian De Young is the musical director; Justine Kinnaman Kolev is the choreographer; and Tom Zemon is the director of the production. We have two girls playing Dorothy: Emily Wiermsmae and Maya Voorhorst.
The rest of the cast includes Shane Lynn as the Scarecrow; Dawn Dawson as the Lion; Jacob Garpow as the Tin Man; John Hardy as the Wizard; the Wicked Witches are Jackie Carpenter and Lisa Greenwood; and the Good Witch is Caroline Monahan.
Brian, the musical director came on stage to share his thoughts.
“I feel great about this production,” he says. “I’m especially pleased with the kids. They take on the dance steps and the characters so well. They are all having the time of their lives.”
The legendary Oz, played by John Hardy, joined the group. “Anyone who works on any production has a sense of self satisfaction,” says John.
“All of a sudden this production morphed into a giant creative event. The entire theater is used in this show. The credit goes to the director, Tom, for the idea. He envisioned all the scenes and he picked a fine cast.
“Everyone has put so much effort into it,” adds Hardy. “We got the theater in shape like it hasn’t been in many years. This building is 100 years old. The community should be very proud of this production.”
“We do this play for the kids,” says Ginger. “Tom is an amazing director and a great singer. I’m so excited about this production.”
One of the Dorothys runs on stage to get her pair of red shoes with sparkles. The stage lighting picks up the sparkles like a sky full of stars.
When I first viewed the theater,” says Director Zemon, “I thought what an unusual space and that it was perfect for the Wizard of Oz. I had laid down the yellow for the brick road that weaves through the audience, but Ginger painted all the bricks. She’s been amazing and the cast is spectacular. I wanted to give the Tin Man some oomph! So I searched for a Latino actor. He is looking for his heart and wanting to become a better lover. We have him singing, “If I Only Had a Heart” while a flamenco guitarist wanders around the ladies in the audience.
“This is a coming-of-age story for Dorothy. A journey from a little girl to a woman. Her conclusion is she doesn’t need to go away for happiness because happiness is in her own back yard. I planned for the Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz to be a little older than the original show.”
Tom pauses for breath. “I think this production is spectacular. The Tim Man is sexy and the Lion is impeccable played by an African- American woman.”
Zemon has been a Broadway actor for 10 years and played in the cast of Les Miserables.
Everyone is invited to attend what promises to be the theatrical event of the year in Saugatuck. The Red Barn Theatre is located at 3657 63rd St., Saugatuck, just off the Blue Star Highway.