The Wonderful Winter of Oz is a refreshing modern twist on the iconic classic done in the interactive & thoroughly entertaining British Panto Style
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Lythgoe Family Panto’s Opening Night of THE WONDERFUL WINTER OF OZ at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, which is running for a very limited engagement now through December 30. This holiday version of one of the most iconic fairy tales of all time is done in the style of a traditional British Family Panto, which changes up a traditional story or fairy tale by featuring singing, dancing, jokes, exaggerated characters and lots of audience participation. The Lythgoes are known for creating fun-filled musical theater experiences for the whole family to enjoy; they take iconic fairy tales and modernize the story with topical scripts, pop culture references and weave in some of today’s most well known pop songs so that there is something wonderful for both adults and kids to enjoy.
THE WONDERFUL WINTER OF OZ takes place on Christmas Eve when Dorothy gets swept away by an unusual Kansas blizzard and lands in Oz, a colorful world of munchkins and witches. The cleverly written show features songs from Imagine Dragons, Earth, Wind and Fire and Journey and pairs them with choreography created by the brilliant Hip Hop duo NappyTabs and uses these modern twists to tell the story in a refreshing new way.
This fun and inspired show features singer, actress and dancer Mackenzie Ziegler (Dancing with the Stars: Juniors, Dance Moms) as a sweet, naive and youthful Dorothy.
The Tony Award winning and uber talented Marissa Jaret Winokur (Celebrity Big Brother Winner and Broadway’s Hairspray) portrays the campy, sparkly, joyful Glinda.
Dorothy’s trio of friends includes Jared Gertner (Broadway’s The Book of Mormon) as The Scarecrow with spot-on comedic timing, Phil LaMarr (“Mad TV” and “Pulp Fiction”) plays The Tin Man, wait til you hear his uncanny Barack Obama impersonation! And the hunky Juan Pablo Di Pace (“Fernando” on Fuller House and a standout contestant on this past season of Dancing With The Stars) as the adorable, funny and fearful Cowardly Lion with a Latin twist. I knew he could dance, but boy can he sing!
While everyone in the ensemble is great, my favorite character in the show was The Wicked Witch of the West played by the multi-talented singer and actress Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer (Nickelodeon’s The Fresh Beat Band, “Cha Cha” on FOX’s Grease: Live!, National Tour of In the Heights). She captured the evil wickedness, body language, facial expressions and nuances of the witch brilliantly and she is an amazing singer to boot. Loved her performance!
And last, but certainly not least is Kermit The Frog® as the Wizard of Oz. He was adorably funny and charming as always, and considering the fact that he is green and all, makes him such an ingenious casting choice as a clever take on the Wizard!
THE WONDERFUL WINTER OF OZ is a super fun, entertaining, and heartwarming show, which makes it the perfect holiday outing for the whole family. You will laugh, you will smile, you will boo at the witch and you will leave the show in a totally festive and happy mood. I thoroughly enjoyed it and know you will too. For more information and to buy tickets visit: www.thepasadenacivic.com
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