Newport’s Pacific Dance Ensemble will take audiences down the yellow brick road this Friday, May 18, as the curtain goes up on its latest production, “The Wizard in Oz.”
This original adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” stars Anabel Tucker as Dorothy, with Avery Osborn as the Scarecrow, Madyson Fortmeyer as the Lion and Leela Kris-Stokes as the Tin Man.
The show also features narration by Khloella Brateng and Pete Theodore, veteran actors well known to Newport audiences. In recent years, Brateng has appeared in “Young Frankenstein,” and “The Full Monty” as well as narrating for many Pacific Dance Ensemble performances including “The Patchwork Girl of Oz” and “Peter Pan.”
She describes the narration as a linguistic bridge between the audience and the dance.
“We help make the visual more accessible to all kinds of audiences,” she said, “no matter what age, whether they know the story or not”.
Theodore joined the ensemble as a narrator for the first time last year, bringing the talents that have fueled his performances in plays including “The Addams Family” and “Riva Beside Me.”
Audiences will see Oz brought to life before their eyes, thanks to sets designed by local artist Douglas Haga; lighting and special effects by technical wizard Ernest Brown; projections designed by graphic design artistmTravis Leonard; and costumes by Alice Haga and Katrina Theodore.
Pacific Dance Ensemble founder Nancy Mittleman has been training dancers from preschool to professional for more than 40 years through both the ensemble and the Newport School of Artistic Movement. Her students have gone on to study and perform at institutions including Juilliard in New York City, the San Francisco Ballet and The Laban School in London.
“The Wizard in Oz” will run through Sunday, May 27, with performances at 7 pm every Friday and Saturday, plus 2 pm matinées each Sunday.
All performances are at the Newport Performing Arts Center, 777 W Olive Street.
Tickets, $15 for adults and $10 for seniors or students, are available at www.coastarts.org or by calling 541-265-ARTS.