Storybook Musical Theatre, the Abington-based, professional children’s theater company, will begin its 24th season by presenting a magical and exciting original adaptation of the beloved L. Frank Baum classic, THE WIZARD OF OZ, the story about a girl from Kansas, who is swept up on an adventure of a lifetime. The family musical, with book by Storybook’s Artistic Director, Patricia Goldberg and original music by Kevin Arruda, first plays at the Gratz College Theater, 7605 Old York Road, Melrose Park, PA. from December 19 to 30, then at the Bluett Theater of St. Joseph’s University, 56th & Overbrook Av., Philadelphia, from January 12 to 16. Tickets are $12 for children, $14 for adults with school and group discounts available. For reservations and further information: 215-659-8550 or www.storybookmusical.org
As everyone knows, the story of THE WIZARD OF OZ follows Dorothy as she is “swept up” on quite an adventure that takes her not only down the yellow brick road, where she befriends the Scarecrow, Tinman and Lion, but includes encounters with a not so friendly Wicked Witch, who has eyes on her fancy, ruby footwear. Along the journey the four adventurers learn that wishes really do come true and there truly is no place like home.
The undaunted Dorothy, who takes on the Wicked Witch, is played by Aileen Goldberg, of Upper Darby. A Storybook veteran, Aileen was seen last season as the spoiled princess in The Frog Prince. Other Storybook credits: Alice in Wonderland, Aladdin, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White, just to name a few. She has appeared with The Olney Theater Center, Broadway Theater of Pitman, City Theatre Co., Bristol Riverside Theater and Prince Music Theater. She just completed a summer at the PA. Renaissance Faire singing with Chaste Treasure.
Bill Fitzpatrick of West Chester, plays the Scarecrow, who wishes for a brain, when all along he had all the smarts he needed. Storybook credits: The Dancing Princesses, Pinocchio, Alice in Wonderland, Rapunzel and The Frog Prince. He has also worked at the Arden Theatre Co and for American Historical Theater. He is a Graphic Designer and owns Cyrano Designs.
Geoffrey Braun of Philadelphia, plays the heartless Tinman who finds that he has always had a strong ticker. Braun is making his Storybook debut. He has been seen at the Broadway Theater of Pitman, Arden Theatre Co, Media Theatre, South Camden Theatre and the Eagle Theatre.
Rounding out the four adventurers is Mark Marano of Prospect Park, as the Lion who finds the courage just in time to save Dorothy and the others. Marano is also making his Storybook debut. He is a graduate of DeSales University and was seen there Arsenic and Old Lace, Anything Goes and The Music Man. He was also seen at the PA. Shakespeare Festival in Sweeney Todd, Fiddler on the Roof and Much Ado About Nothing.
The Good Witch, who teaches Dorothy the secret of the ruby slippers and helps her return home is played by Kim Hanley, of Philadelphia. Kim was seen last season in Storybook’s The Frog Prince. Other Storybook shows: Alice in Wonderland, Robin Hood and Princess and the Pea. She regularly appears with American Historical Theater as Abigail Adams, Annie Oakley and Molly Pitcher. In additional, she is their Executive Director.
Every story has to have a character who passes along wisdom, and in this cast it is Tom Tansey of Collegeville, PA., as both the fortune-telling Professor and the all-powerful Wizard. Tom has appeared as the Wolf in Storybook’s Little Red Riding Hood and the King in Rumpelstiltskin. In addition, he has appeared at the Broadway Theater of Pitman, Montgomery Theatre, Azuka Theatre, People’s Light and Theatre Co. and East Lynne Theatre Co.
Finally, what would THE WIZARD OF OZ be without the wonderfully cantankerous and conceited Wicked Witch, played this time by Storybook favorite Faith Sherman, of Doylestown. Sherman was last seen on our stage in Pinocchio. Other Storybook credits: Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, Emperor’s New Clothes, Jack & the Beanstalk and Rapunzel, just to name a few. In addition, she is an Artist/Teacher with our outreach programs, a teacher for our children’s classes, dance instructor, choreographer and horse trainer.
The director of Pinocchio is Patricia Goldberg. Musical Director is Nancy Wiker with costumes by Kim Hanley, sets by Pat Goldberg and lighting by Marc S. Goldberg.
Storybook productions are appropriate for children age three and older. After each performance children have the opportunity to meet the actors for a handshake, picture or autograph.
For information, reservations or directions call: 215-659-8550 or www.storybookmusical.org.
PHOTO CUTLINE#1: “We’re off!” The Lion (Mark Marano), Tinman (Geoffrey Bruen), Dorothy (Aileen Goldberg), and the Scarecrow (Bill Fitzpatrick), venture down the yellow brick road in search of the Wizard in the Storybook Musical Theatre production of THE WIZARD OF OZ.
Theater/Organization Storybook Musical Theatre
Theater/Organization Website: http://www.storybookmusical.org
Theater/Organization Address: Gratz College, 7605 Old York Rd. Old York Rd. & Melrose Av. Elkins Park, Pennsylvania 19027 (Map It)
Theater/Organization Phone: (215) 659-8550