Review: The Wizard of Oz at the Pantages TheatrePosted: September 22, 2013
The announcements of the new seasons at the Pantages and Ahmanson theaters here in LA are super exciting. These are the two major theaters and get all of the great shows. This years seasons at both places are super strong.
The first show of the season at the Pantages is “The Wizard of Oz.” I don’t know where I was hiding but apparently last year-ish, there was a reality competition to determine who was going to land the lead of Dorothy in the musical. The reality show was made/shown in Canada and the show itself was mostly playing in Canada.
In addition to the songs we all love, there are some new songs written by Sir Andres Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. I love the WofOz and decided to treat my mom, sister-in-law and niece to the show. One of Lilli’s after school activities is Jr.Broadway and they will be performing, guess what? The Wizard of Oz, next June.
This was before all the cancer crap (CC). I informed my doctors at the beginning of the CC that I could not be in the hospital on this day (9/21). If I was, I would be AMAing myself out of the hospital for the afternoon. Then, this past Tuesday, I ended up in the hospital for that fever but had decided to spring myself out if I had to. Luckily, I got home on Wednesday and took a few days to sleep and take it easy.
So off we went!!!
I hate LA traffic. We left at 12pm for a 2pm show and made it there at 1:40pm. Fortunately the parking lot (A) across the street was still accepting cars and thanks to my mom’s disability placard, we were able to get a decent spot and not have to walk from the south-40 of the lot. (Argyle & Hollywood FYI). On our way to the theater, we met a witch:
Then we went inside. Usually we sit in the orchestra section but this time, the seats left in orchestra were too far back and I HATE having to bob and weave throughout the show trying to see around the giant head in front of me. I found seats in the very front row and center of the mezzanine. They were excellent seats and no one was in front of us. Very cool. Of course, before the show started, we had to freshen up a bit.
Then we made our way to our seats and waited for the show to start.
The actual premiere of the show was two days prior and the reviews I read said that it was so-so with some great effects. So I adjusted my expectations accordingly. The reviews turned out to be a bunch of hooey.
I would rate this show a solid B. It was super entertaining and funny. The effects they used were outstanding – especially with the cyclone. The performers were all top notch and it was wonderful to hear the beautiful songs from the film being sung live. I heard more than a few people singing along. The jokes were a bit obvious but you still laughed out loud. Some of the characters were a bit over the top and it got a little schmaltzy at the end but overall it was so fun. I would definitely recommend this for fans of the musical and families. My 9yo niece loved it! I’m so glad I saw this – what a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.
If you’ve never been to the Pantages Theater before – I highly suggest you go. The staff are very friendly and helpful. The theater itself is gorgeous. Here is a picture of the light in the theater ceiling.
Playing next June at the Pantages is “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”. I think we’ve decided to do this again!
Congratulations to USC Football beating Utah State!