Barter Theatre is off to see the wizard
May 28, 2014This year marks the 75th anniversary of the movie "The Wizard of Oz," and there's no better way to see Frank L. Baum's magical story than live and on Barter's stage.
"'Oz' is a fantasy dream and as a result of that there are a lot of special effects and a lot of wonderful spectacle that happens," explains Director Richard Rose. "The magic and fantasy of this story will be absolutely eye-popping."
More than 80 people (actors, designers, production artists and crew members) have been working months to guarantee audiences go on an unforgettable musical adventure on their way to see the great and powerful wizard. Barter is pulling out all the stops with delightful munchkins who dance and sing, flying witches and monkeys, the beautiful dance sequence of the tornado and the glorious effects in the wizard's chamber.
Kristy Bissell has been cast to play Dorothy Gale and sing "Over the Rainbow." Formerly a Barter Player, Bissell has been with Barter Theatre for the past few years, and this is her first starring role in a main stage production. "Kristy has a voice simply to die for," according to Rose.
Barter audience favorite Sean Campos portrays the Scarecrow. New members of Barter's Resident Acting Company, Andrew Hampton Livingston and Zacchaeus Kimbrell, play the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion, respectively.
Kimbrell joined Barter in summer 2013, lending his voice to musicals like "Les MisÚrables" and "Kiss Me, Kate," and then entertaining audiences as one of the "kids" in "A Christmas Story" last December. Livingston is the newest member of Barter's Resident Acting Company, appearing this spring as the jilted fiancÚ Jamie in "I Do, I Do, I Do." Audiences may not know that he is a trained singer and dancer who has been tapping since he was 3 years old. His Tin Man will have a tap number, giving him the opportunity to collaborate with Barter's Resident Choreographer Amanda Aldridge.
Hannah Ingram takes on the role of the Wicked Witch of the West, in all her green glory, and attendees will enjoy watching her "melt" onstage before their eyes.
In total, there will be 25 actors on stage, and a little dog, too. Kona Kringla will play Toto. She is a spirited Jack Chi brindle and was adopted from the Washington County Animal Shelter in Tennessee. Kona is represented by her owners and trainers, the Bubar family.
Not only is Barter preparing to venture to Oz, but the whole town of Abingdon is getting in on the fun in a town-wide summer celebration.
Local businesses are developing special products with a "Wizard of Oz" theme. A few examples include limited editions of the following: Babycakes Cupcakery's Ruby Red Slipper Cupcake with glittery red icing, Figaredo's Emerald Pizza, a mostly green pizza with pesto sauce, and Bonefire's We're Not in Kansas Anymore Barbeque. A complete list is available at www.bartertheatre.com.
Patrons will also notice a little more on the Virginia LOVE letters. Barter's scene shop has crafted bright red OZ letters to go alongside the sign offering everyone a nice background for a photo opportunity.
"The 75th anniversary of the movie makes this an extremely special event," says Rose. "There are a couple of things that make this Oz unique, aside from being a professional production and the attention to detail. Namely, this cast is by far the best cast I've seen do Oz, ever, anywhere. They dance, sing and have a wonderful ability to create memorable characters and tell the story. I know this production will go down in the history books at Barter."
Ask about Barter's family package. For tickets and more information visit www.bartertheatre.com or call 276-628-3991.
Barter Theatre partnered with local businesses all over Abingdon for the "Wizard of Oz."
Follow the Yellow Brick Road!
Barter Theatre partnered with local businesses all over Abingdon to make the Oz experience more special. Restaurants and retailers offer limited edition Oz products.
Specialty items include
Ruby Red Slipper Cupcakes at Babycakes Cupcakery and Unique Eats
Yellow Brick Road Key Lime Tarts at 128 Pecan Restaurant
Emerald City Lattes and If I Only Had a Bran muffin at Zazzy's Coffee Roasters
Emerald Pizza at Figaredo's
Tin Man Sundae, a Toto Dog, a Munchkin Lunchkin and Somewhere Over the Rainbow Sherbert at Pop Ellis Soda Shoppe
We're Not in Kansas Anymore BBQ from Bonefire Smokehouse
Flying Monkey Cocktails at The Peppermill
Dorothy's Dark Brew at Wolf Hills Brewery
The Oz Couple (Ruby Red Grapefruit fused Olive Oil and Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar) by Abingdon Olive Oil Company. Also available at participating restaurants
Local retailers include
Precious Gemstones of Oz. See rubies and emeralds on display at Goodman Jewelers
View the Over the Rainbow fine art exhibit at Mallory Fine Art
Wizard of Oz themed fabrics at Jeannine's Fabric Store
Sexy Ruby Slipper Sun Catchers available at Glass Peacock (handmade in Abingdon)
Follow the Yellow Brick Road as yellow bricks line the path of William King Museum's sculpture garden, then enjoy free admission to the region's only accredited museum
Pick up a map of Abingdon at the box office or the Abingdon Convention and Visitors Bureau on Cummings Street across from Kroger.