‘There’s No Place Like’ … Rockbridge

‘There’s No Place Like’ … Rockbridge

LILY MORESCHI As the Wicked Witch

‘There’s No Place Like’ … Rockbridge

MARY TROISE As Dorothy

Ballet Presents ‘Wizard Of Oz’ This Weekend

The Rockbridge Ballet will open its 2019-20 performance season Nov. 15-17 with a premiere full-length production of “The Wizard of Oz” in Virginia Military Institute’s Gillis Theater.

Choreographed by artistic director Jessica Pyatt Martin and faculty members Kitty Dean Burke and Meagan Herald, the new work is set to music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and will feature the Rock-bridge Ballet’s full complement of company members. All told, nearly 40 performers will take the stage, dancing a wide variety of styles, including pointe, acrobatics, tap, jazz, and modern.

In addition to Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow, and the Lion, the ballet also features Munchkins, Witches, both good and wicked, and Flying Monkeys, as well as dancers portraying the Yellow Brick Road, the Emerald City, and Tornadoes.

“Creating our own ‘Wizard of Oz’ is something that’s been on our minds for a few years,” said Martin. “We’ve stayed true to the classic L. Frank Baum story that everyone loves, while giving it a glamorous Broadway treatment. All the familiar characters are there, but we’ve given them entertaining new choreography and dressed them in updated, more sophisticated costumes that were created specifically for our production.”

Martin praised the innocence and youthfulness embodied in the dancing of the two young women sharing the role of Dorothy, high school junior Molly McCabe and senior Mary Troise. She also singled out the deliciously fiendish turns taken by her two Wicked Witches of the West, Taylorann Cash and Lily Moreschi.

The Wizard of Oz is suitable for audience members of all ages, and is one hour and 15 minutes with an intermission.

Performances are Friday, Nov. 15, at 6:30; Saturday, Nov. 16, at 2 and 6:30; and Sunday, Nov. 17, at 2, in Gillis Theater. Advance tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for children, and are available for purchase online at rockbridgeballet.org . At the door prior to performances, tickets will be $14.

The Rockbridge Ballet is a member organization of Fine Arts In Rockbridge.

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