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Review: EHS 'Wizard of Oz' transports audience to a magical land

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These four chorus members look out to the audience as they perform one of many spectacular musical numbers in Ellsworth High School's "The Wizard of Oz." Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 18
Auntie Em (Jenica Giese), Dorothy (Peyton Catron), Uncle Henry (Hunter Donnelley), and The Wizard of Oz (Trenton Taylor) celebrate Dorothy's return to Kansas. Chorus member Leah Pieper also sings. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia3 / 18
The Good Witch, Sorceress of the North (Jolene Schultz) consoles Dorothy (Peyton Catron) as she wonders how to get back to Kansas in Ellsworth High School's "The Wizard of Oz." Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia4 / 18
The Munchkin Barrister (Beckett Catron) kept his men in line in the Emerald City, during Ellsworth High School's production of "The Wizard of Oz." Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia5 / 18
The Tin Woodman (Lucas Flom), The Cowardly Lion (Matthew Williams), Dorothy (Peyton Catron) and The Scarecrow (Roy Roberts) refuse to give up on their quests in "The Wizard of Oz" at Ellsworth High School. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia6 / 18
Dorothy (played by Peyton Catron) is still in Kansas with the farmhand (played by Jared Marson) before the fateful twister hits in Ellsworth High School's "The Wizard of Oz." Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia7 / 18
The Munchkins are spellbound by Dorothy (Peyton Catron) after her house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East, in Ellsworth High School's rendition of "The Wizard of Oz," performed Nov. 8. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia8 / 18
Dorothy (Peyton Catron) beseeches Lord Growlie (Matthew Jenkins) to speak to the Great Oz on her behalf upon arriving in the Emerald City with her three friends. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia9 / 18
The three witches talk about the qualities of brooms versus vaccuums for transportation in Ellsworth High School's "The Wizard of Oz." Pictured are Witch No. 1 (Raye Schmalstig), Witch No. 2 (Rachel Kaufer) and The Wicked Witch of the West (Hallie Claflin). Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia10 / 18
The ladies of Emerald City chorus (from left, Raye Schmalstig, Leah Pieper and Ella Gardner) are all giggles as Dorothy talks about getting "melty" during Ellsworth High School's "The Wizard of Oz." Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia11 / 18
The Wicked Witch of the West (Hallie Clafin) is none too pleased that Dorothy (Peyton Catron) squashed her witchy sister, in Ellsworth High School's "The Wizard of Oz." Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia12 / 18
Mayor of the Munchkins (third from left, played by Shelby Schultz) confers with her fellow Munchkins when Dorothy's house lands in Oz, in Ellsworth High School's "The Wizard of Oz" production. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia13 / 18
The Cowardly Lion (Matthew Williams) was a definite audience hit. Williams' portrayal was not only funny, but belonged in a movie. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia14 / 18
Lord Growlie (Matthew Jenkins) held the visitors to the Great Oz at bay during Ellsworth High School's "The Wizard of Oz." Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia15 / 18
Dorothy (Peyton Catron) has to oil The Tin Woodman (Lucas Flom) so he can move and speak, while The Scarecrow (Roy Roberts) looks on. Ellsworth High School's performance of "The Wizard of Oz" ran for two weekends. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia16 / 18
The Cowardly Lion (Matthew Williams) was a definite audience hit. Williams' portrayal was not only funny, but belonged in a movie. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia17 / 18
The Munchkins celebrate after learning the Wicked Witch of the East was killed by a flying house, in Ellsworth High School's production of "The Wizard of Oz" Nov. 8. Sarah Nigbor / RiverTown Multimedia18 / 18

It might have been turning into a winter wonderland outside the doors of the Ellsworth High School Cafetorium, but inside Thursday, Nov. 8, the audience was transported through music and impressive special effects to the Land of Oz and the Emerald City.

Under the direction of Katie Fuchs, the EHS Drama Club performed "The Wizard of Oz" by Frank L. Baum, adapted by Frank Gabrielson, with music and lyrics from the MGM motion picture score by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg.

The clear soprano voice of Dorothy (Peyton Catron), the expertly executed sincere and confused Scarecrow (Roy Roberts), the hilarious cowardice of The Cowardly Lion (Matthew Williams), the impressive dance moves of The Tin Woodman (Lucas Flom), the evil cackle of The Wicked Witch of the West (Hallie Claflin) and the talented cast of supporting characters made for a professional, visually appealing, exceptional performance.

Special effects made The Good Witch, Sorceress of the North appear to float before wide-eyed Munchkins and children in the audience. The pit band provided perfectly time background music, which added to the musical's suspenseful moments, and the chorus members were all stars in their own right.

If you haven't seen the show yet, you're in luck: Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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