Wizard of Oz opens in Park City at the Egyptian Theatre
The cast of Wizard of Oz follows the yellow brick road to Park City’s Egyptian Theatre on Friday.
The Egyptian Theatre welcomes the production of Wizard of Oz starting September 8th with a full cast that includes a few surprises.
The show is produced by the Ogden-based Ziegfeld Theatre Company and directed by Caleb Perry. He said the actress who plays Dorothy sings a song that was cut from the original film production.
“And I love the way that she sings especially the Jitterbug, which I don't know if people know is you know, was famously cut from the movie, this Jitterbug song, and it's this fun jazzy tune and she sings it so well. It's so it's really quite fun.”
Perry said that Dorothy’s sidekick, Toto, is played by a real dog in some scenes but also has a stand-in, which happens to be stuffed.
Perry said there are 16 cast members and a chorus of 12 munchkins played by children. Three of the actors are deaf so the whole show will be presented in English and American Sign Language.
“So every actor in the show signs their lines, as well as says them. And we do we've got three amazing deaf actors in our show our Glinda our scarecrow, and our wizard," he said. "And yeah, that's, it's a really cool way to do theater. Actually, ASL is incredibly expressive and very interesting to watch.”
Perry said each hearing-impaired actor has a shadow actor who is their vocal counterpart and is also on stage.
“And they, they provide that voice along with the signing, but the deaf actor is focused, they are the actual character that everyone is responding to on stage. The hearing actor is just there to give us, you know, us hearing folks the words that we need to hear to understand the show," he said. "And so it's really quite fun. It's interesting, you know, having them work together, particularly Sam and Britain on the Scarecrow have worked together and really created just such an amazing character as two halves to it and it's just it's just a delight to watch.”
Many of the hearing actors have learned sign language as well. According to Perry, watching the cast learn another language has been an unexpected surprise.
“You go backstage, a lot of times, it's kind of quiet backstage while people are signing. And it's really quite fun and amazing to watch. The whole goal of the production really is that any deaf or hard of hearing person could come and just watch the show," he said. "I mean, for forever, you know, deaf folks, when they go to see theater, they've got to sit and watch an interpreter in front of them while they kind of catch the action on stage. And, you know, we're working on that inclusion where they don't have to do that. They can just sit and watch the show. And enjoy it just as much as us hearing folk.”
The show opens on Friday and will run Thursdays through Sundays through September 18th.