Driftwood brings wonder of Oz to Edmonds

By Meredith Pechta | Nov 25, 2013
Courtesy of: Bob Sears The cast of Driftwood Players’ “Wizard of Oz” brings magic to the stage in this version of the classic favorite.

We’re off to see the wizard.  The wonderful wizard of Oz.

And do you know where you have go to see him?  The Wade James Theatre in Edmonds.  That’s right.  The Driftwood players are putting on the beloved classic, “The Wizard of Oz.”

Most everyone knows the story thanks to the book and the movie.  Dorothy, a farm girl from Kansas, is transported by a hurricane to a magical land known as Oz.  Upon her arrival she makes friends as well as enemies.

The Wicked Witch of the West wants revenge on Dorothy for accidentally killing the witch’s sister and wants the ruby slippers that found their way onto Dorothy’s feet.

All Dorothy wants is to go home.  She seeks out the Wizard of Oz, hoping to be granted her request.

Along the way, she picks up three friends who also need the wizard’s help.  The Scarecrow wants a brain.  The Tin Man needs a heart.  And the Cowardly Lion needs courage.  So off they go to the wizard, hoping to find what will complete them.

The Driftwood Players have done a fantastic job bringing this material to life.  The costumes and makeup are spot on.  Though their sets are minimal, they serve their purpose.  And there are some lovely drawings in the back of the various lands that accentuate the production.

The songs are fabulous.  There is also an added song called “Jitterbug”  that was cut out of the movie. It’s a lively little tune.

But all would be for nothing if it weren’t for the dedicated thespians.  Ireland Woods makes for a delightful Dorothy.  She sings beautifully, and is entirely sympathetic.

Jason Conner plays the quizzical Scarecrow, who is smarter than he realizes.  The benevolent Tin Man is played by Jay Vilhauer.  He was great as the Music Man last year, and is equally mesmerizing here.

The tail of the Cowardly Lion goes to Wil Sederholm.  This is his first role with the Driftwood Players.  He makes a welcome addition.

Every story needs their villain, and Jenny Price is perfect as the Wicked Witch of the West.  She does the evil chuckle justice.

Dave Holden is wonderful in the title role – a flim-flam artist with a good heart in both worlds.  He’s played many parts in many plays, but being the wizard of a world… It’s hard to top that.

The wand of Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, goes to Meagan Castillo.  She is beautiful and mysterious.  Exactly what she needs to be.

Stewart Woods and Jenny Dreessen play Dorothy’s uncle and aunt, whom she pines to go home to.  They are strict, but loving, and demonstrate why she’d be willing to forsake the wonders of Oz for home.

There are also 25 cast members in the ensemble who deserve credit for adding to the magic.  Take a journey to Oz during your Thanksgiving vacation.

“The Wizard of Oz” is playing at the Wade James Theatre, 950 Main St., Edmonds, Nov. 22-Dec. 15.

For ticket information call:  (425) 774-9600.

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