Monroe City Panther Players presented The Wizard of Oz musical taking viewers down the path of the yellow brick road this past weekend. Guests of all ages demonstrated their enjoyment of the show through bouts of laughter and smiles, clapping to congratulate the hard work and amazing effort put on by the actors, actresses, stage crew and artists. The musical, which was well attended, offering four different show times at the Monroe City Middle School auditorium.
Panther Players Sponsor and Director Austin Long welcomed everyone before the start of the show, stating “I am so excited to see a full house. It is great to see so many people come to support the show and all the hard work that has been put in to make this possible.”
In the land of Oz, lead actress Rachel Hommert played Dorothy, as she searched to find her home in Kansas, making her way through the magical enchanted forest with her dog Toto, played by Brendan Thome. Hommert played the role making friends with the traditional cowardly lion known as Zeke being portrayed by Connor Pfaff, along with Hunk the Scarecrow, played by Logan Lucas, who danced his way through the evening bringing bright smiles to the audience and Hickory the Tinman with actor Beau Lucas.
The show was full of bright colors, beautiful stage props and brought viewers to the Land of Oz with fog, haze, strobing lights and pyrotechnics.
One scene in particular brought smiles to the entire audience with the special appearance of the Lollipop boys played by Brock Edris, Glenn Thome and Brian Fohey, wearing Monroe City jersey’s as they presented their gifts to Dorothy.
Others starring in the musical were: Clara Minor as Mrs. Gulch the Wicked Witch of the West; Savannah Utterback as Glinda the Good; Anna Barnes as Aunt Em; Aaron Elliott as Uncle Henry and the Emerald City Guard; Corey Weiss as Wizard of Oz; Lauren Smith as Mayor and Munchkin Number 1; Abigail Smith as Coroner and Munchkin Number 2; Carly Youngblood as Barrister; Makenzie McMurdo as Munchkin; Shelby Wright as Winkie General; Julie Ryan, Anna Barnes, Abigail Smith and Lauren Smith are Winkies; Ava Yutzy as Tree Number 1; Ella Hays as Tree Number 2; and Anna Barnes as Tree Number 3; Maddy Gares, Makenzie McMurdo, Sophia Mudd, Hannah Wheeler, Anna Barnes, Riley Fortner and Lauren Smith as Poppies; Kailynn Fuemmeler as Crow Number 1; Sophia Mudd as Crow Number 2; Shelby Wright as Crow Number 3; Julie Ryan, Ava Yutzy, Ella Hays, Maddy Gares, Makenzie McMurdo, Sophia Mudd, Hannah Wheeler, Anna Barnes and Lauren Smith as Ozians; Taylor Pfaff, Kailynn Fuemmeler, Shelby Wright, Chloe Hauk, Nora Gottman, Abigail Smith, Savannah Utterback and Carly Youngblood as Ozian Beautician; Mady Gares, Makenzie McMurdo, Sophia Mudd, Hannah Wheeler, Anna Barnes, Lauren Smith and Riley Fortner as Jitterbugs and Twister Dancers; Carly Youngblood as Nikko; Nora Gottman, Chloe Hauk and Shelby Wright as Monkeys; and Maddy Gares and Anna Barnes as Dance Captains.
Director Long stated, “Wizard of Oz is about the power inside each of us. Dorothy’s journey presents us with messages of faith, family and friendship. As Dorothy learns through her journey, so must we look for the lesson in our interactions, mistakes and trials in life. We must move forward with brains, heart and courage. We must do this with the trust and love of family and friends. Remember, there is no place like home.”