A funkified facelift for Land of Oz | NevadaAppeal.com

A funkified facelift for Land of Oz

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Melissa Marsh, Annie Evans, Braeden Garrett and Brynn Garrett rehearse "The Wiz." The BAC Stage Kids are preforming the updated version of "The Wizard of Oz" the next two weekends at the Brewery Arts Center.

When it came time for Andie Anderson to pick the first show of her tenure as director of the BAC Stage Kids Program, she went with what she knew.

Anderson chose “The Wiz,” a musical adaptation of the L. Frank Baum’s classic novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”

“I love this show, I think it’s so much fun to do. I played Dorothy in this play seven years ago, and I fell in love with it. I’ve wanted to put my own influence on it ever since,” Anderson said.

Anderson, herself a BAC Stage Kid, went on to hold the position of student director/choreographer for BAC Stage Kids performances from 2000-03 and has performed with the Nevada Repertory Company, Western Nevada Musical Theater Company and at the Brewery Arts Center.

In addition to serving as director and producer of the show and the group, she continues to work toward her bachelor’s degree in theater from the University of Nevada, Reno.

The cast features more than 65 children ages 6-16 bringing to life all the classic characters including the Lion, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, the good and bad witch, the Wiz and, of course, Dorothy played by Brynn Garrett, 14.

“My Dorothy is really younger than from the movie. She’s very shy and day-dreamy and she doesn’t have a lot of friends until she meets the Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow,” said Brynn.

The show features updated music, including songs set to music in a dazzling, lively mixture of rock, gospel and soul, including the songs “Ease on Down the Road” and “Be a Lion.”

The plot of the show resembles the 1978 film “The Wiz” that starred Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.

The BAC Stage Kids version runs for two weekends beginning Friday at the Brewery Arts Center Performance Hall.

Anderson said the biggest hurdle will be the technical side of the performance, after rehearsals in the theater were delayed because of other performances in the hall.

But, she said she looks forward to seeing the show come alive again.

“I love working with kids and theater, and I love sharing that love with the kids,” Anderson said.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at jshipley@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1217.

If you go

What: “The Wiz” presented by the BAC Stage Kids

When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and April 13-14 and 2 p.m. matinees Friday and Saturday and April 14-15

Where: Brewery Arts Center Performance Hall, 511 W. King St.

Tickets: $8 for general admission, $5 for BAC members, seniors and students

Call: 883-1976 or go online at http://www.breweryarts.org for more information or to purchase tickets