Dorothy applies a tune-up to the Tin Man in advance of the Wizard of Oz

Lions, and tigers, and bears! Oh my!

The Wizard of Oz has taken to the stage at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni.

Denis Levasseur says it’s all his fault that Portal Players Dramatic Society has taken on The Wizard of Oz as its latest musical.

“I came home one day and said to my wife, ‘I think we should bring Wizard of Oz to Portal Players.’ But I would only do it if she produced it with me.”

This Friday, Feb. 21, the community will get its first glimpse of Levasseur’s dream when The Wizard of Oz takes to the stage at the Capitol Theatre.

Levasseur is co-directing the musical with Elliot Drew. Although Drew is a veteran of stage productions and musicals—he and Levasseur worked together on Jesus Christ, Superstar and The Rocky Horror Show—he said they really  had no idea what an undertaking it would be when they decided a year ago to bring Oz to the stage.

“We wanted to do something bigger and better than what has been done before,” he said.

“We’re doing a lot of new things for the Capitol (see sidebar). For us, it’s new and exciting and there’s new software we’re learning, and new technology.

“We’ve put in a lot of work that will benefit new shows that come in here. We’re breaking ground on the technological side.”

There are also many new faces in the cast, as well as a good mix of veterans, Levasseur said.

Teresa Drew (Miss Gulch, Wicked Witch of the West) has played an integral role in bringing Wizard of Oz to the stage. She and a team of four including Yvette Deveau, Carrera Schroeder, Gittan Klemetsrud and Lori Shone-Kusmin was responsible for makeup; and the fantasy part of Oz was challenging, said Drew.

“We’ve literally been practicing the makeup for months,” Drew said. They used a new silicone-based makeup that actors cannot sweat off; Drew also created silicone casts of the actors’ faces and purchased an airbrush system for faster application.

Known for her handiwork with stage makeup, Drew said techniques have changed dramatically since she earned a diploma in makeup 20 years ago from the Vancouver Film School. “Airbrush was never part of the training. Silicone, makeup, they’ve all changed,” she said.

She also created the backdrops, nine of which are projected onto a screen.

“This was my biggest art project to date,” she said. “When I designed it I thought ‘colouring book’. Kansas is ‘real’.”

Join the fantasy starting this Friday, Feb. 21. Curtain is at 7:30 p.m. Other dates include Feb. 22 and 28 and March 1, 7, 8, 14 and 15. Sunday matinees are Feb. 23 and March 9. Tickets are available at the box office, Rollin Art Centre and www.AtTheCapitol.org.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

Just Posted

Port Alberni residents enjoy public tours on Coast Guard vessel

PromoScience Expedition offered the public a chance to learn about marine research

Coast Guard vessel open for second day of public tours on Alberni waterfront

Talk to marine scientists, learn about research equipment on CCGS Vector

Port Alberni walks for World Food Day

John Paul II Catholic School students walked to end world hunger

San Group announces plans to build new sawmill in Port Alberni

San Group has purchased 25 acres of Catalyst Paper land on Stamp Avenue for its expansion

Two Port Alberni cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Leaf Compassion and Cannabis Club ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Most Read