BROOKLYN BUZZ: Yellow brick road leads to Ridge

September 16, 2011 Heather Chin
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All the world is a stage and we all – including the children -play a part.

Keeping this in mind, the creative minds over at NarrowsCommunity Theater (NCT) present The Wizard of Oz, its secondannual Summer Youth production. The family-friendly musicalincludes all of your favorite characters like Dorothy, Tin Man,Lion, Scarecrow, Auntie Em, Glinda and even Toto, plus a cast ofMunchkins – many of whom are played by the under-12 set.

We looked for a show appropriate for youth and teenagers [and]realized that Wizard of Oz is a wonderful show for children, witha large cast and songs people know, explained Ann Gubiotti, NCT’spublicity manager. And with the theater, we could do a bigproduction.

Gubiotti is serious about the scale of the production. There areover 120 costumes, a myriad of scene changes, and, big use ofspecial effects, screen images and projections.

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Even so, the musical itself is straight Wizard of Oz, sheassured. [This] musical version has some additional songs in it[but it is still] the familiar story everyone grew up knowing andloving.

The musical will be performed at the newlyreopened-to-the-public Fort Hamilton Army Base Theater, at 101Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway. Showtime is 8 p.m. on Friday andSaturday, September 16 and 17, and 2 p.m. on Sunday, September 18,then 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, October 1, and 2 p.m. onSunday, October 2.

My favorite thing [about being in this show] is the effect ithas on younger kids in the audience, said Scarecrow Alex Gutarts.I saw some kids on the subway a few weeks ago talking about theirfavorite characters. It’s a landmark show. It’s the first show kidswill see, the first show they are exposed to. It may encourage themto start a life in theater.

The kids of all ages who are filling the shoes – red or not – oftheir favorite Oz characters said that they would like to see a bigcrowd at their show, not only because they’ve worked so hard onmaking everything perfect, but also because they want to share thewonderment of Oz with the rest of us.

I like music and singing and it’s great being part of a team,said Abigail Summa, who is playing one of the Munchkins.

Another Munchkin, Stephanie Bruno, agreed. I enjoy singing andall the songs in the show. I did a show once and loved it, so [I]want to be in all of them.

This enthusiasm is what makes the show so great, said JessicaSparacio, who is playing Dorothy. I love how the whole cast issuch a family, she said. We all know and respect each other andwork so hard to put on a great show.

NCT was founded in 1971 with a mission to promote communityinteraction and learning around a shared love and production ofcommunity dramas, pageants and theatrical plays. The team of localartists, theater fans and volunteers presents three or four showsper year.

The Wizard of Oz marks NCT’s second show – the first was 42ndStreet this spring – back at the Fort Hamilton Army Base Theater,which had largely been closed to the public after September 11.

Get tickets to The Wizard of Oz by calling 718-482-3173,emailing [email protected] or visiting their website Tickets cost $20 for adults and$15 for seniors, students and children. As the showings are at FortHamilton, remember to bring ID!

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