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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Middletown walks the yellow brick road in 'Wizard of Oz'

  • Dorothy and company will sing their way to the Emerald City in the 'Wizard of Oz'.
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  • For 37 years Daniel Schmitt has been a shameless "Wizard of Oz" fanatic.
    He has amassed every VHS and DVD edition of "Oz". As a kid, he once befriended a girl at his community swimming pool just to secretly get close to her "Wizard of Oz" towel.
    This Friday Schmitt will retell the classic story of Dorothy and her pals as they journey to Emerald City in Schmitt's musical rendition of the "Wizard of Oz," which will be held at the Everett Theatre.
    In a nutshell
    For those too young to know, or for anyone who needs a refresher on the story, the "Wizard of Oz" follows Dorothy, a young farm girl from Kansas who's whisked away from inside her house by a tornado to the fantasy land of Oz. Upon arriving there, Dorothy's house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East and flattens her to death. Thanks to this incident, Dorothy is now an inadvertent enemy to the Wicked Witch of the West, the sister of the eastside witch.
    Desiring to go back home, Glinda the Good Witch of the North advises Dorothy to seek the help of the mysterious Wizard of Oz located in the Emerald City, which she can reach by traveling on the yellow brick road.
    During her adventure, she's accompanied by sweet, yet flawed, characters in the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and the Scarecrow. And best believe that motley trio is very needy of the Wizard's help, too.
    Staying classic
    Schmitt's vision for the "Wizard of Oz" is simple. He told his actors he wants them to recreate the spirit of innocence and wonder of the acclaimed "Oz" film from 1939 starring Judy Garland as Dorothy.
    "It was just brilliant. The colors. The music. The songs," recalled Schmitt, of Wilmington, of the impression the film made on him as a child. "It's just one of those things as a child, you watch it and you just want to watch it again."
    Not only has the cast been up to Schmitt's challenge of recreating the vintage wholesomeness of the acclaimed film, but actress Christy Wyatt (cast as Dorothy) also brings strong nostalgia to the stage, since she looks like a "true replica of Judy Garland," said Schmitt, 40.
    Schmitt further complimented the actress on her dazzling and infectious voice, which has converted him into a fan of the show's opening number.
    "She's fantastic," he boasted of Wyatt. '"Over the Rainbow' typically is not my favorite song in the show. But I think it's the purity and the natural beauty that Christy brings to the song and the emotion she gives that makes it so special to me."
    Page 2 of 2 - IF YOU GO
    WHAT Musical 'Wizard of Oz'
    WHEN 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 12; 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 13; 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 14; 8 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19; 8 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20; 2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 21
    WHERE Everett Theatre, 47 W. Main St., Middletown
    COST $18 adults; $15 students and seniors
    INFO everetttheatre.com
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