The Wonder of the Wizard

Seth Boyden School puts on the The Wizard of Oz.

Call to Seth Boyden Parents: Please upload your photos and videos of The Wizard of Oz here! We need more, more, more of this great production.

You might think that today's kids are too jaded to make it through nearly three hours of a fifth grade musical production.

You would be wrong.

My fourth grader and second grader have been to IMAX theaters. They've been dazzled by Avatar and Harry Potter and, yes, The Avengers. They have access to iPads and iPods and iPhones.

But I have never seen them more enthralled with an entertainment than they were last night at Seth Boyden's fifth grade production of The Wizard of Oz. My second grader was so excited during certain scenes that she could barely sit, a big grin splitting her face. My too-cool-for-school fourth grader whispered to me several times during the show: "This is REALLY good!" Later (much later) when I tucked him into bed, he wanted me to stay with him for a few extra minutes so we could mull over some favorite scenes and stand-out performances.

A big hit with my kids was William Roth who was channeling Bert Lahr from the original movie in his performance as the Cowardly Lion. They were delighted to see their friend Lucero Shorter tear into Miss Gulch with relish, but also enjoyed Mia Zuckerberg's Wicked Witch of the West. Evelyn Lazen delivered a lovely "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," and my daughter was in awe of Trinity Powell — her safety patrol by day — who played Dorothy in Oz. The kids were equally delighted to see "Bernadette from the bus" (Bernadette Clawson) play a spunky Scarecrow.

The production had some inspired moments. The costume for Glinda (a terrific Maisie Conrad-Poor) looked like it was stolen from the MGM vaults. The giant head of the Wizard — complete with light-up eyes and moving mouth — inspired gasps from the audience. Big dance production numbers like "The Jitterbug" had the crowd cheering. A rowdy bunch of crows (Kimani Colthirst, Aaron Galinger, Chevoun Green, Mikkel Henry, Zaire Lewis, Kelvin Robert and Chris Millevoix) got a lot of laughs with funny lines and clever choreography. There was some nice dancing (way to go, Tin Man Trevon Valentine) and a very funny allusion to The Lion King. Plus, a rendition of "Ease of Down the Road" from The Wiz was thrown in for good measure with actual dancing yellow bricks (Bella Jacques-Haeberle, Diamond Leeks, Jada White, Zaria Berry, Benjina Laurent, and Rosa Wolff).

The Wizard visits Seth Boyden again on and . Tickets at the door are $12 for adults and $6 for kids.


Other cast members:

Narrators: Amir Brown-Holt, Ruth Eustache, Ella Opdenberg, Amelia Cintron-Burch.

Tornado Dancers: Darnel Aladin, Zaria Berry, Anna Curran, Cara-an Harrington, Bella Jacques-Haeberle, Jennifer Jeudy, Lilly-Anne Kaderin, Elizabeth Ko, Evelyn Lzen, Lulu Mansfield-Greenwald, Tabitha Oyenuga, Nigeria nanguang, Trinity Powell, Eden Taub, DaiJah Thompson, Maya Turnley, Rosa Wolff, Jada White

Toto in Kansas: Anna Curran

Aunt Em: Olive Fretts Howard

Uncle Henry: Michael Smith

Toto in Oz: Cara-an Harrington

Little Dorothys: Norrah Morinvil, Tess Price

Lullaby League: Lilly-Anne Kalderen, Tabitha Oyenuga, Lillian Englehard

Lollypop Guild: Oliver Morinvil, Zaire Lewis, Jacob Portnoy

Mayor of Munchkinland: Luke Hayes

Barrister of Munchkinland: William Padilla

Coroner of Munchkinland: Roan Price

Munchkins: Maya Turnley, Alessandra Hill, Elizabeth Ko, Eden Taub, J'Meekwa Shaw, Lulu Mansfield-Greenwald, Pneuma Petit Compere, Jacob Portnoy

Apple Trees: Bento Calcador, Shmar Haughton, Travion Harris, Jasper Kransdorf, Diamond Leeks, Daniel Lubiak, Brian Remy, Marlone Remy, Jurai Williams

Poppy Dancers: Lilly-Anne Kalderin, Elizabeth Ko, Christina Anguisaca, Benjina Laurent, Zaria Berry, Diamond Leeks, Lulu Mansfield-Greenwald, Zaniyah Danville, Pneuma Petit Compere, Lillian Englehard, J'Meekwa Shaw, Roodny Ernest, Eden Taub, Alessandra Hill, Maya Turnley, Bella Jacques-Haeberle, Jada White, Jenilee Jean Pierre, Rosa Wolff, Nigeria Nanguang

Poor Little Poppy: Anna Curran

Doorman: Rosa Wolff

Tour Guide: Ameer Brooks

Welcome Committee: DaiJah Thompson, Tabitha Oyenuga

Tailors of Oz: J'Meekwa Shaw, Penuma Petit Compere, Lulu Mansfield-Greenwald

Polishers: Jasper Kransdorf, Oliver Morinvil, Jurai William

Hair Dressers: Christina Anguisaca, Amajanae Crumbley, Jennifer Jeudy

Beauticians: Nai Brown, Roodny Ernest, Elizabeth Ko

Dog Groomers: Evelyn Lazen, Lucero Shorter

Gatekeeper: Myles Springs

Monkeys: Alexander Exume, Zaire Lewis, Aaron Gallinger, Daniel Lubiak, Mario Gomez, Jacob Portnoy, Shemar Haughton, Alec Smith-Cooper, Jasper Kransdorf, Christopher Millevoix, Oliver Morinvil

Jitterbug Dancers: Evelyn Lazen, Lillian Englehard, Christopher Millevoix, Brian Remy, Will Padilla Benjina Laurent, Lilly-Anne Kalderin, Lucero Shorter, Lulu Mansfield-Greenwald, Luke Hayes, J'Meekwa Shaw, Roan Price, Tabitha Oyenuga, Rosa Wolff, Eden Taub, Olive Fretts Howard, Elizabeth Ko, Jada White, Oliver Morinvil, Marlone Remy

Winkie Leader: Isaac Shiftic

Head Winkies: Kimani Colthirst, Jenilee Jean Pierre, Marlone Remy, Kelvin Robert

Winkies: Benito Calcador, Chevoun Green, Luke Hayes, Mikkel Henry, Chigozie Uzondu, Jurai Williams

Munchkins: Darnel Aladin, Chidima Askikaburu, Amajanae Crumbley, Mikkel Henry, Nigeria Nanguang, Marlone Remy, Alec Smith-Cooper, Jurai William, Samantha Alexandre, Nia Brown, Zaniyah Danville, Jenilee Jean Pierre, Danie Lubiak, Myles Springs, DaiJah Thompson, Rosa Wolff, Christina Anguisacac, Ameer Brooks, Roodny Ernest, Jennifer Jeudy, Oliver Morinvil, Isaac Shiftic, Chigozie Uzondo

Citizens of Oz: Darnel Aladin, Aaron Gallinger, Diamond Leeks, Chidima Asikaburu, Chevoun Green, Chris Millevoix, Samantha Alexandre, Bella Jacques-Haeberle, William Padilla, Zaria Berry, Travion Harris, Roan Price, Ihsan Cantine, Alessandra Hill, Brian Remy, Anna Curran, Jenilee Jean Pierre, Eden Taub, Zaniyah Danville, Lilly-Anne Kalderen, Maya Turnley, Lillian Englehard, Benjina Laurent, Jada White, Olive Fretts Howard, Nigeria Nanguang, Marlone Remy

Directed by: Risa Yesowitz

Asst. Director: Brian Bateman

Music Director: Risa Yesowitz

Choreography: Risa Yesowitz, Brian Bateman, Shayna Sackett

Set Design: Risa Yesowitz, Kathy Roth, Maisy Conrad-Poor, Henry Conrad-Poor, William Roth, Brian Batement

Costume Design: Gretchen Henderson

Sound Design: Synergy

Mary Mann May 19, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Thanks, Aixa, for the great photos!
helena holgersson May 20, 2012 at 12:58 AM
Mary, this is such a spot-on and wonderful review of the funkiest, lovliest, awesomest production of the Wizard of Oz;the one with the most heart and soul EVA!!! Watching the show, it's hard to believe these amazing performers are 5th graders and even harder to believe that the costumes and sets were all handmade by PTA parents with day-jobs! I only hope more families in our community get to catch the Sunday afternoon matinee at 2 p.m. As Mary said, your kids will have an experience they'll never forget.
Mary Mann May 20, 2012 at 01:31 AM
I wish I could mention every child's performance! There were so many great featured characters — besides the terrific leads who had to memorize so many lines and steps and be in the majority of the scenes.
Jodi Silverstein May 20, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Kudos to Risa Yesowitz!!! Well done my friend!


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