Everyone’s favorite green-faced villain is back with a vengeance in this imaginative sequel to The Wizard of Oz. The now-powerless Wicked Witch of the West arrives in Kansas on a mission to find Dorothy and retrieve her Raspberry Slippers and Flying Broomstick, but soon discovers that forgetful Dorothy has misplaced them. Now everyone is once again off to see the Wizard Of Oz— who currently resides in Wichita. With the help of Glinda, follow Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion on a new tune-filled adventure as they attempt to defeat the Wicked Witch once and for all.
On a farm somewhere in Kansas (“Kansas”), Dorothy struggles with the memory of her adventure in Oz. Uncle Henry, Aunt Em, and the farm hands insist it was only a dream. While she’s glad to be home, she longs for more adventures and excitement (“Dorothy’s Lament”)! Neighboring farm children Elrod, Billy Ray Jay, and Faylene want no part of Dorothy. They don’t believe her stories about Oz either. But they tell Dorothy about the odd storm they observed.
Something has fallen from the sky, and Dorothy goes to see what it was. Indeed, from out of the sky came the Wicked Witch of the West! She sees the farm children, mistaking them for Munchkins, and demands to see Dorothy and retrieve her magic slippers and broom (“The Wicked Witch of the West”). Aunt Em confronts the Witch and presents her with Dorothy’s bedroom slippers and a ratty old broom. Unsatisfied, she continues her search to find Dorothy.
Just then, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion arrive. They’ve followed the Wicked Witch in hopes of warning Dorothy! It’s a happy reunion when they all meet again. The friends tell Dorothy about the Witch, who has been ‘reconstituted’ and is back with a vengeance. The trio assures Dorothy they’ll do whatever they can in her battle with the Witch (“Who Needs a Yellow Brick Road”).
Meanwhile, The Wicked Witch has stumbled on Professor Marvel, who razzle-dazzles her with an old-fashioned vaudeville routine (“Slippers, a Broom and a Girl”). Faylene enters and throws the Witch off Dorothy’s track by sending her packing to Nebraska.
Dorothy and the friends call out to Glinda the Good Witch for help and inspiration. Over the years, Glinda has become very popular and very busy following her invention of cream cheese (“This Better Be Really Good”). Dorothy tells her about the Wicked Witch’s return and her desire to get the Ruby Slippers. Glinda reminds Dorothy that she was the last one who wore them and suggests she seek the help of the Wizard, who now resides in, of all places, Wichita, Kansas. So off they go to see the Wizard once again (“Who Needs a Yellow Brick Road Reprise”)! The second act opens with Aunt Em, full of woe, wondering where Dorothy has gone. The Vagabelle children tell her about the journey to Wichita. The Wicked Witch returns, hears this, and sets her sights on arriving in Wichita before Dorothy does (“Wicked Witch of the West Reprise”)!
Meanwhile, Dorothy and her friends merrily journey to the Wizard (“On the Road to Wichita”). Who do they find but the Vagabelle children, who have decided to see the Wizard, too. They’re all searching for a green door marked with a big “W."
The first to arrive at the green door is the Witch, dressed in an identical farm girl frock a la Dorothy! The Gatekeeper refuses to let her in, no matter how she is dressed. Finally, the friends and Dorothy arrive. Dorothy is thrilled to have made it here (“Fabulous Magical Shoes”). But the Gatekeeper won’t let her and her friends pass either. Here comes the Witch again. What’s this— two Dorothys? One plain and one green?? The Gatekeeper reveals he is indeed the Wizard, but he can’t produce the slippers that will satisfy the Witch and save Dorothy. The Vagabelle children arrive and Faylene is wearing the slippers! She’d found them in a junk pile behind Dorothy’s farm house. The Wizard tells her of all the powers this young girl now holds (“I’d Click My Heels”). The little girl makes a choice which brings a happy ending to one and all.
–Connecticut Critics Circle
Wicked Witch – A once-powerful witch, green with envy and back with a vengeance.
Dorothy – The girl from Kansas who visited Oz.
*Aunt Em – Dorothy’s no-nonsense Aunt.
Uncle Henry – Dorothy’s uncle, a simple farmer.
*Professor Marvel – A razzle-dazzle carnival showman.
Scarecrow – Comical man of straw with a sharp brain. Also plays Second Farm Hand.
Tin Man – The hollow man with the big heart. Also plays First Farm Hand.
Lion – Decorated for bravery, but a bit of a softy at the same time.
Glinda – A Good Witch with an edge.
*Gatekeeper/Wizard – A "top banana" comedian and old Kansas man.
Elrod Vagabelle – Raggedy farm boy, 12 years old.
Faylene Vagabelle – Raggedy yet sassy farm girl, 9 years old.
Billy Jay Ray Vagabelle – Raggedy yet perceptive farm boy, 7 years old.
*Casting Note: In the original production, these roles were played by the same actor with great comic affect.
Setting: Rural Kansas, Wichita.
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"Dorothy and Toto have skipped along the Yellow Brick Road all the way from Kansas to the Land of Oz. Their adventures with the Scarecrow (Jimmy Johansmeyer), the Tin Man (Justin Rugg), and the Lion (Andrea Pane) are legendary. But now our spunky heroine is back among the corn fields with her Auntie Em (George Spelvin) and her Uncle Henry (Jimmy Johansmeyer) and she is bored, bored, bored. But not for long!
Follow the magical road of yellow bricks, courtesy of master map makers Pantochino Productions to their delightfully entertaining spoof The Wicked Witch of the West Kansas or Bust! playing weekends until Sunday, November 2 at the Milford Center for the Arts, 40 Railroad Avenue, Milford.
Think green and mean and before you can say "Munchkins" three times, and who should appear but that scary madame of malice The Wicked Witch of the West, wonderfully captured by Shelley Marsh Poggio. She has a specific agenda: to get back her magical powers, her broom, and her ravishing ruby slippers. To accomplish this, she must, at all costs and comedy, find Dorothy who stole them away from her, right under her pickled green nose.
Dorothy is portrayed by the adorable pigtailed sweetheart, Mary Mannix, who is plum full of spirit and perkiness. With her trio of hearty and trusted cohorts, the Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man, they all set off to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz, another characterization assumed by the versatile George Spelvin. It's rumored that the Wizard is in possession of all the good stuff.
That road of yellow is getting mighty crowded as the ragged Vagabelle kids, Elrod (Matthew Ranilla), Faylene (Hazel Foley), and Billy Jay Ray (Jay Maroney) are also on the trail of the treasure. And don't forget that big green lady who's determined to get all her goodies back!
Thankfully Dorothy remembers to ask for help from her friend from her last giant adventure, and the Good Witch Glinda (Rachael Dugas) flies in with a little comforting advice. Bert Bernardi has outdone himself in the clever department as this show is filled to the top of the corn fields with genuine humor (most of it corny). Justin Rugg's music, like the Wicked Witch's "I'm Back with a Vengeance," adds a delightful liveliness to the action. Jimmy Johansmeyer's costumes are a Halloween hoot.
Polish your crystal ball, practice your cackles, look for rainbows and bluebirds and bring a big glass of water for you-know-who!" –Bonnie Goldberg, Connecticut Critics Circle
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The Authorized Materials/Rehearsal Package for The Wicked Witch of the West: Kansas or Bust! includes: