Tri-State Theater

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Thursday, June 09, 2016

Oz Sets Up Shop In Ritter Park

   Tonight wraps up tech week for The Wizard of Oz

   That beloved musical takes the stage on Friday to kick off the first of three weekends at the Ritter Park Amphitheater. 

   The show features a terrific cast and wonderful songs - and a story that has entertained generations of fans.

   My pal Dave Lavender filed an excellent story in today's Herald-Dispatch with interviews with the cast (the photo above is by Larry Butcher). You can read it right here - and here's an excerpt:


   Levi Kelley doesn't remember when he first saw the movie The Wizard of Oz.
   What he does know is that he will not, can not, stop watching it. Starting this weekend, Kelley does one better than watching it - he gets to live it as the Cowardly Lion.
   Come Friday, Kelley and the community theater team at HART (Huntington Area Regional Theater) in the Park bring alive the beloved classic musical The Wizard of Oz that runs at 8:30 p.m. Fridays through Sundays for three weekends - June 10-12, June 17-19 and June 24-26 - at the Ritter Park Amphitheater. Gates open at 7 p.m. Picnics are allowed, but there are also food and drink vendors.
   The children's pre-show is set for 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 and $12 for seniors and kids 12 and under. Call 304-696-5954 or visit www.GHPRD.org for tickets.
   Kelley, who also drew and painted the massive sets built by David Owens and crew, said it is a story that has always stuck to his heart.
   "I don't remember the first time I saw it. I just remember watching it over and over again, and I never, ever grew out of it. I still watch it over and over again," said Kelley, 22. "... For me I am a big Judy Garland fan, and I think I love the fantasy aspect of it, and it is the perfect story for me. It has everything: the beautiful heroine, the wicked villain, the lovable friends, the beautiful shoes, the fantastic scenery. It is a great, great story and one of the greatest films of all times."

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