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A musical adventure for all ages!

Theatre for Young Audiences returns to the Marriott Theatre.

The Marriott Theatre for Young Audience’s production of the Wizard of Oz transported three generations of my family to a just-dangerous-enough world of magic and brought us safely, satisfyingly home.

My mom, I, and two of my kids, ages 12 and 7, were immediately drawn into Campbell Krausen’s sincere and engaging Dorothy. We were quickly introduced to the Kansas crew; an adorable, living and breathing Toto; and ensemble players Laura Savage, Mandy Modic, and Matthew Bettencourt who created, with the surrounding screens and inventive costuming, a very convincing tornado.

When Glinda (Harriet Nzinga Plumpp, who also plays Aunt Em) appeared along with her shower of bubbles, my 7-year-old was not alone in leaping out of his seat and exclaiming, “Joy, joy, joy!”

Jacquelyne Jones as the Wicked Witch of the West (and Miss Gultch) was a perfect villain for the beloved crew to conquer. We all appreciated the non-traditional casting of Allison Sill in the role of the Scarecrow (with very entertaining physical comedy), the heartfelt performance of Michael Turrentine as Tin Man (his excellent tap skills were a super fun dynamic for his character), and Lorenzo Rush Jr.’s “Cowardly” Lion, who is very funny and, of course, courageous in the end. Kevin McKillip was the perfect well-intentioned bumbler as the Wizard of Oz (and Uncle Henry).

All production photos by Liz Lauren

Artistic Director Peter Marston, props and scenic designer Sally Zack, costume designer Amanda Vader Byl, lighting designer Jesse Klug, sound designer Brandon Reid, and media designer Tony Churchill—along with other tech and stage pros—made this an experience that held my digital-native kids captive.

The Wizard of Oz is playing through August 7th. Don't miss this!

Kimberly Robb Baker is a Chicago based writer, blogger, consultant, story teller, and mother. You can find her worky stuff here: and her artsy fartsy stuff here: