When you think of special events, what happened Thursday, June 28 in a tent in New Canaan certainly qualifies. Summer Theater of New Canaan offered the special needs children of STAR, Inc. an opportunity to shine! And shine they did!
All the joy and love in the story of the wonderful Wizard of Oz came to life when these terrific youngsters took to the stage and performed with enthusiasm and spunk. Catherine Harris and Kelly Ritz were both wonderful as they shared the title role of Dorothy who gets caught up in a tornado and spun from her farmhouse in Kansas into the magical world of the Munchkins, somewhere over the rainbow. Jacob Braunhut was adorable as the Scarecrow who desperately wants a brain, Taylor Quinn was outstanding as the Tinman who so wants a heart and Chris Lopes was delightful as the Lion who needs a big infusion of courage. As Glinda the Good Witch, Maddie Hess was outstandingly kind and wise and Jack Piscitelli was properly frightening and scary as the Wicked Witch who does want to give up his Broomstick.
As Mayor of Munchkin City, Alex Eveland was most dignified and proper while William Pepin served diplomatically as the Winke General. Of course, the grand master of the moment, Cos DeFelice was definitely dramatic as the Wizard of Oz in charge. Even Toto was adorable for his walk on part. All the performers in this DramaRama cast were terrific in their roles and deserve to be so proud of all they accomplished in only ten rehearsals.
A special round of applause to all the mentors who “shadowed” their counterparts to help them shine: Ryan Bloomquist, Olivia Canning, Bobby Godas, Kathy Hardin, Kenny Hess, Adam Hill, Elysia Jordan, Brooke Manning-Hinds, Katelyn Miles, Katie Oxman, Emilie Roberts, Dru Serkes, Ben Simpson, Betsy Simpson, Ali Tesluk and Caitlin White. Kudos to Melody Libonati for directing this special production, made possible with a grant from the Rotary Club of New Canaan and individual donations.
DVDs of the show are available for $10 by calling the office at 203-966-4634 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The performance was preceded by a lively hootenanny by the Rubberband.
Summer Theater of New Canaan will be offering a “loverly “ production of “My Fair Lady” until Saturday, July 7 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m.) as well as “The Wizard of Oz” from now until August 4 and “Pinkilicious, the Musical” from July 4 to August 5, all perfect for families, as well as the musical treat of “Joseph and the Amazing Dreamcoat” from July 14 to August 5, (Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m.). Also don’t miss Disney’s High School Musical 2 for its single performance on July 27 at 3:30 p.m. with a special middle school cast.
Call STONC at 203-966-4634 or online at email@example.com. or firstname.lastname@example.org for tickets and scheduling information. All performances are outdoors in a tent at Waveny Park, New Canaan. Take exit 37 off the Merritt, to Farm Road and the New Canaan High School parking lot.
STAR, Inc. is a non-profit organization for individuals of all ages with developmental disabilities and their families. It is located at 182 Wolfpit Avenue, Norwalk and can be reached at 203-846-9581 or online at www.starinc-lightingtheway.org.
How wonderful to enjoy the summertime at these delightful musical treats courtesy of Summer Theater of New Canaan.
Just follow the Yellow Brick Road.