Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Holy Toledo, Dorothy is a Drag Queen!

Every element of Saturday night was absolutely mesmerizing. My paramour and I visited the Collingwood Arts Center in Toledo, Ohio. Built in 1872, its history is almost too rich to digest. This massive architectural conglomeration has been a school, a library, and a nunnery oh my!

In addition to being a source of inspiration for artists near and far, the center also allows them access to its beautiful theater. The most recent theatrical production to come to life on its skillfully crafted stage (the reason for our visit) was, The Wizard of Odd.

THE STORY

This retelling of an American classic tale maintains the captivating magic of the original story. Directed by Matterz Squidling and Mackenzie Moltov, The Wizard of Odd addresses current social issues in a way that leaves audiences feeling hopeful and uplifted while also questioning, “What the flying monkeys did I just see?” With the perfect blend of sharp wit and silly puns, the script is hilariously clever.



THE CHARACTERS

All the characters we have loved throughout our childhood are represented and re-imagined in a way that will make you fall in love with them all over again…Toto too (Bayard Matty)! Each has a unique request of the great and powerful Wizard of Odd. So, together they make the journey by following the yellow brick road.

When this motley crew of characters finds themselves in a bit of trouble, a new friend comes along to save the day. She is the Queen of the Field Mice (Fibi Eyewalker)! After seeing the things she can do with fire in her mouth, only a fool with a death wish dare question this Queen’s power.

The belle of the ball, without a doubt, was the beloved Dorothy Gale (Pollyanna High-Gloss.) Dressed in traditional Dorothy attire, this actress/female-impersonator is full of surprises. Possessing the naïve charm we would expect, she enchants audiences with her intricate dance number and angelic vocal abilities.

ALL PHOTOS BY ALTERNATIVE NOISE PRODUCTIONS - CLICK TO SEE MORE

THE COSTUMES

Each performer’s costume was a piece of art in itself. Perhaps the two most eye catching of them all were The Wicked Witch of the West (Redrum) and Glenda the Good Witch (Madeleine Belle). These artists handcrafted their own burlesque inspired ensembles. The results are simply jaw dropping.
THE MUSIC

Aside of Dorothy’s rendition of “Over the Rainbow” at the close of the show, all the music was written and produced by Ringmaster Zeb (The Munchkin King & The Odd Head), Velvet Crayon (The Wizard of Odd), and Satori Circus (The Tin man during the Detroit performances). This includes each song performed by The Tin Man (Erik Bang), The Cowardly Lion (Titano Oddfellow), and The Scarecrow (Jelly Boy the Clown).

THE MESSAGE

Without a doubt, the theatrical production of The Wizard of Odd lives up to its name. It is very odd indeed. Though there is some cringe worthy use of sharp objects and acrobatics of Cirque du Soleil caliber, the overall message is quite clear. It may not always be easy. Sometimes it can be rather scary. However, by embracing your authentic self…love wins.

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