Well, this brings back memories.
Toronto’s Young People’s Theatre presents the musical classic The Wizard of Oz now until May 15, 2016. It’s a spectacular refresh of the TV version I saw as a child on the prairies. (I am quite certain it started my fear and fascination of tornadoes – I did grew up in the Kansas of Canada.)
You should go to the YPT’s revived version – because, because, because, because, because:
1. The acting is incredible. Parents and kids will fall in love with every character. Dorothy (played by Vanessa Sears) is like your kid’s best friend (or the BFF you wished they had.) Scarecrow in search of a brain (played by David Coomber) is hilarious and I can’t wait for you to meet the scaredy-cat Lion (played by Justin Bott.)
2. What a tickle trunk. The costumes are amazing and you’ll be blown away right from the start by the colourful get-up of the dancing munchkins and the evil dress of the wicked witch of the west. Combine that with the live music, super clever set design and high energy choreography – the presentation is magical.
3. It’s quick. I always worry about how long my little guys will stay engaged. The Wizard of Oz is 90 minutes straight from twister to Emerald City (no intermission.) But the imaginative story swooped us up and all of a sudden we were back in Kansas.
4. It’s funny and scary. The show is recommended for kids 5-and-up. The wicked witch of the west is really wicked, wanting to kill Dorothy and torch Scarecrow. And don’t get me started on the flying monkeys (but for me the monkeys in the original movie version were way more terrifying.) But don’t worry, there are so many silly bits mixed in to liven up the crowd. Remember, it’s all just a dream.
5. There is a special surprise – the Jitterbug. The YPT performs the song that was deleted from the original movie version.
Getting there: Young People’s Theatre is located at the corner of Front Street and Frederick (just west of Sherbourne Ave.) There is a public parking lot directly across from YPT on the north side of Front at Frederick St. at the south-east corner of Front and Sherbourne St. Street parking is $2.25/hr. On TTC, take the 504 King St. streetcar or Sherbourne bus.
Low-down: Tickets range from $10-$45. Doors generally open 30 minutes prior. Limited number of booster seats available. Here is the seating map.
Potty time: Family washroom and baby change table located on second floor near entrance to theatre.
Snacks: No food, drink, candy and gum in the theatre. Yes to bottled water.
You may also like: We are so lucky to have so many theatre options in Toronto for families – here are a few to keep in mind: Ross Petty Productions, Second City, Solar Stage, Canadian Opera Company Opera for Families and Story Mobs.