It has been a while since I have headed down the yellow brick road. After first seeing The Wizard of Oz movie as a child, I only returned to the Emerald City after cultivating a near-fanatical Wicked obsession. Being reintroduced to Dorothy and friends by QPAC made me remember just why it was so beloved in the first place. Sparkling with charm, talent, and new numbers and jokes, The Wizard of Oz easily ranks as one of my favourite QPAC performances I have seen.

The play is faithful to the film, bringing back the iconic outfits while adding in a few new songs, all of which flowed seamlessly with the original material. It was bright, energetic and struck a balance in its silliness and its poignancy. While much of the credit is due to the entire team, the talent of the actors cannot be overstated.

Samantha Dodemaide’s Dorothy channeled Judy Garland, capturing the verve, charm, fearlessness, and innocence that makes her such a beloved character. With her vocals, it is clear her theatre star will do nothing but rise.

Commendations for the scarecrow — his performance was one of the few times I have fully enjoyed physical humour. He is a different scarecrow than you might remember from the movie, but all the better for it.

Lucy Durack and Jemma Rix reprise their roles as Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West from the run in Wicked. As someone who listens to the Wicked soundtrack on a regular basis, I could not help but imagine what it would be like to hear them in For Good, but watching the two theatre pros face off over poppy fields will have to do.

Jemma is appropriately nefarious, while Lucy is sweet and bubbly, and this Glinda knows how to make an entrance just as well as her Wicked counterpart. And, of course, kudos to whoever trained Toto.

The show was bursting with nostalgia, excitement, and utter delight in its ability to transport people far from Brisbane and Kansas. The settings were intricate, with a rotating, dynamic yellow brick road and the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle. Special effects yanked the audience through tornadoes, captured the terror of the Wizard (Anthony Warlow), and transformed the stage into the entire land of Oz.

No matter if you are an old fan or new, there for your children or there for nostalgia, QPAC’s show is a reminder that Oz is always there to welcome you home.

The show runs until 3 December.

Read more about Lucy Durack here.

 

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