Broadway national tour of ‘Wizard of Oz’ comes to Norton Center

Published 6:07 am Tuesday, October 23, 2018


News release

The greatest family musical of all time, the wonderful Wizard of Oz, twists its way into to Centre College’s Norton Center on Oct. 26. Audiences will be captivated by this lavish production, featuring breathtaking special effects, dazzling choreography, and classic songs all sweeping across the stage in Newlin Hall.

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“One of my favorite films growing up was The Wizard of Oz,” said Norton Center Executive Director Steve Hoffman. “It had it all: great songs, a wicked tornado, polarized witches, lovable local folk, and those terrifying flying monkeys. This musical production arrives just days before Halloween and is a perfect opportunity to introduce new generations to this sensational story, or to experience it again.”

When the dedication for the opening credits of the 1939 MGM classic The Wizard of Oz was written, no one could have imagined the lasting impact the movie would have on American culture. Or how accurate the assertion that ‘Time’ would be powerless to stop the story, was going to be.

The actual time it takes (just over one hundred minutes) to transport viewers from Kansas to the magical world of Oz and back again is relatively brief. But, as anyone who has viewed the movie knows, the story resonates much longer than that. Climatic lines such as, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” and “Lions and tigers and bears! Oh, my!” will never be forgotten. Judy Garland’s performance of “Over the Rainbow” has been hummed for decades and once heard, is forever emblazoned on hearts and in minds. That is the phenomenon of The Wizard of Oz.

“It is a classic example of how music and theatre can inspire us to do better and be better,” explains Centre College President and The Wizard of Oz enthusiast,  John Roush.  More than just magical storytelling, the story echoes into modern audiences with characters “that all have their issues and their problems but together they are able, through their own imagination, creativity and joy, to make a better life for themselves and all the folks involved in the story.”

Dean Sobon serves as the Director and previously created the national tours of Fiddler on the Roof and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Amy McCleary has created the magical choreography and was the Director/Choreographer of the national tour of Memphis, the Musical and the choreographer of the national tour of The Wedding Singer. The team of Sobon and McCleary will take Dorothy, Toto and their friends the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow “Over the Rainbow” to adventures in Munchkin Land, the Haunted Forest and the Emerald City.

Featuring the classic songs, as composed by Harold Arlen, “Over the Rainbow,” “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” and “If I Only Had A Brain,” along with the beloved characters, The Wizard of Oz will leave audiences young and old captivated as they travel down the yellow brick road for an unforgettable evening at the theater. And whether it creates new memories or conjures them up from the past, everyone deserves to experience or relive the wonderful, whimsical, and enduring story, The Wizard of Oz.

The Wizard of Oz will be performed at Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts on Friday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. in Newlin Hall. Tickets start at $38, and are available at or by calling the box office at (877) HIT-SHOW.