Pantochino’s ‘Wicked Witch’ at Milford’s Center for the Arts

Award-winning Pantochino Productions Inc. will debut its new family musical comedy, “The Wicked Witch of the West: Kansas or Bust” on Friday, Oct. 24, at the Center for the Arts on Railroad Avenue in Downtown Milford.

“The Wicked Witch of the West: Kansas or Bust” is an imaginative and outlandish sequel to Dorothy’s journey in Oz. The story begins in Kansas, where a lonely Dorothy longs for more colorful adventures. But when the Wicked Witch appears in search of the ruby slippers and broomstick, the ingenious and clever comedy begins. Soon, all the best loved Oz characters, including Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Glinda and more, make their way through the dusty mid-west to help Dorothy triumph once more.

Featuring book and lyrics by Bert Bernardi and music by Justin Rugg, the fast and furious story plays in laugh-out-loud panto style. “Any one of any age who enjoys “The Wizard of Oz” movie will love this new story,” said Co-Producer Jimmy Johansmeyer. “Its filled with comedy and laughter at every turn,” he added.

“The MGM movie is probably my favorite film of all time,” said Bernardi, who also directs. “This new spin is not only funny, physical and fresh, but it’s a love note to the grand film which celebrates it’s 75th anniversary this year.”

Featured in the cast are company members Mary Mannix as Dorothy, Johansmeyer as Scarecrow, composer Justin Rugg as Tin Man, Andrea Pane as Lion and Rachael Dugas as Glinda. The title role is played by Pantochino’s own Shelley Marsh Poggio. Joining the cast are three young actors, Jay Maroney, Hazel Foley and Matthew Ranilla.

“The Wicked Witch of the West: Kansas or Bust” features settings by Von Del Mar, lighting by Timothy Cook, costumes by Johansmeyer, sound by Nathaniel Dobas, and joining the company is Jeff Therkelsen as production stage manager.

Performances of “The Wicked Witch of the West: Kansas or Bust!” are Friday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 25 at 2 and 5:30 p.m.; Sunday, Oct. 26 at 2 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 1 at 2 and 5:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.

The Center for the Arts is located at 40 Railroad Avenue South at the Milford train depot. All seats are $18 when purchased online, or $20 at the door.

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