If you act quickly, there’s a place where both adults and children can liberate their hearts, their minds and their courage in a classic battle of good vs. evil…a place called Oz

011 Wwwin Castle 317
So wickedly good, the Wicked Witch of The West and her Flying Monkeys delight young and old alike.

By Bill Yurgen

For a limited engagement, Saturday, April 30, and Sunday, May 1, Ballet Theatre of Ohio (BTO) will transport hundreds of families to Oz, that magical kingdom where we all became a little wiser with Dorothy.

BTO’s production of The Wizard of Oz, choreographed by Executive Director Christine Meneer, always plays to a packed house. This critically acclaimed ballet returns only every four or five years, so you may want to order tickets as soon as possible.

Story Telling Through Dance
For those unfamiliar with the quality of Ballet Theatre of Ohio performances, The Wizard of Oz is a perfect example of how Ms. Meneer weaves humor, drama and expert storytelling into a production that is without words but is rich with intoxicating music reverberating throughout the theater’s near perfect sound system and acoustics.

For The Wizard of Oz, Ms. Meneer has enhanced the telling of Dorothy’s adventure. She did this with the help of local artistic gem, Jerry Burr. Mr. Burr had an illustrious career of over 50 years on the stage, on television and in movies. Mr. Burr’s mastery of the art of pantomime in dance makes it possible for the Oz cast to tell this iconic American story in a way that everyone will understand and remember for a lifetime.

A Word of Caution
Warning: If you are not a ballet aficionado, you may well be before you leave. The troupe at Ballet Theatre of Ohio has won the hearts of some of the most alpha/macho types. The always memorable combination of lush pageantry and the incredibly gorgeous and colorful costumes are a signature of every Meneer production. It’s wonderful entertainment that takes us back to fond memories of our own childhood.

No trip to Oz is complete without Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion and of course Toto leading the way. Ballet Theatre of Ohio’s The Wizard of Oz will be performed at the beautifully restored Akron Civic Theatre, April 30-May 1. A limited number of backstage matinee tours are available. Visit BalletTheatreOhio.org for more info.

But What About the Flying Monkeys?
Count on Dorothy (danced by Sara Sarkisian), the Scarecrow (Benjamin Shepard), the Tin Woodman (Damien Highfield), the Cowardly Lion (Kelly Meneer) and, of course, the Good Witch of the North (Annabelle Mighton) for the audience to cheer onward. And what would a Wicked Witch of the West (Rylie Banks) be without Flying Monkeys? Like all family-oriented BTO performances, The Wizard of Oz is skillfully crafted to be enjoyable for young and old alike. Expect exquisite dance and spectacle from this troupe.

Destination Akron
The Wizard of Oz will be performed at the beautifully restored Akron Civic Theatre at 182 S. Main Street in downtown Akron. These performances attract audiences from across Northeast Ohio and make for a memorable day when combined with a meal at one of the many local eateries, making the trip well worthwhile. We strongly recommend purchasing your tickets early for best seating—and best pricing with the Mimi Deal included with this story.

Save on Tickets!
Box Office Ticket prices for The Wizard of Oz are $32 and $42. Discounted tickets ($24 and $32) are available only when you call Ballet Theatre of Ohio at 330-688-6065 before Friday, April 1. Use the code MM22. Get your tickets through BTO and you will also receive a free snack pack for all children under age 12.

Ballet Theatre of Ohio’s performance of The Wizard of Oz will be given on Saturday, April 30 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. and on Sunday, May 1 at 2:00 p.m. Parking information can be found on the Akron Civic Theatre’s website.