The North American tour of the new stage adaptation of The Wizard of Oz will play the Straz Center’s Morsani Hall, July 12-17, as part of the Bank of America Best of Broadway Tampa Bay series also sponsored by the Tampa Bay Times.

This production of The Wizard of Oz is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic. Developed from the ever-popular MGM screenplay, this new production contains the beloved Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg songs from the Oscar®-winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

UPDATE: Check out a full review of the show by Dispatch’s Brandon Jones, HERE

The Wizard of Oz had its world premiere at The London Palladium Theatre in March of 2011. After a successful West End run, the production had its North American premiere in Toronto in December of 2012, and then embarked on a U.S. tour beginning in September of 2013.

"Wizard of Oz" arrives in Tampa photo courtesy of Straz Center
“Wizard of Oz” arrives in Tampa photo courtesy of Straz Center

The national tour of The Wizard of Oz will feature the same award-winning creative team from London and Toronto, including Jeremy Sams (direction), Robert Jones (set and costume design), Arlene Phillips (choreography), Hugh Vanstone (lighting design), Mick Potter (sound design), Jon Driscoll & Daniel Brodie (video/projection design), David Cullen (orchestrations) and Graham Hurman (musical supervision). Animals will be provided by William Berloni.

Starring as Dorothy is Sarah Lasko. A University of Maryland graduate, Lasko most recently appeared at Maryland’s Imagination Stage, where she originated the role of Lisa in Double Trouble, the musical adaptation of The Parent Trap. She appeared at the Kennedy Center as a soloist in An Evening with Barbara Cook and in the National Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas Pops with Marvin Hamlisch.

Mark A. Harmon will star as Professor Marvel/The Wizard. Marmon was seen in the national tours of Mamma Mia! (Harry Bright) and Hairspray (Wilbur Turnblad). He received a Carbonell Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for A Little Night Music (Broward Stage Door Theatre). Shani Hadjian will star as the Wicked Witch of the West. Hadjian appeared in the national tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Madame de la Grande Bouche) and Fancy Nancy (Mom). Also starring in the production are Aaron Fried as Lion, Jay McGill as Tin Man, Morgan Reynolds as Scarecrow and Rachel Womble as Glinda.

Click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they journey through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts’ desires. Watch out for the Wicked Witch of the West and her winged monkeys as you rediscover the real story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat for the whole family.

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The Wizard of Oz, will play the Straz Center’s Morsani Hall, July 12-17. Performances are Tuesday-Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m.

Regularly priced tickets are $32.50-$75.50, and may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Office or online at www.strazcenter.org. Handling fees will apply. For more information about the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts and its upcoming events, please visit www.strazcenter.org.