The wonderful winter of oz 2018 - pasadena, ca

When one says that they are going to a performing arts show in the winter time, often times “The Nutcracker” and “A Christmas Carol” comes to mind. However, not often, as a matter of fact probably never-at-all have we seen a famous story from a famous franchise that has nothing to do with the holidays get turned into a holiday show! In this adaptation of the Winter of Oz, Kermit the Frog plays the great almighty Wizard. The story, though not entirely a 100% replica of the original; incorporates modernized jokes and witty banter coupled with esoteric phrases and one-liners that only the local residents would appreciate and understand.

We entered into the main lobby area where a mini pop-up holiday shop took place. Attendees may take photos with the character props and a real-live Santa, do some merchandise shopping, and enjoy the snacks and beverages from the concessions stand. A melodic bell tone rings to indicate that the show is about to start close to showtime. From there, guests enter into the historic civic auditorium to a live organist. Live music was also present throughout the show.

Without giving out too many spoilers, here is a quick summary. The show started off with Dorothy's Aunt looking for Dorothy. She encounters Glinda the Good Witch and the Munchkins where they just discovered the death of the Wicked Witch of the West's sister. Placing the blame on Dorothy, the witch seeks revenge against her. In Dorothy's journey, she of course meets and bonds with The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, and the Lion. The foursome journey through the forests and encounter The Great Wizard who offers an unlikely but still attainable solution to solve all their fears and gives them what they want. In the ending, it was written in a way where it embodied the Christmas and Holiday spirit. Also, as guests make their exit; they are met with another surprise outside! (Hint: it's white and fluffy and never happens in Pasadena).

This was a professional production that was written beautifully. It was 2 hours of pure-entertainment and enjoyment that fires on all-cylinders. There was comedy, live music. Good storyline, relatable characters, and of course famous characters and a celebrity cast that is beloved. With the fare and admission, it is definitely worth the value you get for the amount of entertainment. It is always refreshing to see a non-traditional performing arts show or stage play that is innovate and fresh; at the same time utilizing a highly-recognized franchise that we all know and love. What a great way to connect generations and have the adults educate their youths on “The Wizard of Oz”. With that said, we felt that the adults enjoyed the show more than the kiddos...because one thing was for sure: we laughed...hard.

The Cast: THE WONDERFUL WINTER OF OZ stars THE WONDERFUL WINTER OF OZ stars singer, actress and dancer Mackenzie Ziegler (Dancing with the Stars: Juniors, Dance Moms) as Dorothy, Tony Award winner Marissa Jaret Winokur (Celebrity Big Brother Winner and Broadway’s Hairspray) as Glinda, and features Kermit The Frog® as the Wizard of Oz, Jared Gertner (Broadway’s The Book of Mormon) as The Scarecrow, Phil LaMarr (“Mad TV” and “Pulp Fiction”) as The Tin Man, Juan Pablo Di Pace (“Fernando” on Netflix’s number one show Fuller House, leading contestant this season on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars) as The Cowardly Lion, Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer (Nickelodeon’s The Fresh Beat Band, “Cha Cha” on FOX’s Grease: Live!, National Tour of In the Heights) as The Wicked Witch of the West, Hailee Payne and Valerie Rockey of So You Think You Can Dance, and Rescue Dog Pickle C. Irwin as Toto.