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Playhouse Merced presents The Wizard of Oz

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The Wizard of Oz,” the musical fantasy about a young girl who travels to a magical land, begins a three-weekend run on the Playhouse Merced mainstage Friday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

“The Wizard of Oz,” originally taken from the classic series of "Oz" books by L. Frank Baum, centers around young farm girl Dorothy Gale, who is swept away to a fantastical world and tries to get back home. She travels along the yellow brick road to the Emerald City to meet the mysterious Wizard of Oz. With music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, “The Wizard of Oz” features songs “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard” and “If I Only Had a Brain,” and the Academy Award winning “Somewhere over the Rainbow.”

The live production is based on the 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie which stars Judy Garland as Dorothy, Ray Bolger as Scarecrow, Jack Haley as Tin Man and Bert Lahr as Cowardly Lion.

Playhouse Merced’s production is directed by Corey Strauss, musically directed by Joel Scott Shade and features Elyssa Alexander as Dorothy, Austin Worden as Scarecrow, Greg Simons as Tin Man, and Stephen Mouillesseaux as Cowardly Lion. The cast also includes almost 20 young children as Munchkins and an ensemble of 20 more singer, dancers and actors. Costumes for “The Wizard of Oz” are designed by Cindy Strauss and Corey Strauss, with set design by Corey Strauss.

This show is rated A = All Ages

“The Wizard of Oz” plays three weekends through December 18, 2011. Tickets are on sale now for Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 and Sunday matinees at 2. Tickets prices are Adults $20; seniors $18.00; students $10; children $8. Purchase tickets by calling (209) 725-8587, or visiting the box office at 452 W. Main St. in downtown Merced, Tuesday-Saturday from 1-5 p.m.

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