‘The Ozard of Wiz’ returns to the stage | TheUnion.com

‘The Ozard of Wiz’ returns to the stage

For the fourth time on a Nevada County stage, the Nevada County Performing Arts Guild’s “The Ozard of Wiz” returns tonight followed by Saturday and Sunday matinees.

Arts guild founder and executive director Mila Johansen wrote the musical based on Frank Baum’s classic, adding a character, Penny Pearl, the Good Witch of the South. Penny Pearl is Glinda’s extroverted cowgirl sister, who freely gives advice to anyone who will listen.

The Wicked Witch of The East, Penny Pearl observed, is outdated and due for a makeover: “Witches don’t wear things like that. They go shopping.”

Baum wrote 14 OZ Books, with 850 characters, according to Johansen.

“I have found the OZ stories to be marvelously empowering for children. I think many of us can thank Frank Baum for giving us a good solid foundation in fantasy,” Johansen said. ” I specifically credit my well-developed imagination to Frank Baum and his muse. When I was a child, I read all 14 of his books over and over and over. My mother had all the books in the original bindings from her childhood in London. You might just say I was raised in OZ.”

Johansen created the 75-minute “The Ozard of Wiz” for family audiences.

The youth cast are all Performing Arts Guild veterans. The performances are in conjunction with Forest Charter School.

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