NEIGHBORS>> Whiz kids
“The Wiz” has been both a 1975 Broadway musical and a 1978 film adaptation of the play.
Both are based on “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” novel by L. Frank Baum.
“The best thing about our productions is, when the curtain goes up, it’s all student run,” said Jane Balgavy, director of forensics, theater and debate at Cabot High School.
“They do the best job of preparing and getting ready.”
Student directors were Amanda Price and Jolene Pitt. Ticket director was Leeann Boyd.
Although the movie version was set in urban Brooklyn, Cabot’s version still takes place in Kansas, but there was no ruby slippers for this Dorothy played by Nikki George. She sported rhinestone pumps.
The primary cast included Keith Ballentine as the Scarecrow, Taylor Self as the Tinman and Ryan Madding as the Lion, Emily Summers as Auntie Em, Corey Spangler as Uncle Henry, Jessica Bradley as Adaperle, P.J. Jordan as The Wiz, Kyle Hardy as the Gatekeeper, Megan Houston as Evillene, Andrew Mobbs as Lord High Underling, Amber Mitchell as the Messenger and Josh Lee as the Winged Monkey.
The tornado cast, dancing across the stage with streamers in a calaphony of cataclysmic action, included Brooke Chaney, Lauren Fuller, Laura Green, Jessica Hale, Megan Houston, Jobeth Jackson, Sherellle Moise, Ashley Petit, Aly Roberts, Cesiley Sullivan and Samantha Walker.
The Munchkins cast included Hayden Balgavy, Katie Brooks, Daniel Carron, Megan Clark, Brooke Davenport, Jesse Davis, Courtney Fairchild, Jerry Gorman, Tori Houston, Christina Huynh, Erin Larsen, Jessica Lindsey, Amy Love, Anthony Micco, Kayla Miller and Sammy Petit.
The poppies cast included Kaycee Carmical, Whitney Dodson, Lindsey Frizzel, Jennifer Gray, Marley Huckabee, Jordan Meyer, Amber Mitchell, Laura Neumann, Ariana Ocampo and Jordyn Voegele.
The Yellow Brick Road cast included Brooke Chaney, Jessica Hale, Jobeth Jackson, Sherelle Moise, Ashley Petit, Cesiley Sullivan, Samantha Walker and Courtney Gorman.
Cast members appearing as The Winkies included Anthony Micco, Katie Brooks, Jerry Gorman, Tori Houston, Hayden Balgavy, Taylor Brown, Megan Clark, Brooke Davenport, Jesse Davis, Courtney Fairchild, Lindsey Frizzell, Lauren Fuller, Jennifer Gray, Lauren Green.
Also Marley Huckabee, Christina Huynh, Erin Laren, Jessica Lindsey, Amy Love, Jordan Meyer, Kayla Miller, Laura Neumann, Ariana Ocampo, Sammy Petit, Chris Pounders, Aly Roberts, Faith Terry and Jordan Voegle.
The Emerald City Citizens cast included Sam Walker, Sarah Ransom, Samantha Young, Brittany Beach, Daniel Carron, Brooke Chaney, Courtney Gorman, Jerry Gorman, Michelle Gorton, Jessica Hale, Carley Hays, Tori Houston, Leeann Hutson, Sarah Hylano, Jobeth Jackson, Bethany Kemper, Ashley Meleney, Anthony Micco, Sherelle Moise, Hayden Balgavy, Sammy Petit, Rebecca Roy, Cesiley Sullivan, Britanny Sumler, Faith Terry and Samantha Walker.
The Mice Squad included Caleb Barnhart, Adam Flemming, Joey Joslin and Reece Owens and the The Crows included Adam Flemming, Taylor Brown, Josh Lee, Corey Spangler and Chris Pounders.
No musical is complete without live music. The all student orchestra was conducted by Chuck Massey.
Performers include Tony Hall, Katie Estes, Daniel Gates, Kevin Jeriggan, Zac Taylor and Neil Spurlin on trumpet, Tiffany Abbott and Haty Bittle on clarinet,Veronica Harrell on violin, Janet Lee on cello, Shelli Mann, Johnathan Hill and Elton Tevebaugh on saxophone, Christi Sturdy on baritone, Tyler Troutman and Hayden Scott on percussion, Cory Nelson, Justin Gray, Joel Head and Aaron Willis on trombone, Erin Patterson and Amy Baldwin on horn and Michelle Mantione on flute and piccolo, Kevin Lenners and Dylan Huchel on guitar,Cory Nelson on bass and faculty member Laura Vaughn on piano.
Brandon Boykin was assistant to the conductor.
Gwen Brooks was the technical director, choregrapher and assistant director was Ashley McMahan, costume designer was Debra Catton.
“It’s just great to see teamwork like this with such a large production,” Balgavy said.
In April the students will perform a touring production of “School House Rock” based on the catchy Saturday morning public service announcements.
The students will also host the “Pirates and Princesses” theater shop for elementary students interested in theater.