Wednesday, September 17, 2014
   
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‘Wizard of Oz’ returns to stage next weekend

Don’t assume everyone has seen “The Wizard of Oz.”

Gothenburg High School music teacher and musical director Ernie Blecha was surprised when he surveyed classes and discovered that a fourth of high school and elementary students had not seen the legendary production.

“I believe it was an important part of all of our childhoods to watch it on TV when it was aired every year,” Blecha said.

As a result, the music director chose “The Wizard of Oz” as this year’s high school musical.

The public can revisit Dorothy’s adventure to the magical land of Oz on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Oct. 19, 20 and 21, in the performing arts center.

Blecha said the last time the play had been performed on the local stage was the first year of the new high school in April of 2004 under the direction of Leah Purdy.

Former music teacher Lyman Anderson also directed performances of Oz in 1987 and 1995.

Another reason for choosing the musical, he said, was wanting to produce a larger-scale musical than the “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” in February of 2013 that had a smaller cast.

“This musical has more than 40 students—all singing and dancing their hearts out for any audience that chooses to attend,” he said.

Tickets for Oz are $7 in advance and $10 at the door and are available at First State Bank, Gothenburg State Bank, at the high school office or at the door on the day of the performance.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19, and Monday, Oct. 21, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20.

Blecha noted that there are scenes in the show that may be scary for young children and babies.

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