The Wizard Of Oz Show packed in fun and messages for the kids

Everybody is up on their feet as Shaky the Scarecrow walks up on stage. He can’t read, and so Ollie the Optometrist asks him to take care of his eyes. As Ollie leaves, Shaky falls asleep. The kids are up on their feet again. “Wake up Shaky!” they shout, till he hears them and wakes up with a startle.

The Australian production The Wizard Of Oz Show had the children at Mutha Venkata Subba Rao Concert Hall dancing, stamping, clapping and laughing.

A classic tale

While the interactive show kept to the storyline of the classic, special appearances by Ollie the Optometrist and Captain Carrot looked to spread awareness about taking care of one’s eyes — through music and dance.

Dorothy’s home in Kansas gets caught in a tornado and she lands in a strange place. The house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East and so everyone is happy. The Good Witch (dressed in pearly white) gives Dorothy a pair of silver shoes and asks her to visit the Wizard of Oz to find her way back home. On her way, as she follows the yellow brick road, she meets Shaky the Scarecrow, Scary the Lion and Shiny the Tin Man. Their adventures on the yellow brick road to Oz form the rest of the plot.

The story is tweaked, interspersed with generous doses of dance — a rap for Tin Man, a roar for the Lion, a hopping and skipping song for Dorothy and an all-out rock song when the Wicked Witch of the West appears.

There are also special songs and music for Ollie and Captain Carrot. School children dance along with the main characters on stage, making the colourful set even more radiant.

As the four friends approach the emerald city of Oz, they are stopped by the door keeper and asked to go through an eye test before entering. Shaky fails the test. Scary too has a problem with his eyes — they are burning and watery, making people think he always cries. Ollie asks him to wear sunglasses.

The play seamlessly incorporates Ollie’s appearances into the script, allowing children to be immersed in the story and learn as well. Ollie even raps an eye-care song at the end, asking children to blink more often, drink water and sleep well.

The songs are peppy, and the lights dim according to the beats. Old favourites such as ‘Hokey Pokey’ and ‘If You’re Happy And You Know It’ have the audience in squeals as they tap their feet and clap their hands. Even as the songs fade away, everyone is still out of their seats, jumping up merrily. There’s more — the old Wizard Of Oz favourites ‘Yellow Brick Road’ and ‘We’re Off To See The Wizard’.

At the end, as Dorothy uses her magical shoes to get back home, all her friends appear for one final song, asking the children to walk like a lion, Tin Man, Scarecrow, dance like Dorothy and listen to Ollie.