Sunday, July 15, 2012


Yellow Brick Road-ettes and the WizTHE WIZ
WHEN: July 14th to the 29th with performances Saturday evenings at 7:30 PM and Sunday matinees at 4:00 PM
WHERE: The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, located in the Historic Palace Theatre on Route 183 in Netcong
TICKETS: $12 General Admission, with group rates available.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the TGS Box Office at 973.347.4946 or logging onto their website at

Steve Graham, a longstanding member of The Growing Stage artistic team, and Production Manager for the company is the director for this production.  Robert Mintz is the choreographer for the piece with Laura Petrie serving as Musical Director. Hannah Parker of Netcong is the production’s Stage Manager. (Above L-R: Jeorgi Smith, Benjamin Thompson and Alana Claffey as The Wiz accompanied by the Yellow Brick Road-ettes.) 

THE WIZ is an urbanized retelling of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; THE WIZ was adapted from the 1975 Broadway musical of the same name specifically for young audiences. The story follows the adventures of Dorothy, a shy young girl who finds herself magically transported to the Land of Oz, which resembles a fantasy version of New York City. Befriended by a Scarecrow, a Tin Man, and a Cowardly Lion, she travels through the land to seek an audience with the mysterious "Wiz", who they say has the power to take her home.

THE WIZ is a new summer initiative of the Growing Stage that features the talents of high school and college aged students under the direction of the company’s professional artistic team. Amber Palmer of Somerset plays Dorothy with Cassandra Daniels of North Plainfield, Jacob Burlas of Oxford, and Jake Wallace of Netcong portraying the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Tin Man.  Stephanie Turci of Long Valley is Auntie Em/Glinda, with Samantha Silverman as Evilene and Erin Jackson of Newton as Addapearle, the three witches that Dorothy and company encounter in Oz.  Benjamin Thompson of Long Valley is both Uncle Henry and The Wiz.  Rounding out the cast are Kyle Blocker of New Brunswick, Loren Carstens of  Fredon, Alana Claffey of Sparta, Matthew Fralley of Netcong, Natalie Kane of Dover, Jessi Kirschner of Andover, Spencer Knoll of Peapack, Megan Lasky of Chester, Hannah Lucas of Hope, Brooke Pennington of Hackettstown, Kristina Plate of Sparta, and Jeorgi Smith of Andover.

The Growing Stage is committed to creating and presenting professional theatre for young people and their families.   This production is part of our Studio Presentation Series which was initiated in the fall of 2009 and has succeeded in engaging both patrons and artists. The unique aspect of this summer program is to provide high school and college aged students with a practical intensive in musical theatre and performance at no charge to the students.  “One of my fondest memories as a young artist was the chance to perform during the summer with peers also passionate about the performing arts.  Our program hopes to expand that opportunity even further by giving our emerging artists in the cast the unique chance to work alongside experienced professionals in the field.  It is this distinction to our programming that will only encourage and feed their ability to grow and succeed in the arts,” shares Stephen L. Fredericks, Founder and Executive Director of the Growing Stage.

Completing its 30th season, The Growing Stage, The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey strives to provide audiences with the unique and affordable opportunity to share a fun, culturally significant moment in their intimate and very special venue.  The company is also showcasing its restoration of their front façade which has recently undergone major changes in keeping with its recognition of being on the National, State and County Registers of Historic Places. 

The Growing Stage – The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey programs are made possible, in part, by funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and contributions from numerous corporations, foundations, and individuals.