Bonzi Productions presents ‘The Wizard of Oz’ July 22-24

Staff Report

Bonzi Productions will present The Wizard of Oz July 22-24 at Rockford Lutheran High School’s Performing Arts Center.

The production features more than 60 child and adult actors, ages 3-60, along with live chickens, roosters, Toto the dog and Pongo and Bongo, prized live sheep.

“This story is always so much fun for the cast and the audience,” said Michele Bonzi, director. “We are especially looking forward to incorporating roosters and live sheep into the farm scene, and enjoying the talents of local legends like Jim Crow, who plays the wizard.”

Advance tickets may be purchased by calling (815) 394-8987. Prices are $12 for adults, and $10 for children 12 and younger and seniors. Tickets will also be available at the door 30 minutes before each show. Show times are 7:30 p.m., Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m., Saturday; and 2 p.m., Sunday.

Rockford Lutheran is at 3411 N. Alpine Road, Rockford.

Bonzi Productions, a family and community-run theater group, is heading back to its roots after six years.

“We started with Oz six years ago,” said Todd Bonzi, producer and co-owner.

Michele Bonzi added, “We love the show so much that we wanted to go back and do it again.”

Dorothy is played by Samantha Bonzi, who said: “I am so excited to finally be able to play this role. It’s like a dream come true.”

Beyond the rainbow are Nick Howard as the Tinman, Ray Fanara as the Cowardly Lion, Ben Bonzi as the Scarecrow, Hannah Zammuto as the Wicked Witch, Ally Few as Glinda, and long-time beloved Rockfordian actor Jim Crow as the Wizard of Oz.

This version mixes L. Frank Baum’s story with the movie version, including the Yellow Winkies and Blue Munchkins with the traditional Witch in Black and the ruby (not silver) slippers.

From the July 20-26, 2011 issue

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