Review: ‘The Wizard of Oz’ at B Street Theatre

The Wizard of Oz: Sat 1pm, Sun 1pm & 4pm, Mon 2pm, Tue 2pm; Through 12/29; $19-$24; B Street Theatre, 2700 Capitol Ave.; (916) 443-5300;
Rated 4.0

The land of Oz has gone high tech in B Street's production of The Wizard of Oz, adapted by Lyndsay Burch.

Gone is the drab Kansas farmhouse and the evil bicycle-riding Miss Gulch. In this adaptation, Dorothy (Tiffanie Mack) is a video game designer, building a virtual reality Oz game for a holiday release date. But she has discovered a few glitches, and Dorothy must enter the game to find and fix them. The performance itself, when I saw it, had a few technical glitches of its own that the cast handled smoothly.

Thanks to the Los Angeles-based scenic and video designer Kamyi Lee, an exciting digital world has been created, complete with a digital Toto.

Scary Dave Pierini eats up the scenery as the Wicked Witch of the West, while Amy Kelley was the logical choice for the Cowardly Lion, the kind of role that she does so well. Sam Kebede is the boneless Scarecrow, Greg Alexander is the Tin Man and John Lamb is the Wizard. Each actor—except for Mack—has at least one other role, which must be most difficult for Elisabeth Nunziato as she switches from Glinda to Aunt Em in the blink of an eye at the end.

But there's no place like home, and Dorothy is able to fix the video game and return to her office in time for Christmas.

The show is geared for ages five-up and is great fun for adults too. The kids like being included in several spots and love the chase scenes throughout the theater.