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Don’t cry, Cowardly Lion. <i>The Wizard of Oz</i> is here for two weeks!

Don’t cry, Cowardly Lion. The Wizard of Oz is here for two weeks!

July is Music Circus time. This is the second season in the Wells Fargo Pavilion for the series, which was staged in a circus tent from 1951 through 2002. The pavilion is a permanent structure that still looks something like a big top, but it features air conditioning. This makes it possible for the singers and dancers to work during sweltering summer afternoons, so there are now 2 p.m. matinees on Thursdays and Saturdays.

The permanent structure also eliminates the weeks of setup and take-down that used to bookend the series, so the season has grown longer. There are still seven shows, but now two of them have two-week runs. Here’s the lineup.

The Wizard of Oz plays through July 18. This “family show” has half-priced tickets for children 12 and under. In the past, that meant a sure sellout on a one-week run. But because Oz runs for two weeks, there may be seats available still.

The Fantasticks runs July 20-25. The original off-Broadway production opened in 1960 and had more than 17,000 performances. It closed in 2002. This is only its second Music Circus staging (and the first since 1967).

Oklahoma! comes to Music Circus for the first time in seven years, July 27-August 1. It’s arguably the great American musical, with several of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s most famous tunes.

The Pirates of Penzance follows, August 3-8. Sacramento’s Savoyards (enthusiastic admirers of William Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan) will flock to this 1879 operetta—a daffy takedown of stratified Victorian society, with a light, nimble score.

Footloose dances in August 10-15. It’s a stage adaptation of the 1984 film about teen rebellion in a farm town where dancing is banned.

The Scarlet Pimpernel runs August 17-22. This is the “other” musical about the French Revolution (not to be confused with Les Misérables). It features swordplay, a hero with a secret identity, and a guillotine—not necessarily in that order.

Last is Jesus Christ Superstar, from August 24 through September 5. Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ hit the box-office jackpot and spawned revivals of this Andrew Lloyd Webber musical nationwide.

Season tickets are $184-$268. Single-show tickets cost $32-$47. The Wells Fargo Pavilion is located at 1419 H Street. Call (916) 557-1999 or visit for tickets or more information.