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The Regent Theatre was a full house of anticipation and excitement.
Choreographed by RNZB artistic director, Francesco Ventriglia, The Wizard of Oz is a childhood favourite of many and this reimagined adaptation is a little abstract and certain characters are absent from the retelling.
Where was Aunt Em?
In a ballet that was so perfectly cast there were many standouts.
Almost as if this role was choreographed for her, Lucy Green was the perfect Dorothy: delicate, youthful and with a sweetness that embodied her character. Abigail Boyle was ethereal and whimsical in her role as Glinda, Witch of the North and Dorothy's protector.
Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow were faithfully played by the charismatic Massimo Margaria, the always fabulous Jacob Chown and the loose limbed Loughlan Prior, who serve as Dorothy's loyal companions.
The Prince and Princess of Porcelain, William Fitzgerald and Laura Jones were pure elegance and grace.
But it was a scene-stealing Mayu Tanigaito, who bewitched the audience. She was spectacular.
A tour de force in her role as Witch of the West, Tanigaito's intensity and fast footwork meant she exploded on to the stage with such ferocity and dramatic intent it was hard to pay any attention to the other dancers.
Gianluca Falashci's exceptional designs brought to life the land of Oz in glorious splendour.
A glittering Emerald City was resplendent in 1920s Art Deco glory.
Costumes had the munchkins in striped swimmers and bathing caps, Dorothy in several gingham incarnations, a sequinned Wizard and a bell-hop Guardian, Glinda in a long lush dress adorned with butterflies and the Poppies, absolutely divine in red.
For a world premiere season, sellout crowds speak for themselves.
This wondrous production is sure to delight the audiences still waiting to see it, and if there are any tickets left, do not miss out.
- Penny Neilson