It’s a big year for the iconic piece of American pop culture, The Wizard of Oz, as the film celebrates its 80th anniversary in 2019. And that’s not the only anniversary that Starlight is celebrating with this production—The Wizard of Oz is director Philip Wm. McKinley’s 13th show at Starlight—a new record! Needless to say, The Wizard of Oz will be bigger and better than ever when it plays under the stars June 10-16.
This heartwarming show tells the tale of Dorothy’s quest to return home, and the unlikely friendships she makes along the way. Based upon the book by L. Frank Baum, this family favorite takes audiences from the plains of Kansas to the dreamlike world of Oz, and finally to the glittering Emerald City. As Starlight’s only self-produced show of the 2019 AdventHealth Broadway Series, Starlight’s President & CEO, Rich Baker, assembled an all-star cast and creative team for this production of The Wizard of Oz.
Director Philip Wm. McKinley has an impressive Broadway resume, including Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark with music by Bono and The Edge, and the Tony-Award nominated jukebox hit, The Boy From Oz, starring Hugh Jackman. McKinley breaks the Starlight record for “Most Shows Directed” with this year’s production of The Wizard of Oz—having previously directed it with Phyllis Diller in 1991. In recent years, he has also directed Kansas City audience favorites like The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins.
“The Fly Guy” Paul Rubin leads the flying sequences for The Wizard of Oz—sending the Wicked Witch, Dorothy, monkeys and more into the air at Starlight. He’s choreographed some of the most memorable flights from the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Wicked to Cathy Rigby’s Emmy Award winning DVD of Peter Pan. You never know who will take flight next!
Lighting Designer Kirk Bookman is no stranger to Starlight – his first production was Cabaret in 1985. Since then, he’s designed an incredible number of productions for the outdoor theatre—and that’s no easy feat. Being an outdoor amphitheater, each show at Starlight is different—lighting patterns change from June to August and into September. Bookman is an expert at lighting for these very specific circumstances.
With this star-studded creative team and a hardworking cast of nearly 100, this production of The Wizard of Oz will absolutely be one to remember. Celebrate this landmark anniversary with your friends and family when The Wizard of Oz plays Starlight, June 10-16. Tickets available online, by calling 816-363-7827, or by visiting the box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, Mo., 64114.
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