Live orchestra, unique special effects mark can’t miss performance in Luling

Scene from a stage production of the Wizard of Oz.

Wizard of Oz takes Lafon Center stage Oct. 4, 5 and 6

One of the most iconic and beloved tales will be told on stage next weekend at the Lafon Performing Arts Center in Luling, which is set to play host to lions, tigers and bears —  and witches, tin-men and flying monkeys at that—through a three day performance of The Wizard of Oz.

The professional production was designed by the team at Madison Square Garden and features a mix of talented actors, both professionals and youths among them, unique special effects and, of course, the timeless tale of Dorothy Gale, who is thrust into a quest to find the wizard himself after being whisked away from her Kansas home by a tornado and into the magical land of Oz.

The show will be held Oct. 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m. each night and Oct. 6 at 2 p.m.

“It’s a story everyone knows and loves, and we’re so excited to bring it to the area,” said Chris Melohn, director of the Lafon Arts Center. “It’s a really large scale, big, big performance.”

Melohn noted there will be flying effects — such as the wicked witch on her broom — and pyrotechnics, including on stage explosions. There will also be a live orchestra to set the atmosphere.

“I think the scale and caliber of what we’re doing is going to surprise people,” Melohn said. “This is truly unlike anything we’ve seen in the local area. It’s the kind of show you’d maybe have to pay hundreds of dollars downtown to see, and we have free parking and tickets that aren’t hundreds of dollars.”

When Melohn brought the cast together for a readthrough of the script and meet and greet, he asked those attending to share their favorite memories and moments from The Wizard of Oz, so he’d be able to calibrate expectations.

What he found was that, when it comes to this particular story, the memorable moments are there from start to finish.

“I took notes that day, and reading through … it was amazing, because they covered almost every moment of the show,” Melohn said. “Every single moment, people attach so many memories to it. We’re excited to have the opportunity to pay homage to it on stage, but to also add some things on our end that will surprise and delight people.”

The cast itself, he added, has been a treat to work with, and he feels audience members will connect with their performance.

“There’s such incredible talent, from Baton Rouge to New Orleans, but also right from here,” Melohn said. “I think it’s a truly fantastic cast.”

Tickets to each show range from $17 to $45 and can be purchased online at www.lafonartscenter.org or at the Lafon Center box office onsite.

 

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