Northwest NEWS

December 13, 1999


SCT brings imagination to life in 'Time Again in Oz'

by Deborah Stone

   The musical Time Again in Oz, based on Frank Baum's classic novel, Ozma of Oz, recently opened at Seattle Children's Theatre.

   Playwright Suzan Zeder and lyricist Richard Gray joined creative forces to make Zeder's play, Ozma of Oz, into a musical, and their collaboration has resulted in a delightfully imaginative production.

   Dorothy Gale, now a teenager, finds herself once again in the magical land of Oz. This time, she is accompanied by her Uncle Henry, now confined to a wheelchair, and his prize-winning chicken, Bill. The three were on a boat to Australia, and en route, a mysterious stranger entrusts Dorothy with a special key.

   When a storm tosses them overboard, they land in Oz: an Oz frozen in time and inhabited by various curious creatures. Dorothy uses the key on Tic Toc, a time-machine-man, to start time moving in Oz. She doesn't realize the consequences to her action and how it will wreak havoc in this strange land.

   Gnome King Roquat wants to force all of Oz to return to the Stone Age, and Princess Langwidere wants to have perpetual youth. They do not look kindly upon their new visitors' actions and view them as obstacles to their own ambitions and motivations.

   When Dorothy and her group are imprisoned, Dorothy, in an attempt to help her uncle, turns back the clock to a time when he was a healthy farmer and not an invalid. Roquat then kidnaps Uncle Henry and Tic Toc, and it is young Ozma, the rightful ruler of Oz, who comes to Dorothy's aid. However, in the end, Dorothy must conquer her own fear by using her heart and mind to free her uncle and save Oz.

   While taking audiences on an amazing adventure, Time Again in Oz reveals the importance of the intergenerational relationships that are a part of people's lives today. The characters in this play each have their own perspectives on time, and in the end, they see the value in each moment they spend doing what they love with those they love.

   As usual, SCT has assembled a talented cast who capably handles the demands of their roles. There are several familiar faces (Mark Anders, Jason Collins, Lisa Estridge-Gray, and Allen Galli) and a few fresh ones. The ensemble works well together and make the most of their roles (the majority of the actors have multiple roles). Their animated faces, strong voices, and obvious pleasure in performing their parts make the show a joy to watch.

   Time Again in Oz runs through Feb. 5. For ticket information, call 206-441-3322.