CGHS Wizard of Oz

Lena Neaveill (Glenda) and Allena Vest (Dorothy) rehearse for the Cerro Gordo High School annual musical, “The Wizard of Oz,” to be presented April 25-27. It will be in the current high school gym due to renovations taking place in the typical venue of the old gym.

The odds were stacked against this year’s Cerro Gordo High School spring musical, but thespians and staff have indeed proved that the show must go on.

With their usual venue under construction as the old gym is being converted into an auditorium, “The Wizard of Oz” will be presented in the new gym this weekend, even though that space is set up mostly for basketball games and lacks a stage. That means the stage will actually be the gymnasium floor, which has led to innovations like shower curtain backdrops and projector-generated scenery.

“We can’t secure our flats to the floor so we’ve made a do it yourself movie screen out of shower liners, and our creative band director (Wil Pritchard, also a play co-director) has made an awesome PowerPoint program with scenes that are projected on the screen,” said “retired” musical director Pam Grohmann, brought back to fill in this year while the district awaits its new music teacher this fall. “We also had to rent a projector and lights to make our sides out of black sheets.”

But things are coming together for the production, set for 7 p.m. April 25, 7:30 p.m. April 26 and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. April 27. Tickets will be available at the door.

About 50 students in grades five through 12 are in the cast.

“The munchkins are absolutely adorable, the actors and voices are outstanding,” said Grohmann, who said the thought of no show was never broached.

“If we didn’t have a show, the seniors would have been cheated out of a senior memory,” she added.

Depending on the performance, Allena Vest and Vanessa Gower are cast as Dorothy, with Sarina Larrick and Rebecca Maple as the wicked witch. Playing the part of Glenda are Lena Neaveill and Ella Walker.

The CGHS spring musical follows the 1938 movie closely, said Grohmann.

There will be a “Welcome to the Emerald City” party before Saturday’s matinee performance, where those through 12 years of age can meet the cast, play games, win prizes, get their faces painted and purchase baked goods from Aunt Em’s kitchen. There is a separate cost for the party.

Main cast members will include:

Dorothy – Vanessa Gower, Allena Vest

Scarecrow – Baylie Zientara, Sebastian Luthy

Tin Man – L.J. Allen, Erin Reed

Lion – Jacob Hayes

Wicked Witch – Rebecca Maple,Sarina Larrick

Good Witch – Lena Neaveill, Ella Walker

Auntie Em – MaCaylynn Gant, Ella Mann

Uncle Henry – Keegan Waterhouse

Oz – Logan Miller