In celebration of their 25th anniversary, Freeport Players will present a lavish production of “The Wizard of Oz” from July 17 through 27. Audiences can expect to see fabulous costumes and sets, a giant talking Wizard head, a tornado, the Wicked Witch melting into the floor, the exciting revelation of “Technicolor” when Dorothy arrives in Oz, and more.
Making a special appearance on Sunday, July 20, at 12:30 p.m., before the 2 p.m. matinee performance, will be Willard Carroll, the world’s premier collector of original Wizard of Oz memorabilia and founding partner of the soon-to-open National Oz Museum.
Carroll will answer questions about his collection and the museum and will show a brief video. He began collecting Oz memorabilia as a child and now owns thousands of rare and one-of-a-kind items, including the hourglass used by the Wicked Witch, an original costume worn by one of the Lollipop Guild Munchkins, and a dress worn by Judy Garland.
With more than 200 hours of motion picture and television to his credit, Carroll is an Emmy Award-winning producer, writer, and director whose films include the all-star drama “Playing by Heart” and the musical comedy “Marigold.” As an author, his books include “I, Toto: The Autobiography of the Dog Who Was Toto.”
Together with Tom Wilhite, he has established the National Oz Museum to house the world’s most comprehensive collection of materials related to The Wizard of Oz. The museum will open in Camden, Maine, in the near future. For more information, see www.nationalozmuseum.com.
Performances of the play will take place at the Freeport Performing Arts Center, 30 Holbrook Street in Freeport, from July 17 to 27. The Friday and Saturday performances will be at 7 p.m. and the Sundays matinees will be at 2 p.m. The special Thursday, July 17 performance will be a pay-what-you-want preview at 7:30 p.m. Ticket prices for all other performances are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 18.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by mail (send check payment to Freeport Community Players, P.O. Box 483, Freeport, ME 04032); in person (at Freeport Community Services Thrift Shop); or online at www.fcponline.org.