Theatre In Chicago      
Your Source For What's On Stage In Chicago 

   Quick Search
Search by date:

  The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz at Chopin Theatre

The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz

Chopin Theatre
1543 W. Division Chicago

This slightly darker and more modern take on L. Frank Baum's beloved classic amplifies the story's moodier, more complex undertones while still celebrating the colorful and playful world we know and love. When a twister lands our teenage Dorothy in Munchkinland, right atop a wicked witch, Glinda and the Munchkins send her off to Emerald City wearing magical red boots stained by the blood of the slain witch. Teaming up with a one-day-old Scarecrow, a heartbroken Tin Woodsman and a guilt-ridden Cowardly Lion, Dorothy may have to live up to her violent new nickname, "Witch Slayer," in exchange for a return ticket to Kansas. Featuring live music, giant puppets and flying monkeys hoisted into the air, your journey down the yellow brick road comes with dazzling spectacle and richer themes in this modern twist at Chicago's Chopin Theatre.

Thru - May 7, 2017

Price: $15-$45

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

Box Office: 773-769-3832

Running Time: 2hrs; one intermission

Nearby Restaurants

  The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...The target audience probably is your Wicker Park post-collegiate millennial, someone who appreciates the regressive pleasures of a classic story also gaining some intensifying social, feminist and emotional consciousness. But "The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz" is a very interesting choice for your family theatergoing - assuming your kids are at least 11 years old or so."
Read Full Review

Chris Jones

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Revived by the House Theatre of Chicago, which premiered it in 2005, Phillip Kapperich's stage version of the L. Frank Baum classic is inventive, amusing, familiar without getting slavish about it, and just arch enough to be hip without spoiling things. AnJi White is Marvels Comics sleek rather than Margaret Hamilton shriveled as the evil witch. Joe Steakley is sweet and fey as that original friend of Dorothy, Toto. But Christine Mayland Perkins is the luckiest cast member: her Scarecrow gets to build a brain of her own, delightfully, from scratch."
Read Full Review

Tony Adler

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...It's also rewarding to see how far the House's theatrical capabilities have come over the last dozen years, as well as when they remember to keep it simple. Witness the climactic attack of the flying monkeys, which sends actors soaring over our heads in a space where that feels like it should be impossible, even as we're in full view of all the ropes and run crew. They may have heftier budgets these days, but the House is still at its best when it makes us believe in wizardry even while we're seeing behind the curtain."
Read Full Review

Kris Vire

ChicagoCritic - Somewhat Recommended

"...Nevertheless, this lack of an establishing premise renders The House's two-hour long adaptation very long indeed. The spectacle of effects is amazing and would, I think, delight children; the acting is spirited, cute, and totally within the fantastical world of Oz. But the story itself, so told, feels meaningless and disappointingly boring: with so much imagination already on the stage, what this production lacks is a sharper focus in the script."
Read Full Review

August Lysy

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Featuring a dexterous and multi-talented ensemble lead by Kara Davidson as Dorothy, "Oz" is very much a group effort. It's pleasures increase exponentially with each additional personality from Christine Mayland Perkins' pitch perfect Scarecrow to the strutting badassery of AnJi White's Witch of the West. And while the laughs are many (thanks in large part to Perkins though the energetic ad libbing of the Ozian chorus is also a constant delight) there are also candid moments of effective sentimentality, notably the slideshow presentation of Dorothy's life by Toto (Joey Steakley)."
Read Full Review

Kevin Greene

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...Recommended for everyone, from children, ages 10 and up, to adults hungering for an escapist, two-act fantasy that’s unique yet familiar, this restaged production from twelve years ago is fresh and full of unexpected humor. Tommy Rapley’s dynamic production takes L. Frank Baum’s timeless children’s classic, written back in 1900, into the 21st century. With cell phones, powerpoint presentations, blue jeans and cowboy boots, this dark, funny, multimedia version of one of kiddy-lit’s most beloved stories is a production that put The House Theatre of Chicago on the map. Just follow the Yellow Brick Road once again to bewitching enchantment and be prepared to be astounded."
Read Full Review

Colin Douglas

The Fourth Walsh - Recommended

"...Klapperich also cleverly adds depth. He expands on what it means to have a home, brain, heart, courage. The familiar fantasy kicks off with Dorothy (played by Kara Davidson) applying to a school. She is trying to convince the school panel – White, Benjamin Sprunger (Oz), de la Guardia – that she knows who she is, what she wants and where she is going. A school admission process is a nice contemporary twist to represent Dorothy’s not feeling she belongs. Klapperich layers in plenty of one-to-grow-on learning moments for all the principals."
Read Full Review

Katy Walsh

Picture This Post - Somewhat Recommended

"...If there is one reason to see The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz, it is for its committed approach to pushing the limits of typical storefront theatrics. From the gargantuan Kalidah to puppet crows and wolves, it is clear that director Tommy Rapley has chosen to emphasize spectacle above all else in his production. This decision is made no clearer than in the scene featuring an attack on the party of travelers by the Witch of the West's fearsome winged monkeys. Despite The House's small playing space, several actors are flown through the air, performing chaotic acrobatic maneuvers inches above audience members. The short-lived, though exhilarating scene is the high point of the production, heightening the tension while in service to the story."
Read Full Review

Brent Ervin-Eickhoff

  The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

Twitter Follow Us On Twitter