By Nick Beversdorf
Although the weather would indicate otherwise, spring is in full swing and with every spring season we have the annual Merrill High School musical. This year’s musical is called “The Wiz,” a modern take on the 1902 Broadway musical “The Wizard of Oz,” which is based on the 1900 novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”
The musical includes performances from a wide variety of characters, including Dorothy (Maggie Holdorf), Scarecrow (Emily Schroeder), Tinman (Will Leischer), Lion (Jerry Boquist), and The Wiz himself (Cole Severt). Many other students have well-known roles in the musical, which include Aunt Em & Uncle Henry, the Munchkins, the Flying Monkeys and the Emerald Citizens, among many others. A full cast list can be read at the end of this article.
“I am really excited about this musical,” comments producer Amy Grefe. “The students have been working really hard and it is paying off. It is coming along really well and I have no doubt it will be amazing when we start the live performances.”
Grefe goes one to say that unlike other recent plays and musicals, all of the direction and choreography has been done by the students in conjunction with the musical directors – no outside help was needed. She also notes that this musical is noticeably larger than those in past years.
“We started auditioning right after Christmas,” Grefe adds. “Soon after, we started putting things together and we realized how huge of a production this was.”
No musical would be complete without music, and band director Kevin Short delivers with a stellar group of student musicians, including those from others schools like Stevens Point.
Performances take place on April 7th, 8th, & 9th at 7 p.m. in the Merrill High School auditorium. Tickets are $8 per adult and $6 per student and they can be purchased at Lee’s Piggly Wiggly, Dave’s County Market, the MHS cashier’s office or at the door.
This is a must-see musical with colorful costumes and dramatic dances that will enthrall you with both sight and sound, and it has plenty of humor to boot. So make sure you’re off to see “The Wiz!”
Aunt Em – Morgan Sondelski
Dorothy – Maggie Holdorf
Uncle Henry – Nathan Francour
Tornado Ballet – Keia Woller, Morgan Bloch, Jayda Bushor, Anna Skoviera
Muchkins – Amiee Black, Amber Skiff, Gwen Wheat, Erin Lemke, Katy Ball, Stevie Boother, Bailey Iwen, Emma Jaeger, Izzy Prebeg, Molly Rydeski, Emily Weix, Livi Wheat
Appaperle – Sierra Severt
Yellow Brick “Chicks” – Alexis Lofy, Ashley Sarasin, Miranda Vosburg, Faith Wheat
Scarecrow – Emily Schroeder
Crows – Abe Acky, Nathan Francour, Mason Gebert, Matthew Myszkak, Tristen Prebeg, Mark Thompson
Tinman – Will Leischer
Lion – Jerry Boquist
Kalidahs – Mason Gebert, Matthew Myszkak, Tristen Prebeg, Mark Thompson
Poppies – Morgan Bloch, Jayda Bushor, Anna Skoviera, Keia Woller
Mouse Cops – Cate Murray, Liz Weix
Gate Keeper – Tristen Prebeg
The Wiz – Cole Severt
Emerald Citizens – Morgan Bloch, Jayda Bushor, Mason Cleveland, Anna Skoviera, Xander Bienfang, Eliana Emmer, Nathan Francour, Sarah Gessler, Becca Leander, Tristen Prebeg, Jennisa Strand, Matthew Strebig, Makayla Taylor, Emily Weix, Gwen Wheat, Keia Woller
Evillene – Michelle Tlusty
Lord High Underling – Mark Thompson
Winkies – Abe Akey, Sarah Gessler, Katy Ball, Amiee Black, Steview Booher, Desirae Hoff, Mason Gebert, Marissa Gutsch, Bailey Iwen, Emma Jeager, Erin Lemke, Cate Murray, Hannah Proulx, Izzy Prebeg, Molly Rydeski, Amber Skiff, Morgan Sondelski, Liz Weix, Livi Wheat
Winged Monkeys – Matthew Myszkak, Xander Bienfang, Mason Cleveland, Eliana Emmer, Jennisa Strand, Makayla Taylor
Glinda – Marissa Gutsch