Way over the rainbow in Skaneateles

Community theater at its finest; 10th anniversary produces a 10.

Eons before the Harry Potter invasion, we as a nation had the "Wizard of Oz."

Thus it was wonderfully fitting for the Skaneateles Summer Theater (SST) to launch this classic fantasy with cast, musicians, crew and support staff of more than 150 people for its 10th anniversary year.

What a production!

Streams of people made their way up the slight incline to Skaneateles High School's air-conditioned auditorium last Thursday evening (the show was up for two long weekends). People from all walks of life were heading for a night of musical theater. Did they know someone in the mega cast? Were they looking to beat the heat wave? Had they fathered a munchkin? Was it just the pleasure of an evening out, an evening at the theater, an evening filled with live music? Was it a favorite show? These were some of the many reasons why Skaneateles and beyond gathered for three hours to make the trip first to Kansas and then to Oz and finally back again.

Is there anyone out there not familiar with Frank Baum's "Wizard of Oz?" If so, you are a rare breed. This is one book in a series that became the movie of the baby boomer's youth. It was the crown jewel that was paraded out once a year in a huge television special format.

It was much anticipated and a big night. It's been reincarnated in many formats since, including a cartoon and Broadway's "The Wiz."

"The Wizard of Oz" is a great story with a great message, cool special effects and lots of fantastic creatures including flying monkeys, winkies and munchkins. Other characters such as a scarecrow, a tin woodsman and a lion are able to interact with humans. And the forces of good and evil are played out between good and wicked old fashioned witches.

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