Professional Equity Play Feb. 21- Mar. 9, 2014
The Wizard of Oz Nov. 23-Dec. 9, 2012 Sitnik Theater of the
Lackland Center Professional Equity Theatre
Audiences can begin the holiday season with a family classic brought to life in this musical extravaganza at the Sitnik
Theatre in the David and Carol Lackland Center starting Thanksgiving weekend. Featuring a cast of 50 actors on the
stage, The Wizard of Oz is a musical tradition following the story of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Lion
and Toto, too.
These beloved characters visit Hackettstown on their way to the Emerald City, as CSC presents the ROYAL SHAKESPEARE
COMPANY’S (RSC) adaptation by Frank Gabrielson and John Kane, with Music and Lyrics from the MGM motion picture
score by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg. The RSC said this adaptation came about when the Artistic Director of the company
asked for a show that could be performed annually over the Christmas season, so this show is especially made for families
to celebrate the holiday season. Artistic Director Carl Wallnau stated, “You only have to say the title of the
show to people, and a smile comes on their face.”
Saquan Williams (Hoboken) as "Scarecrow," McKenzie
Custin (Bethlehem, PA) as "Dorothy," and Nick
Ardito-Martelli (Hackettstown) as "Tinman"
Jeremy Hilgert (Delaware Water Gap, PA) as "Lion"
Munchkin Land Song and Dance
Collen Smith-Wallnau (Hoboken) as "Wicked Witch
of the West," Saquan Williams (Hoboken) as "Scarecrow,"
Nick Ardito-Martelli (Hackettstown) as "Tinman," and
McKenzie Custin (Bethlehem, PA) as "Dorothy"
Other Holiday Activities!
The dining hall at the Lackland Center will also host a special Yule Fest dinner
($12.50) before the show dates on Saturday, December 1st and 8th and a brunch ($10.00) on Sunday,
December 2nd and 9th. There will be different vendors from the community also set up selling special
holiday gifts so that audiences can get an opportunity to catch up on their holiday shopping.
The Friday, November 30th performance of The Wizard of Oz will coincide
with Hackettstown’s Hometown Holiday Celebration, which will include the arrival of Santa in a
horse-drawn sleigh, horse-drawn carriage rides between Centenary and the Holiday Gazebo, a parade featuring
the Colonial Musketeers, performances by local choirs and a holiday bazaar. For more information on
the celebration, visit the Hackettstown Business Improvement District Web site at: Hackettstown’s
Hometown Holiday Celebration Details
Adapted by: Frank Gabrielson and John Kane Music and Lyrics of the MGM motion picture score by:
Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg
This production includes lively dance routines and familiar songs such as the Academy Award-winning song “Somewhere Over
the Rainbow” as well as an added show-stopping dance number, “The Jitterbug,” which was edited out
from the original movie. Directed and choreographed by Broadway, film, and television veteran Michael Blevins, The
Wizard of Oz features a cast of 50 actors from the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. This holiday musical is meant
as a way to celebrate all the programs of the Centenary Stage, including talents from professional Equity actors as
well as members of the acclaimed Young Performers Workshop, Centenary theatre students, and local performers.
"... a truly entertaining show to see for the holidays... [Centenary Stage Company's production]... you'll
find an enchanting show that will
have you singing and smiling all the way home."
"...the audience is in for a delightful evening of story and song and dance."
"Director/Choreographer Michael Blevins... a very daunting task... did a fabulous
job of casting and staging it."
"Set design by Will Rothfuss...very effective..."
"Costumes by Julia Sharp... very reminiscent of the film version, but with some interesting
"The actors [comparing to the original film - deliver the memory
of the iconic performers or do it differently] have done a little of both to
"Saquan Williams... Hunk/Scarecrow ...a very talented dancer and singer... really carries the role
quite well... a joy to watch.
"Ardito-Martelli... Hickory/Tin Woodsman... quite funny... sings well too... mostly he is a fine tap
dancer who commands the stage
very well for his dance. Bravo."
"The very talented Colleen Smith-Wallnau... really good Almira Gultch/Wicked Witch of the West...
really gets into the wickedness of
this character and makes the role her own."
"McKenzie Custin... really looks a lot like the young Garland... sounds like her, moves like her, smiles
like her... sings like her...
was wonderful as was each song she sang... really evoked the spirit of Garland,
which is no small task."
"Jeremy William Hilgert... Zeke/Cowardly Lion... a lovable Cowardly Lion... sounds and moves like a mirror
image of the Bert Lahr
character we all know and love... performance is nearly flawless and his timing excellent.
"These two [Custin and Hilgert] really make the show in a production that has a lot of real talent in
"Lea Antolini-Lid as Aunt Em... does a lot of the dancing in the ensemble numbers and is very good throughout
all of those numbers."
"Jessica Rzucidlo as Glinda the Good Witch... enter and exit in the coolest way on a circular
swing that very cleverly evokes the bubble
we remember her riding in the film... voice is sweet and she is
delightful to watch."
"... funniest scene stealer is Nestor... stern guard at the gate to Oz... does a wonderful job of blustering
and sputtering and then melting
as he falls for the sad tale... charming and quite comical... really stands
out in what is really quite a minor part.
"... the production boasts a delightful ensemble cast..."
"... some very charming talent in the Centenary Young Performers..."
"Some of the more interesting staging elements in this production are done with dance elements. First
the tornado... Then later when
Glinda sends snow down to counter the sleep effect of the poppies... elements
add so much to the show and are well executed and
very entertaining... Another fun dance... our heroes encounter
the diabolical Jitterbugs sent by the witch... a terrific dancing scene that
is perfectly staged and executed
"There is so much to love about this story and there is also much to love about this particular production
of this timeless favorite. Don't
miss it because there's really no place like Oz and no better production
of it." Janine M. Torsiello,
Morris Beats [Full Review]
"...Centenary Stage Company’s production is well equipped
when it comes to certain essentials."
"The Tin Man may not have a heart, but with an enthusiastic troupe of performers tackling classic songs
such as "Over the Rainbow" and "We’re Off to See the Wizard," the show sure does."
"...it’s not hard to detect the thoughtfulness and creativity of Michael Blevins’ direction
"...with a cast of 50, elaborate visual dreamscapes and a few characters in flight..."
"Young audiences, in particular, will delight in seeing a live version of the iconic film."
"McKenzie Custin... is a wholesome Dorothy... voice has a lovely gentle quality and she adeptly mixes belt
and legit singing..."
"Saquan Williams’... Scarecrow... flexible, energetic dancing..."
"Jeremy William Hilgert... the Lion... boasts an attractive, authoritative tenor"
"Colleen Smith-Wallnau gleefully commands the stage as the Wicked Witch of the West..."
"Jessica Rzucidlo sings with brightness and notable stamina as her counterpart Glinda."
"Stephen Davis earns laughs in a slick performance as the Wizard."
"Julia Sharp creates costumes for each of these... with vivid imagination."
"Of the Munchkins, those singled out to represent the Lullaby League and the Lollipop Guild — that
latter is a group of boys flexing
their muscles in black T-shirts and gold chains — deserve their extra
"Designer Will Rothfuss’ sets bring to life an elaborate, colorful Munchkinland..."
"The theatrical flying service Flying by the Foy, in its first collaboration with CSC, ensures safe journeys
through the air." Ronni
Reich, The Star-Ledger [Full
Review title "Review: Centenary Stage Company's wonderful 'Wizard
"...delightful holiday season offering.
"...a joyous, highly entertaining all-family event that will charm the adults and "wow" the junior
"...is beautifully directed and choreographed by... Michael Blevins... a surprisingly faithful recreation
of the classic MGM film... has this
large cast dancing at almost every turn... a spirited, enthusiastic collection
of dance numbers..."
"The dance highlight is a number that was cut from the original movie 'The Jitterbug'... was crowned the
number one movie musical song
of the 20th Century, the Academy Award-winning 'Over The Rainbow.'... a particularly
fine presentation by the very impressive young
lady who is Dorothy Gale-McKenzie Custin... not only has a beautiful
voice, but is a fine, charming actress who does the magic red
"[Dorothy] is ably assisted by the big scene stealer....Toto... appears to be a (white) Bichon Frise."
"Blevins... has nicely cast the leading roles...
"...a perfect Aunt Em is ... Lea Antolini-Lid"
"Carl Wallnau is naturally fine as the Kansas farmer Uncle Henry."
"The three farmhands are all standout performers...Nick Ardito-Martelli demonstrates his tap-dancing talent
as Hickory and the Tin
Woodsman, Saquan Williams excels as Hunk and the "boneless" Scarecrow and the
equity pro Jeremy William Hilgert is beyond
perfect, if possible, as Zeke and the Cowardly Lion."
"Miss Almira Gultch and the Wicked Witch of the West are played with proper nastiness by Broadway veteran
Colleen Smith Wallnau."
"Steven Davis is spot-on as Professor Marvel and the Wizard."
"It is the obvious pleasure each of these actors is having that adds greatly to the over all enjoyment of
this fine version of The Wizard of Oz."
"Music is ably provided by a ten member orchestra led by music director Kevin Lynch."
"One of the highlights of this production is the flying of the the Witches, the Wizard and the monkeys,
a first for the Centenary
Stage Company... the work of the highly repected theatrical flying service Flying by
"Again, if you are ready for a perfect fun event for the holiday season a visit to the comfortable Sitnik
Theatre...will not disappoint... It
was a delight to visit Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Lion and Toto,
too, in Hackettstown." Rick
Busciglio, New Jersey Footlights [Full
"Centenary Stage Co. ...haven’t held anything back in their
current holiday extravaganza, The Wizard of Oz..."
"...the third year running a holiday event perfectly conceived for the whole family."
"With a cast of about 50, a live orchestra, superb scenery, lighting and special effects and flying witches (as well as a
airborne characters), it is doubtless the flashiest entertainment seen in Hackettstown since the Lackland Center for
the Arts opened here
three years ago."
"this is a professional production. Several in the cast are Actors Equity members..."
"...the young actors, singers and dancers from the college’s Young Performers Workshop...the Munchkins...acquit themselves
beautifully. Ditto with the performers from the college’s theater and dance departments"
"Saquan Williams, a Centenary junior, whose comic sense and apparently rubber limbs enable him to steal almost every scene
he is in
as he portrays the Scarecrow."
"Actually all the performances are right on target. McKenzie Custin... is a delight as Dorothy... is possessed of an absolutely
singing voice and, hard as it is to believe, her rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” will not make
you crave the iconic Garland."
"Nick Ardito-Martelli turns in some smooth tap-dancing... the Tinman"
"Jeremy William Hilgert is a lovable Cowardly Lion."
"Probably my favorite portrayal... is the marvelous Colleen Smith Wallnau... a perfectly lovely woman who nevertheless seems born
play the Wicked Witch of the West... flies through the air on her broomstick, cackling with malevolent glee to everyone’s
"Toto... CSC has the amazing good fortune to have cast a four-month-old puppy named Magic... in the role...He behaved perfectly
on opening night despite the mayhem around him."
"The show is directed and gorgeously choreographed by Michael Blevins... large-scale dance numbers have a slightly psychedelic
"... [dancers] beautiful costumes designed by Julia Sharp have a surreal quality)."
"So great songs, good acting, beautiful dancing, superb scenery, special effects and aerial spectacle make this show a real
"And you don’t get to see a real theatrical spectacle every day. Highly recommended!" Sheila
Abrams, nj arts maven [Full Review]
The Wizard of Oz - Short Video
The Wizard of Oz Photo Gallery
Select any image for closer view
and arrow through larger images
YPW Alum and Montclair State University Theatre student McKenzie Custin (Bethlehem, PA) is Dorothy. Scarecrow will be
portrayed by Saquan Williams (Hoboken), Tinman will be played by local tap-dancing talent Nick Ardito-Martelli (Hackettstown)
and the Cowardly Lion will be portrayed by Equity actor Jeremy Hilgert (Delaware Water Gap, PA). Other CSC performers
include Equity Actor Lea Antolini-Lid (Sparta) as Auntie Em, Artistic Director and Equity actor Carl Wallanau (Hoboken)
as Uncle Henry and Drew University Theatre Alum Jessica Rzucidlo (Parsippany) as Glinda. Rounding off the cast is Broadway
(Crazy For You) and Regional Theatre veteran Colleen Wallnau (Hoboken) as the Wicked Witch. And Toto will be played by
Magic, dog of cast member Anthony Zas (Hackettstown). Magic and Anthony’s mom, Jacqueline Boelens, was excited
to lend this young pup’s talents to the show and stated, “I wish I was that famous at four months old.”
Flying by Foy, one of the most prolific and widely-respected theatrical flying services in the world, headquartered in
Las Vegas, has come to execute the flying of the Witches, the Wizard, the monkeys, and more, creating a spectacle not
to be missed and a first for Centenary Stage Company. When asked how she felt about being flown high above the stage
as the Wicked Witch of the West, Ms. Wallnau said, “I am no stranger to aerial endeavors as, before becoming an
actress, I was the first female installer, climbing telephone poles, for Bell Telephone in inner-city Trenton.”
The Wizard of Oz is sponsored in part by Restaurant Village in Long Valley and Hackettstown Regional Medical Center.
The Centenary Stage Company is a not-for-profit professional equity theatre, in residence at Centenary College, dedicated
to serving as a cultural resource for audiences of the Skylands Region with professional music, theatre and dance events
and arts education programs throughout the year.
The Wizard of Oz is appropriate for age 5 and older (Children under the age of 5 will not be admitted)
Children under the age of 5 are not permitted into the professional CSC main
stage productions. However, they are permitted to CSC’s Young
Audience and Family Fun Series productions
for age-appropriate performances.
Patrons are encouraged to check the age recommendation for individual shows.
Photo clockwise from left: Jeremy Hilgert (Delaware Water Gap, PA) as “Lion,” Saquan
Williams (Hoboken) as “Scarecrow,” Nick Ardito-Martelli (Hackettstown) as “Tinman,”
McKenzie Custin (Bethlehem, PA) as “Dorothy,” and Magic Zas, the Dog
(Hackettstown) as “Toto” [Photo
Credit: Pat Lanciano]
Photo L-R: Lea Antolini (Sparta) as “Auntie Em,” McKenzie Custin (Bethlehem, PA)
as “Dorothy,” Jeremy
Hilgert (Delaware Water Gap, PA) as “Zeke/Lion,” and Nick Ardito-Martelli
(Hackettstown) as “Hickory/Tinman”
[Photo Credit: Pat Lanciano]
The Wizard of Oz opens Friday, November 23rd and will run until December 9th. Tickets range from $20-$29.50
with discounts for students and seniors. Every Thursday night is “Family Night,” which offers a
2-for-1 rush ticket price when purchased at the door. Performance times are Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays
and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm. There are also 2pm matinees on Friday, November 23rd (preview)
and Wednesday, November 28th. There is a 10am school matinee on Wednesday, December 5th.
The Centenary Stage Company moved to the Carol and David Lackland Center (located at 715 Grand
Ave, Hackettstown) in August, 2010. With a 22,000-square-foot performance space, the facility is the most sophisticated
performing arts venues in northwest New Jersey. The center includes a new state-of-the-art 500-seat theatre (Sitnik Theater),
a black box theater (The Edith Bolte Kutz ’42 Theater), a dance studio, scene shop, a costume shop, green room and dressing
rooms. In addition to housing the theatre, the 68K square foot Lackland Center is home to a variety of cultural activity, and
including WNTI, the College's listener-supported public radio station, CCTV, Centenary's Comcast-licensed television studio,
and gallery space for visual artists.
Named in honor of Carol Burgess Lackland, A Centenary graduate (Class of 1954), and her husband, David A. Lackland, a Centenary
College Trustee, The David and Carol Lackland Center, has been designed to enrich student life and bring new cultural opportunities
to northwest New Jersey. ...more(including photos, progress reports, and 'Tour Lackland with Carl')
Lackland Center Seating
Sitnik Lower Level Seating Seats assigned on a best available basis.
Seating Seats assigned on a best available basis.
Tickets for The Mousetrap are available for purchase online using our Secure
Online Ticketing, by calling (908)979-0900 or in person at the Lackland Center. See full details on our 'How
To Order' page. To purchase tickets or to find more information
on other performances in the 2012-2013 season, see our Web site, www.centenarystageco.org or
call (908) 979-0900. Patrons are encouraged to check the age recommendations for individual shows.
Subscription Flex Passes:
Golden Flex Pass (all 25 events incl. Curtain Up & Family Series)
Pick Ten Flex Pass (any ten events)
Pick Seven Flex Pass (any seven events)
Pick Five (Any five events)
FLEX PASSES ARE FOR CSC EVENTS ONLY AND DO NOT INCLUDE BLUES BASH OR
NUTCRACKER. YOU DO NOT NEED TO CHOOSE FLEX PASS EVENTS IN ADVANCE.
Individual Tickets Individual Tickets are:
Theatre Plays (Except Wizard of Oz)
Matinees/Fridays Adult $25.00 Sr/Stu $22.50 Child under 12
Saturday Adult $27.50 Sr/Stu $25.00 Child under 12 $17.50
Thursday (Family Night) ALL SEATS $25.00
Wizard of Oz
Matinees/FridaysAdult $27.50 Sr/Stu $25.00 Child under 12 $20.00
Saturday Adult $29.50 Sr/Stu $27.50 Child under 12 $20.00
Thursday (Family Night) ALL SEATS $27.50
$3.50 Handling Fee on Total Individual Ticket Orders
For details and print order form, please see 'How
Season Concert/Dance Events(in advance):
Concerts and Special Events
ROBERT KLEIN Orchestra $40.00 Balcony $35.00
Orchestra plus pre-show reception $55.00
VIP $100.00 (Includes post-show reception with artist) *
Donna McKechnie ALL SEATS $35.00 Advance ($40.00 day of event)
New Jersey Ballet Adult $27.50 Sr/Stu $25.00 Child under 12 $15.00
Le Vent du Nord Adult $25.00 Sr/Stu $22.50 Child under 12 $17.50
Kathy Kosins Adult $22.50 Sr/Stu $20.00 Child under 12 $15.00
Hot Club of Detroit Adult $25.00 Sr/Stu $22.50 Child under 12 $17.50
Limited to 60 people; tickets available only via the Box Office
Limited to 50 people; Contact CSC for Workshop Details
Children under the age of 5 are not permitted into the professional CSC main stage productions.
However, they are permitted
to CSC’s Young Audience and Family
Fun Series productions for age-appropriate performances.
Patrons are encouraged to check the age recommendation
for individual shows.
ALL CONCERT TICKET PRICES ADD $5.00 DAY OF PERFORMANCE.
$3.50 Handling Fee on Total Individual Ticket Orders
For details and print order form, please see 'How To Order.'
Senior: age is 65+
Student: anyone who can prove full-time student classification (ID may be required for verification
purposes) no matter the institution (whether it's High School or College)