Drag production of 'Wizard of Oz' at Hole in the Wall this weekend

Published on Thursday, 6 July 2017 20:45
Written by Angie DeRosa

Staff Writer

NEW BRITAIN-For this weekend only, Hole in the Wall Theater presents the “The Wizard Of Oz,” featuring an all drag cast for a family friendly production.

This is the first time in a licensed production of the classic story that a male actor will perform as Dorothy.

Ben Orlando, who is better known by his stage name Summer Orlando, will play the leading part.

“It’s a huge honor to be recognized as the first male actor (in this role),” Orlando said. He always loved Dorothy and the “The Wizard of Oz,” but was told he could never play the part because “it’s a girl role.”

Now that he gets to play Dorothy he said he can prove those people wrong, and show other kids or people that they should still try out for roles they want regardless of their gender.

Orlando also directed the hour-long production.

“I wanted to introduce drag to an all-age family-friendly venue as an art form instead of performance base,” he said.

Orlando said he designed the show the same way one would see at Disney World; a spectacle with lots of bright colors, dancing and costumes.

He also said that some of the characters are even played by kids as young as 8 years old which shows that “children and drag queens can get along.”

“It’s not a hazardous environment and it will show we’re just like everyone else, performers wise,” Orlando said.

There will only be four shows beginning on Friday at 8 p.m., then Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

“Guests can expect anything and everything they would in a production of the ‘The Wizard of Oz,”’ said Orlando. “They’ll get to see all the same characters they know and love.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. Prices are $25 for adults, $15 for seniors, students and kids 12 and under, and children under 5 get in for free.

Proceeds from the ticket sales will go towards a scholarship to benefit students in need to be able to attend an arts program in honor of Sassie Saltimbocca - a Connecticut drag queen who passed away of cancer a couple of years ago.

The theater is located on 116 Main St. and has a BYOB policy. Parking is available in the garage on Chestnut Street (next to the police station) for free.

For more information visit hitw.org or call 860-223-9665.

Angie DeRosa can be reached at 860-801-5063 or aderosa@centralctcommunications.com.

Posted in New Britain Herald, , General News, New Britain on Thursday, 6 July 2017 20:45. Updated: Thursday, 6 July 2017 20:48.