Theater Info for Maryland

Toby’s Dinner Theatre The Wizard of Oz

By • Apr 18th, 2012 • Category: Reviews
The Wizard of Oz
Toby’s Dinner Theatre
Toby’s Dinner Theatre-Columbia, Columbia, MD
Through July 1st
2:15 with intermission
$48-53/$34.50 Children
Reviewed April 14th, 2012

In this day and age, every time there is a revival of an old show or a community or a professional theatre does a classic, they feel the need to make it better. Old beloved songs get an unnecessary facelift of runs and odd harmonies. Inexcusable ad-libs and pop culture references are added to the point where everything pure and original is lost.

So a big thank you to Toby’s Dinner Theatre and Director David James, who masterfully deliver us this beloved classic without changing a thing, adding theatrical magic, and never losing the heart and message of the show and still keeping it fun, fresh, and exiting.

The cast for the most part is outstanding. Julia Lancione (Dorothy) does a superb job! Appearing physically as the iconic Dorothy we all know and love but making the role her absolute own with incredible vocals and tender emotions. David James (Hunk/Scarecrow) shines as the fumbling, bendable simpleton. He is a masterful dancer and has spot-on comical timing. David Gregory (Hickory/Tinman) is truly touching; Gregory spends most of the show downplaying the role, which works perfectly. David Bosley Reynolds (Zeke/Cowardly Lion) is brilliant. Having perfected the role, Reynolds once again somehow gives us a traditional, expected, anticipated performance but makes it fresh and his very own. Jeffery Shankle (Professor Marvel/Guard/The Wizard) is very likable and energetic with a beautiful tenor voice; the only thing that was missing in my opinion was the warmth of the character. Tina DeSimone (Almira Gulch/Wicked Witch of the West) makes great effort; although, she never quite reaches the necessary lever of wickedness that one expects of the role. However, I may say my 8-year old son and every other young child in the audiences shivered and jumped back every time she appeared. Heather Marie Beck (Glinda the Good Witch) fulfils most expectations of the role but appears to hold back and chose to play the role more somber and monotone. The ensemble is stellar! They play every other role in the show, from munchkins to trees and poppy flowers. They are the backbone of the show with amazing dances and scene transitions. The Tornado sequence from Kansas to Oz was brilliant.

As always, Toby’s offers amazing Broadway-quality costumes, set pieces, lighting, and props. Toby’s delivers a piece of nostalgia that will truly have you saying “There’s no place like home!”


  • Dorothy Gale: Julia Lancione
  • Aunt Em: Vicki Winter
  • Uncle Henry/General Winkie: Samn Huffer
  • Hunk/Scarecrow: David James
  • Hickory/Tinman: David Gregory
  • Zeke/Cowardly Lion: David Bosley Reynolds
  • Almira Gulch/Wicked Witch Of The West: Tina Desimone
  • Profesor Marvel/Guard/The Wizard: Jeffrey Shankle
  • Glinda The Good Witch: Heather Marie Beck
  • Mayor Of Munchkin City: Alan Hoffman
  • The Barrister: Coby Kay Callahan
  • City Father: Samn Huffer
  • The Coroner: Jimmy Biernatowski
  • The Lullaby League: Jesica Ball, Gracie Jones, Coby Kay Callahan
  • The Lollipop Giuld: Ray Hatch, Chris Rudy, Jeffery Shankle
  • The Crows: Ray Hatch, Chris Rudy, Jeffrey Sahnkle
  • Apple Tree: Jesica Ball, Gracie Jones, Coby Kay Callahan
  • The Monkeys: Nikko And Nikkolette: Chris Rudy, Amy Sonntag
  • Poppies: Jesica Ball, Cody Cooley, Jimmy Biernatowski, Ray Hatch, Gracie Jones, Chris Rudy, Vicki Winter, Tegan Williams
  • Ozians: Jesica Ball, Ray Hatch, Cody Cooley, Jimmy Biernatowski, Coby Kay Callahan, Allan Hofman, Chris Rudy, Gracie Jones, Vicki Winter, Samn Huffer, Amy Sonntag, Tegan Williams
  • Jitterbugs: Jesica Ball, Ray Hatch, Heather Beck, Vicki Winter, Jimmy Biernatowski, Tegan Williams


  • Conductor/Keys One: Ross Scott Rawlings, Douglas Lawler
  • Keyboard Two: Ann Prizzi, Ed Myers
  • Reeds/Woodwinds: Charlene Mcdaniel, Steve Haaser, Stacey Antoine
  • Trumpet: Tony Neenan
  • Trombone: Jay Ellis, Griz Gifford, Dan Pendley
  • Percussion: Jack Loercher, Aaron Holnes

Production Staff

  • Director: David James
  • Musical Director: Ross Scott Rawlings
  • Choreographer: Paula Lynn
  • Set Designer: David A Hopkins
  • Costume Designer: Samn Huffer
  • Lighting Designer: Jimmy Engelkemier
  • Sound Designer: Drew Dedrick
  • Production Manger: Vickie S Johnson
  • Production Stage Manager: Kate Wackerle
  • Stage Manager: Drew Dedrick, Kate Wackerle
  • Technical Director: Jimmy Engelkemier
  • Master Carpenter: David A Hopkins
  • Set Construction: Corey Brown, David A Hopkins, Sarah Splaine, Russell Sunday
  • Propery And Set Dressing: Amy Kaplan
  • Light Board Operators: Coleen M Foley, Erin Mcdonald
  • Sound Operators: Drew Dedrick, Jimmy Engelkemier
  • Stage Crew: Laura Blasi, Jason Britt, Erin Macdonald

Disclaimer: Toby’s Dinner Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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worked for twenty years as a professional actor and director, as well as worked a myriad of other theatrical production roles at various levels. In recent years, he served as Artistic Director/President of STROyKA Theatre in Washington, DC. Roman privately teaches acting, voice, and piano and serves as a consultant to various groups and schools. His primary role is stay-at-home dad and full-time college student. He also directs the Voices Unlimited Youth Choir at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Bel Air, MD.