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PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"


By John Posada

originally published: 08/20/2022

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

(HOLMDEL, NJ) --The Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater (AXCBT) is presenting the World Premiere of Artistic Director Gabriel Chajnik’s multi-media dance musical, The Lost Princess of Oz in the Pollak Theater at Monmouth University in Long Branch, NJ.  The production runs from Saturday, August 20 to Sunday, August 28 with at 7:30pm with nine performances in all. Photographer John Posada was on hand to take photos.

The production serves as a sequel to The Wizard of Oz and was conceived of, and directed and choreographed by Mr. Chajnik, with libretto by Shannon Hill based on two L. Frank Baum classics, The Lost Princess of Oz and Ozma of Oz. It continues the adventures of beloved characters Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Lion, Glinda the Good Witch of the North and the Wizard of Oz while introducing new characters including the Frogman, the Patchwork Girl and Tik-Tok. The Lost Princess of Oz follows the group as they search for Princess Ozma to recover the magic stolen from Oz. 

The cast features Asbury Park’s own chart-topping country duo, Reagan Richards and Gordon Brown of Williams Honor. Mr. Brown plays Frank L. Baum who sits on the stage writing the unfolding tale on his typewriter as it happens on stage. Ms. Richards narrates the tale as “Billina the Talking Hen.” 

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

The cast is comprised of AXCBT company members and students (ages 7+) from local dance studios. In addition to Ms. Richards and Mr. Brown, the professional cast includes Denzel Green as the Cowardly Lion, Paulo Gutierrez as the Scarecrow, Alyssa Harris as Caykee, Lindsey Jorgensen as the “dancing Billina,” Olivia Miranda as the Patchwork Girl, Jose Rojas as the Tin Man and John Wisienski as Ojo the Lucky, while Tuyaya Balzhieva and Gillian Worek and will alternate in the role of Glinda the Good Witch. Student dancers round out the cast including Lilakoi Grover and Alina Xio who alternate in the role of Dorothy; Scarlet Collins as Jellia Jam and AXCBT Trainee Deshon Parkman as Frogman. 

“I am honored to bring together such an incredible team. I have been envisioning creating a magical story about what happens next for Dorothy and her friends in Oz and our talented artists have created a show that will lead our audience on an enchanting and exhilarating journey,” said Mr. Chajnik. “It’s a fairy tale come to life and I am delighted it will be performed at Monmouth University in their beautifully renovated Pollak Theater.” 



 
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Andrew Black, who appeared in Anything Goes on Broadway created the tap numbers for Ms. Collins (Jellia Jam) and Mr. Wisieneski (Ojo the Lucky). 

Live music will be played at each performance by a musical ensemble which includes musicians selected by Maestro Jason Tramm to an Appalachian-inspired composition infused with country fiddles and bluegrass banjoes. “This production would not have been realized without the tremendous support of APAC Artistic Director Andrew DePrisco and AXCBT President Elise Feldman,” said Mr. Chajnik. “The resources they provide are invaluable and they inspire me to not only dream ‘big’ but also realize my vision. A special thanks also goes to New Music USA for funding the live music for this work.” 

Performances take place Saturday, August 20 at 7:30pm; Sunday, August 21 at 2:00pm; Sunday, August 21 at 7:00pm; Friday, August 26 at 7:30pm; Saturday, August 27 at 2:00pm; Sunday, August 28 at 2:00pm & 7:00pm. 

Here are more photos from the production.

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

PHOTOS from "The Lost Princess of Oz"

Ticket prices range from $20 to $55 and are available for purchase online or by calling 732.531.9106, extension 14. There is a $3.50 fee per ticket and an additional $3.50 convenience fee for credit card purchases. Student tickets are $18. 

Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Company’s production of The Lost Princess of Oz was supported by New Music USA’s New Music Organizational Development Fund. 

John Posada is a New Jersey based photographer specializing in live theatre and music performances. For more than 10 years, John has photographed live music events where he mastered the techniques of timing and capturing fast moving action under challenging lighting conditions to capture that perfect moment that tells a story in a single image. Currently, John has photographed over 110 productions for over 70 different theatres and venues. Click here for John's website.



 
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