By Brooks Reeves
Samuel Regueros as Toto, Gabriela Medina-Toledo as Dorotea (Photo: Danielle Fauteux Jacques)
The Emerald City is in Chelsea Square this summer! Actor/Playwright Brooks Reeves has set the beloved classic, The Wizard of Oz, in present day Chelsea, where Dorotea and her little dog too must face the Wicked Witch and her Flying Monkey Army in order to protect her family and the place they call home. This comic adaptation will be staged in the streets, parks, and by the fountain. Audiences will move with and be creators of the action of this immersive production.
The evening begins at 6:00 with Live Music, Performances, and Craft Brews at the pop-up BearMoose Beer Garden on Winnisimmet Street by the Chelsea Theatre Works. Guests are encouraged to enjoy dinner via take-out or delivery from Chelsea’s exciting culinary delights. And Your Little Dog Too, performed in a bilingual adaptation (English/Spanish), begins on stage at the Beer Garden at 7:30. The production is designed to engage English speaking and Spanish speaking audiences alike.
The cast of 22 is helmed by recent Boston University BFA graduate Gabriela Medina-Toledo as Dorotea, with current BU BFA student Samuel Regueros as Toto. Apollinaire favorites Brooks Reeves (The Importance of Being Earnest, The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, etc.), Paola Ferrer (Don’t Eat the Mangos, Romeo and Juliet, etc.) and Ann Carpenter (The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart, The Visit, etc.) are joining the cast as Tio Henry, Tia Emilia, and Glinda. The production also features additional stand-outs from last summer’s Romeo and Juliet. Alan Kuang (Tybalt) is returning as Lion and Ethan Williams (Mercutio) as Scarecrow.
Gabriela Medina-Toledo (Dorotea) is a first generation Mexican American Actress with extensive experience onstage, in front of and behind the camera. She studied Acting at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and at Boston University, where she received a BFA in Theatre Arts focusing on Performance with a Minor in Arts and Leadership and Concentration in Film & TV. She has received multiple nominations for her performances. Some of her notable work: Juliet in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Lorena Bobbit in Elaina Pipes’s Lorena: A Tabloid Epic, Joan in Caryl Churchill’s Far Away, and principal roles in the short films “Me or You” and “Seed Cede.”
Actor/Playwright Brooks Reeves is best known to Boston audiences for his outstanding acting work, including 12 shows with Apollinaire: The Importance of Being Earnest (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Ensemble), The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Ensemble), Romeo & Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Three Sisters, The Visit, Hamlet, Brilliant Adventures, Midsummer, From White Plains, Blood Wedding, and the Norton winning Stupid Fucking Bird. Brooks has worked with the Golddust Orphans (Legally Blind: The Hellen Keller musical), with Bridge Rep (Julius Caesar, The Libertine), Stoneham Theater (Neville’s Island), Company One (An Octaroon, Shockheaded Peter), Central Square Theater (Arabian Nights), Zeitgeist Stage (Love! Valour! Compassion!, Bent, Boys in the Band), Hub Theatre of Boston, Brown Box, Happy Medium, and Bad Habit Productions. He made his Boston area directing debut at Apollinaire with Winter Solstice by Roland Schimmelpfennig, and subsequently directed The Christians by Lucas Hnath in 2019 and Hir by Taylor Mac in February 2020. His play The City that Cried Wolf was produced in New York at 59E59 Theater.
Performances are FREE!
(No pre-registration required)
Performances are Fridays and Saturdays August 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 • Free! • Fri. & Sat. @ 7:30
Pre-show begins at 6:00 • BearMoose Beer Garden opens at 6:00, and will also be opening following the show until 10:30.
Chelsea Square • in the park & street by the
Chelsea Theatre Works, 189 Winnisimmet Street, Chelsea
The production will move through the street and the park in front of the Chelsea Theatre Works. Audiences will be on their feet following and joining the action. Run-time is about 90 minutes.