Sa­man­tha Dode­maide plays Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz

Time Out (Melbourne) - - THEATRE & DANCE -

An­thony War­low has top billing as the Wizard in An­drew Lloyd Web­ber’s stage ver­sion of The Wizard of Oz, but it’s ris­ing star Sa­man­tha Dode­maide who skips down the yel­low brick road at ev­ery per­for­mance. Af­ter un­der­study­ing in Any­thing Goes, A

Cho­rus Line and Sin­gin’ in the Rain, the young per­former got her break­through in this show. But there’s a shadow that still looms large over her per­for­mance: that of the lead­ing lady who made Dorothy fa­mous in the 1939 MGM film. “It wasn’t un­til I started do­ing a bit of pub­lic­ity and peo­ple kept talk­ing about step­ping into Judy Gar­land’s shoes that it re­ally hit home how well known and loved this role is,” she says. Dode­maide’s job is to make the char­ac­ter her own while hon­our­ing Gar­land’s legacy and also make the story trans­late to a 2,000-seat the­atre in 2018. And then there’s the chal­lenge of work­ing with the two dogs who al­ter­nate the role of Toto (and oc­ca­sion­ally up­stage her). “I’m such an an­i­mal lover, I’m a veg­e­tar­ian for that rea­son. But in my pocket I have to have bits of freshly cooked meat for the dogs.” The one thing I ad­mire most about Dorothy: “I love her courage. I love that she goes af­ter what she wants but also has kind­ness. It’s how I want to live my life.” Òre­gent The­atre, 191 Collins St, Mel­bourne 3000. 03 9299 9800. www.wiz­ard­o­fozthe­mu­si­cal.com. $59.90-$169.90. May 15-Jul 1.

“It’s like Black Mir­ror ex­cept you don’t want to slit your wrists at the end”

Cather­ine Davies in Go­ing­down

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