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October 17, 2000

THE WIZ OF THE WEST BRINGS TWIST TO A CLASSIC TALE

LA CROSSE, Wis.—Missoula Children’s Theatre is performing an old classic with a new twist at the Viterbo Fine Arts Center on Saturday, Nov. 4.

The Wiz of the West, which features the performances of approximately 50 La Crosse area youth, will be held at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. as part of the Arts for Young America family series.

A unique retelling of "The Wizard of Oz," this tale follows Tinhorn, Lionel, Scared Crow, Dotty, and, of course, her little dog Mooch through a saga of Western adventure and personal discovery. First, they tangle with Mad Dog’s gang of bad, barkin’, back-bitin’ hounds who work for the meanest old witch in the West, Hawknose Halley. Then, they encounter the brainless Buzzards and the terrifying Tarantulas. The singin’ Coyotes help move things along while Ma and Pa Munch and the rest of the Munch Kin point out the way to Dr. Ozzy, the Wizard of Frontier Medicine.

Founded in 1970 by Jim Caron who still serves as executive director, the Missoula Children’s Theatre is a touring company that invites children in its host community to be the stars in the show. Its members teach children how to perfect the craft of professional theatre while building self-esteem through experience. Missoula Children’s Theatre’s mission is to provide quality educational, entertainment, and enrichment experiences through the performing arts.

The Wiz of the West is part of Viterbo’s Arts for Young America program and is sponsored by Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Wisconsin. It is supported, in part, by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.

Ticket prices are $9 for adults and $7 for children 12 and under. For more information, contact the Box Office at 796- 3100.

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