Jim “Sonny” Fox, that mischievous electrician from Black Rock, is often electrolyte-challenged residing in a far-off radio-watt world–or so it seems. It causes supercharged storytelling in a way only he can present. We share, in this glorious week of feathers and stuffing, Sonny’s Bridgeport version of the Wizard of Oz.
The Wizard of OZ (Bridgeport)
Dorothy Gale (Joe Ganim) lives with her Cairn Terrier dog Toto (Stevie A.) on the Connecticut farm of her Aunt Em (Lisa Parziale) and Uncle Henry (Andy Fardy). Dorothy Gale’s Toto (Stevie A.) bites witchy neighbor Miss Almira Gulch (Judge Carmen Lopez ), who then obtains an order for Toto (Stevie A.) to be euthanized. She takes Toto away on her bicycle, but he escapes and returns to Dorothy (Joe Ganim), who decides to run away from home to save her dog (Stevie A.).
They meet Professor Marvel, (John Marshall Lee) a kindly fortune teller who uses his crystal ball to make Dorothy believe that Aunt Em (Lisa P.) may be dying of a broken heart. Dorothy (Joe G.) races home, arriving just as a powerful tornado strikes. Locked out of the farm’s storm cellar, she seeks shelter in her bedroom. Wind-blown debris (scrap metal) knocks her unconscious and the house is sent spinning in the air. She awakens to see various figures fly by, (like Danny Roach or a Significant other) and including Miss Gulch (Carmen Lopez), who transforms into a witch on a broomstick.
The house lands in Munchkinland (OIB Bloggers) in the Land of Oz (Bridgeport). Glinda the Good Witch (Eleanor Guedes of North Trumbull) and the Munchkins welcome her as a heroine, as the falling house has killed the Wicked Witch of the East (Maria Pereira), only the witch’s legs and the ruby slippers on her feet are visible. Her sister, the Wicked Witch of the West (Judge Carmen Lopez), arrives to claim the slippers, but Glinda (Eleanor Guedes) transports them onto Dorothy’s (Joe G.) feet first. The Wicked Witch of the West (Carmen Lopez) swears revenge on Dorothy (Joe Ganim) for her sister’s death, then vanishes. Glinda (Eleanor Guedes) tells Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road (Main St. North) to the Emerald City (Bridgeport), where she can ask the Wizard of Oz (Mario Testa) to help her get back home.
On her journey Dorothy meets the Scarecrow (Mark Anastasi), who wants a brain; the Tin Woodman (Ned Lamont) who desires a heart; and the Cowardly Lion (Chris Meyer), who needs courage. Dorothy (Joe Ganim) invites them to accompany her to the Emerald City (Bridgeport), where they can ask the Wizard (Mario Testa) to help them too. Despite harassment from the Witch (Carmen Lopez) they reach the Emerald City (Bridgeport) and are eventually permitted to see the Wizard (Mario Testa), who appears as a large ghostly head surrounded by fire and smoke (and pizza). He agrees to grant their wishes if they prove their worth by bringing him the Witch’s (Carmen Lopez) broomstick.
As the four plus Toto (Stevie A.) make their way to the Witch’s castle, the Witch sends her winged monkeys (some members of the CC) to capture Dorothy (J.G.) and Toto (S.A.) At the castle, the Witch realizes that Dorothy (Joe Ganim) must be dead before the ruby slippers can be removed. Toto escapes and leads her three friends to the castle. They ambush three guards, don the guards’ uniforms, and march inside to locate Dorothy (J.G.). The Witch (C.L.) and her guards chase them through the castle and surround them. When the Witch sets fire to the Scarecrow (Mark Anastasi AKA Hamilton Burger), Dorothy tosses a bucket of water at him; water (from the city attorney’s water cooler) also splashes the Witch (Carmen Lopez), who melts away. The guards rejoice and give Dorothy (Joe G.) the broomstick.
Back in the Emerald City (Bridgeport), as the Wizard (Mario Testa) stalls in fulfilling his promises Toto (Stevie A). pulls back a curtain and exposes the “Wizard” (Mario Testa) as a middle-aged man speaking through a microphone. He denies Dorothy’s accusation that he is a bad man, but admits to being a humbug. He then gives the Scarecrow (Mark Anastasi AKA Hamilton Burger) a diploma, the Lion a medal, and the Tin Man a ticking heart-shaped watch, helping them see that the attributes they sought (brains, heart, courage) were never in them and probably will never be. He then offers to take Dorothy (Joe Ganim) and Toto (Stevie A.) home in his hot air DTC balloon.
As Dorothy and the Wizard prepare to depart, Toto (Stevie A.) jumps off and Dorothy goes to catch him, so the balloon leaves with only the Wizard. Glinda (Eleanor Guedes) appears and tells Dorothy that the Ruby Slippers will take her home. Following Glinda’s (Eleanor Guedes) instructions, Dorothy taps her heels together three times and repeats, “2019 – 2019 – 2019.”
Dorothy (Joe G.) wakes up in Easton surrounded by her family and friends. Everyone dismisses her adventure as a dream, but Dorothy insists it was real, and says she has learned there is no place like Bridgeport.