Following the yellow brick road

Published 2:26 am Thursday, October 18, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh
I was presented with an opportunity to take my mother to Lutcher Theater over the weekend.

This is an unusual treat for us as most of our trips together are to the doctor’s office or church.

While waiting for the show to begin, mom said something that has resonated in my head since.

“Who said there is no culture in Orange?”

I was taken aback because after all, the motto of Orange is ‘Small Town Charm, World Class Culture.’

Both small town and world class were evident Sunday evening as the patrons located their seats. There were people of all ages, although the most memorable were the young girls with the braids, blue gingham dress, and the magical ruby slippers. One young lady even had a basket with Toto sticking his head out.

They were all there to see one thing – the wonderful, delightful, timeless tale of Dorothy as she travels down the yellow brick road.

While the tale may not be to everyone’s cup of tea, the cast brought new life to the story.

‘Toto’ stole the show every time he was on stage. Most well behaved, trained dog I have ever seen.

The Wizard of Oz was an on Broadway-quality production.

Without the Lutcher Theater, many of us would not have had the pleasure to see it, as we did on Sunday.

There are not many towns the size of Orange that can boast about having a theater, botanical gardens, and museums. In other parts of the country, local theater groups do not have the luxury of a set place for rehearsals or to perform.

All of which are part of the culture.

Culture is defined, by one dictionary, as the arts and other manifestations of human intellectual achievement regarded collectively.

Another dictionary defines it as acquaintance with and taste in fine arts, humanities, and broad aspects of science as distinguished from vocational and technical skills.

Orange Community Players carries on the tradition of quality while teaching others about the art and skills of the theater with the Children’s Theater.

It was a young people’s theater group, which inspired Kaliee Kaimann to become a professional actress.

Kaimann shined as Dorothy.

According to Lutcher Theater’s mission statement, the theater is committed to presenting professional entertainment for the enlightenment and cultural growth of people living in Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana and to better their quality of life and knowledge of the arts and humanities.

Sunday’s production of The Wizard of Oz is one more reminder of how successful it is in maintaining it’s mission statement.

Thank you, Lutcher Theater and the Lutcher Theater Guild for providing Orange another wonderful evening at the theater.

The next show at the theater will be David Sanborn at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 27.

According to a press release, Sanborn has worked in many genres which typically blend instrumental pop, R&B and lately, more and more traditional jazz. He released his first solo album Taking Off in 1975 but has been playing the saxophone since before he was in high school when he was inspired by the great Chicago blues artists near his hometown of St. Louis. He has released 24 albums, won six Grammy Awards, and has had eight Gold albums and one Platinum album.

Sounds like another fabulous night at the theater.

Tickets are still available