The curtain on the University of Dubuque's Heritage Center's landmark 10th anniversary season is about to fall, with one month left in the season. However, that's not before this penultimate production is set to bring a sweeping, big city performance to the Tri-States in just a matter of weeks.

UD's Heritage Center will be hosting American Midwest Ballet's (AM Ballet) production of The Wizard of Oz on Friday, April 21st (7pm) and Saturday, April 22nd (2pm). Since its 2019 premiere, AM Ballet's production has drawn acclaim for its eye-popping retelling of the classic L. Frank Baum story that is true to its source as well as the history-making 1939 film adaptation.

Thomas Robbins, Executive Director of the Heritage Center. Photo credit: Steve Pulaski
Thomas Robbins, Executive Director of the Heritage Center. Photo credit: Steve Pulaski

Tom Robbins of UD Heritage Center stopped by to talk about the upcoming show.

A lifelong fan of both the classic film and the groundbreaking fantasy novel, [choreographer Erin Alarcón] uses the magic of dance to create an unforgettable experience through her interpretation of the beloved Oz story and its iconic characters: Dorothy, the storm-tossed but unflappable heroine; her companions the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion; the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch; and, of course, the Wizard himself. This fast-paced, entertaining spectacle tells the story in styles ranging from the grandeur of classical ballet to the energy of large-scale musical theater. - per AM Ballet's official website

Robbins added that the show does have a local connection too! AM Ballet was founded by Erika Overtuff, who attended Dubuque Senior High School and studied ballet right here in the Key City. AM Ballet's production of The Wizard of Oz also features a bevy of local dancers along with professional dancers. The 23 local dancers range from third graders to college-aged young professionals.

Under Overturff's leadership as artistic director and CEO, American Midwest Ballet provides communities with an exciting array of professional dance performances and commitment to cultural education and community engagement, per her bio on AM Ballet's website.

The Wizard of Oz will serve as UD Heritage Center's second-to-last show before the conclusion of their 10th anniversary season. Tickets are available to purchase on Heritage Center's website, or by calling their box office at (563) 585-SHOW. You can also visit their box office in-person, which is located at 2255 Bennett Street in Dubuque.

Take a listen to my interview with Tom Robbins of UD Heritage Center below!

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