At four years old, Sarah Lasko knew she was destined to act. The DC area native was in awe of the stunning dresses and parasols donned by actresses in Hello, Dolly! at Howard County Summer Theatre. In her young mind, “that was just the epitome of living.”
Fast forward several decades later, and Lasko is playing Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at National Theatre from May 3-15. This stop on the production’s seven-month national tour marks Lasko’s debut at the District’s renowned venue.
The University of Maryland, College Park graduate has previously performed at the Kennedy Center and Keegan Theatre, and a myriad of Montgomery County theaters including Olney Theatre Center. On Tap caught up with Lasko while performing in Boston, and the actress says the tour has been an incredible experience thus far.
“What I love about this show is that it brings in an audience that might not typically go to the theater,” she explains. “I’ve gotten many messages from people who came to see the show, saying that it was their first ever experience with live theater, and they loved it.”
The musical features all of the classic songs from the 1939 film, and four new ones written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice for characters like the Wicked Witch and Glinda, giving audiences more insight into their characters. Lasko’s favorite is Glinda’s “Already Home,” which she says is a touching moment in the story featuring the gorgeous, soaring voice of soprano Rachel Womble.
The music isn’t the only element of the production that Lasko is smitten with. She’s drawn to the play’s ability to be breathtakingly spectacular while also having so much heart.
“As a lover of the film, I really want the show to feel all-encompassing, but also to retain the beauty of the characters in the movie, and that’s a balance I think this production strikes beautifully.”
Plus, she says the play brings out a bit of nostalgia for all of us who grew up with the film.
“You never forget how you felt as a kid watching the winged monkeys, and the house flying to Oz, and seeing the four friends skipping down the yellow brick road. It’s just as enjoyable now as it was then.”
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Photo: Courtesy of National Theatre