There’s no place like Homer for ‘Wizard of Odds’ winter musical

It takes brains, courage and a lot of heart to put together “Stepping Out,” the Homer Council on the Arts annual variety show. Click those ruby Uggs boots together, and you’ll find there’s no place like, uh, Homer for fun, zany musical theater. 

“It’s a really-make-you-smile production,” said director Sally Oberstein of this year’s work, “The Wizard of Odds.”

The show plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday at the Mariner Theatre.

Fans of Oberstein’s production last year, “The ’60s Show,” will see a lot of the same goofiness in her latest parody. Expect silly costumes, scenery-chewing acting and some of Homer’s finest musicians. The fun comes in seeing how the show twists the plotline and music of “The Wizard of Oz.” Songs include “Ding Dong the Fish are Dead” and “If I Only Had a Babe.” Oberstein said a stand-out number is “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” with leads Britny Bradshaw as the Good Witch and Maggie Goedeke as Dots. She would be the one with the ruby Uggs. Hannah Heimbuch as The Wicked Witch of the West plays the character as a combination of Mae West and an evil librarian with awesome tattoos.

The show follows Dots and her cow, Toto, as they take a madcap journey from Anchorage to the end of the road. Along the way they’re joined by three misfits: Brian Duffy as Rusty, a heartless flirt looking for true love; Mark Gagnon as Raven, a dude who wishes he was smarter, and Michael McKinney as Leo, a super wimp who wishes he wasn’t one. Will they find Oz and The Wizard? Oberstein and the cast kept their lips sealed on the big reveal, even during rehearsals.

“When the story gets pieced together, at the end you’re going, ‘You’re kidding me?’” Oberstein said. “What’s great is there is a really good storyline and each character has a nice transformation. In the end you go, ‘Cute.’”

“The Wizard of Odds” is the latest incarnation of HCOA’s annual winter variety production, Stepping Out. Over its history HCOA has done musical revues like World Café. In 2013, it started Stepping Out, a show that would give performers who had little experience on stage a chance to show their stuff. It now brings together professional musicians with newer actors and singers, said HCOA director Peggy Paver.

“It’s kind of a nice amalgamation,” she said. “That’s the beauty of it, really — and it gives people something to do in the winter.”

Michael Armstrong can be reached at

Stepping Out 2016

The Wizard of Odds

Presented by the Homer Council on the Arts

7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday

2 p.m. Saturday

Mariner Theatre

$10 HCOA members, $18 general admission


Director: Sally Oberstein

Writers: Sally Oberstein with Michael Mckinney and Alan Olson

Assistant Director: Hannah Heimbuch

Stage Manager and Production Manager: Sara Woltjen

Music Director: Shelly Erickson

Wizard Of Odds Band: Shelly Erickson: Music Director and Piano, Band: Hal Spence, guitar; Kelly Jackman, drums; Kari Odden, stand-up bass; Cathy Stingley, violin


Cast: Hannah Stonorov, Ireland Styvar, Isabel Kulhanek, Joan Evans, Kevin Duff, Lotus Condon, Maggie Goedeke, Maggie McCormick, Margaret Quarton, Mark Gagnon, Michael McKinney, Nancy Chastain, Robin McAllistar, Stella Condon, Steve Zimmerman, Suzanne Singer-Alvarez, Will Bradshaw, Xander Kulhanek, Zach Condon


Sound: Michael Hurd

Lighting: Jessie Bolt

Costumes: Lynne Burt, Marie Walker, Margaret Quarton

Set: Bobby Paulino

Props: Harmon Hall, Bobby Paulino and Kathleen Dose-Koehl

Back Stage Director: Harmon Hall

Stage Crew Manager : Owen Duffy

Make-Up: Bobbye Triplett

Stage Crew: Harmon Hall, Bobby Paulino, Owen Duffy, Rene Alvarez

Heimbuch is the Wicked Witch of the West

Heimbuch is the Wicked Witch of the West

Tags: ,