Kansas Collection – The Door: Full Cast (L-R) Matthew Bamberg-Johnson as Phil Daring, Nora King as Dorothy Gale, John Henningsen as Lyman, John McCormick as Oscar Diggs (The Wizard), Genevieve Gearhart as Phoebe Daring

The last few months I have gone down the rabbit hole, so to speak, with Speakeasy Society’s “Kansas Collection”. I’ve become fully immersed and emotionally attached to the dynamic players that consist of this re-telling of The Land of Oz. As each chapter delves deeper into the story, the emotions become that much more heightened as the audience tries to decipher who is being truthful and who is being devious. In their latest chapter, THE DOOR, we are posed a simple question: do you believe in destiny? Or, do you believe in inevitable consequences? A question that has stuck with me since the moment I found myself crossing over the threshold of that door.

THE DOOR leads participants into the home of Dorothy. This is the first time that we are introduced to her character and we are seeing her vulnerable, scared, and confused. Throughout the experience, participants have the chance to watch her interaction with the once Great and Powerful Oz and it’s absolutely heartbreaking. Even as the viewer, I felt perplexed on what the truth actually was. But I think that’s why I enjoyed the show so much. Was Oscar Diggs, the Great and Powerful Oz, really trying to help Dorothy or was she just a pawn that he could use to gain back some of his clout?

Actions have consequences and that’s the theme of this show. Dorothy chose her path, and in doing so, set into motion the consequences that came forth. Oscar Diggs drew a line in the sand and his actions reflected in his selfish needs. The audience is left to decide who, or what, they think is the best course of action, what side they should be on, and who, if anyone, they can trust. I had been on the fence since my first decent into the Land of Oz, but after going through THE DOOR, I now have a firm grasp as to who’s side I am on and what I will be fighting for.

In terms of acting, all those that were involved in this performance were superb, with the standouts being John McCormick as Oscar Diggs and Nora King as Dorothy Gale. As they were the centerpiece of this chapter, their characters played off of each other perfectly without skipping a beat. The always charming and delightful Lyman, played by John Henningsen, entertained us and gave us clues as to what to expect before heading into Dorothy’s home. He’s become such a fixture within this show that I’ve come to look forward to seeing him at each performance I go too.

One of the best aspects that the Speakeasy Society has is that they are able to create this world without the use of overly detailed set design. Through their storytelling and specific props this allows the audience’s imagination the ability to bring to life everything that is unfolding. Sure, if the budget was bigger I’m sure they would be able to do more, but in all honesty, they don’t need to. Everything they have done thus far has been successful because they know what they are doing and they know how to use the tools that they have been given.

Overall, THE DOOR was masterfully done with passion and drive and is the perfect addition to this already fantastical story. If you haven’t had the chance yet to do Chapters 1 & 2, I highly suggest getting tickets for those showings at The Hollywood Fringe Festival next month. The link to their schedule can be found HERE. As for me, I can’t wait to see where the story goes from here and can only hope that those who are true and righteous prevail.

For more information on The Speakeasy Society, visit their website at http://speakeasysociety.com/

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