For South Morang’s Samantha Dodemaide, slipping on ruby red slippers and following the yellow brick road has been a dream come true.
The up-and-coming musical theatre star has been travelling the country for the past five months, playing the part of Dorothy in the London Palladium production of The Wizard of Oz.
A self-confessed musical theatre geek, Dodemaide said taking on the role of Dorothy was a “once in a lifetime opportunity”, but came with a lot of responsibility.
“I feel very lucky,” she said. “The role made Judy Garland famous and she made the role famous.
“We didn’t want to create anything that has been done before … I hope I show audiences a different side to Dorothy.”
Dodemaide said she can’t pinpoint when her love of musical theatre started, but remembers watching a lot of movie musicals on television as a child.
“I attended a musical theatre school a few nights a week and started dancing lessons and it escalated from there,” Dodemaide said. “When I graduated high school, I knew it was what I wanted to do, so I did four years of formal training.
“It is really the best job in the world.”
Dodemaide said she was looking forward to bringing the show to Melbourne.
“This is my first lead role in a commercial musical. My name is up in lights and it is quite overwhelming,” she said.
The Wizard of Oz arrives at The Regent Theatre on May 15.