ROCKFORD - Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! Families will soon be able to see "The Wizard of Oz" come to life.
Based on the classic 1939 MGM film, the traveling Broadway production is sure to delight audience members young and old.
Dorothy, Toto, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and the Munchkins will be in Rockford for one night only, Feb. 28, at the Coronado Theatre.
"I've always idolized Judy Garland, and when I was first offered the role (as Dorothy) I drew a lot from her performance, said Kalie Kaimann.
Kaimann, 21, is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. She previously performed in the role of Dorothy Gale for a Children's Theatre of Cincinnati show.
She's now taking her acting talents and beautiful singing voice on the road, traveling from Rhode Island to California and many places in between.
"I think that staying true to the original movie is important and is kind of what people expect," Kaimann said. "But I do try to add a little spice (to my version of Dorothy)."
The Broadway production of "The Wizard of Oz" follows Dorothy Gale, a young girl from Kansas who is captured in a twister and transported to the Land of Oz.
It is in the magical land that she meets the Scarecrow, who wishes only for a brain, the Tin Man, who wishes for a heart, and Cowardly Lion, who wishes for courage.
The motley crew travels together to find the great Wizard, who may be able to help grant their wishes and also get Dorothy back home where she belongs.
Along the way they encounter trouble as the Wicked Witch of the East seeks to take possession of the magical ruby red slippers that have found their way onto Dorothy's feet.
"Audience members will enjoy hearing the same songs as in the movie, but some things are different, like there is a Jitterbug scene that was actually cut," Kaimann said.
Kaimann added that even if audience members have seen "The Wizard of Oz" film many times, they will walk away from the live show having a completely different experience.
"There is something so special about seeing a show live," she said. "It's really interesting to see how we've adapted the amazing technical aspects of the story for being on the stage."
Tickets for "The Wizard of Oz" go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Prices start at $37. For more information, visit www.coronadopac.org. The box office can be reached by calling 815-968-2722.