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Back on the Yellow Brick Road again

April E. ClarkGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
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GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. Amy Brokering has followed the Yellow Brick Road.And she knows the wonderful things it does.A 2001 Glenwood Springs High School graduate, Brokering returns to the valley this weekend to relive her Dorothy moment in Aspen Community Theatre’s “Best of ACT” show. As a GSHS senior, she starred in the lead role in ACT’s production of “The Wizard of Oz.””It was a big, big part of my life,” said Brokering, via phone from Boulder. “In performing, and who I am, has a lot to do with being in ‘Oz.'”Brokering – a choir, drama and music theater teacher in Boulder – credits her experience as the pig-tailed girl with the blue plaid dress and ruby slippers for her current role in the arts.”Being in a lead role, buckling down and working hard – it’s made me who I am,” she said. “And as a teacher, I draw some things from ‘Oz.’ It was more than just a meant-to-be role. I have carried that confidence in being Dorothy with me.”

Playing Dorothy in a major production has helped Brokering direct her middle school students in “Once Upon a Mattress.” The musical comedy is an adaptation of “The Princess and the Pea” fairy tale.”I tell my students to just be yourself when auditioning,” she said. “I just happened to be what they were looking for. I really didn’t think I was going to get the part.”In Saturday and Sunday’s performances at the Aspen District Theatre, Brokering will flash back to her senior year, singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.””I’m looking forward to seeing my friends from ‘Oz,’ and also being on that stage again,” she said. “I’ve had dreams about it. It’s kind of a sentimental place for me.”Brokering and more than 60 of ACT’s original cast members join Symphony in the Valley’s 65-piece orchestra for the matinee performances. She’ll reunite with former castmate Brian Keleher, who lives in Carbondale, as The Scarecrow. The Tin Man, Aspen native Yanis Kalnins, is returning to the valley from Chicago to sing, “If I Only Had a Heart.””All of our favorite characters from ‘Oz’ are delightful and interesting speakers, in addition to being fabulous vocalists,” said Carol Bayley, of ACT. “Steve is one of the morning voices on Aspen Public Radio. Brian retired from radio to sell real estate for Mason & Morse, and Yanis has worked professionally on TV as well as on stage.”

Steve Cole – a clarinetist, saxophone player and radio personality who lives in Basalt – will relive his role as The Lion, one he relishes.”It brings you back,” said Cole, of returning to sing “If I Only Had the Nerve.” “It became a way of life for three months, and it’s a fairly intense routine. We became very close as a cast.”Like many people in the valley, Cole grew up with “The Wizard of Oz” movie, characters, and magic.”I’ve been kind of imitating The Lion part all my life,” he said, with his deep radio voice. “So it was a kick for me to perform it. I practiced all my life for it.”The Yellow Brick Road can make dreams come true.



Contact April Clark: 945-8515, ext. 16601aclark@postindependent.comPost Independent, Glenwood Springs Colorado CO


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