Miss Gulch Returns!
By Andrew Andrews
Miss Gulch Returns! is a case of a great idea… poorly implemented.
Unlike the more famous musical Wicked, which tells the witch’s story from her viewpoint to draw you into the drama, the earlier Gulch is nothing more than a lighthearted musical revue of songs you’ve probably never heard
The numbers intertwine with anecdotes that seem to be told more by the actor who portrayed Gulch than by the character herself. In the case of the classic 1939 film, that actor was Margaret Hamilton, and she achieved great success for long after appearing in Oz until retiring (coincidentally) to the Hudson Valley.
Based on video footage, Barton’s original performances felt more like a drag stand-up comedy routine than a theatrical production. In a venue where flowing alcohol and raging hormones divert the audience’s attention from the stage, the holes and inconsistencies in this story would probably be less noticeable, and the campy delivery more enjoyable.
My partner and I agreed that this production deserves more than two stars but fewer than three, more likely due to the material and setting than the quality of its presentation.
Unable to award half-stars, we also agreed to err on the side of caution… and round down.
Andrew Andrews attended Miss Gulch Returns! at Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill on Thursday, September 9, 2021 @ 7:30pm to write this review.