The Burbank Auditorium on the Santa Rosa JC campus was packed with kids and adults, many of them related to members of the huge cast, crew and orchestra. Most of those in the company are college age, since it's a summer program for students to put together a series of professional repertory productions. Children from the community were cast as the Munchkins, so the average age in the room was considerably lower than at most local theater shows. But there were also a few older, paying customers like Mom and me (although we got our tickets with the company discount because she works as a volunteer usher there at times).
We also sat in the third row, so we could see and hear everything. At times we could hear the musicians a little too well, but the acoustics in that theater have improved in the twenty years or so I've been seeing plays there. And that is about the only halfway negative comment I'm going to make.
It was a joy to see the children in the audience respond to the familiar words and characters and the well-known songs. The play is adapted almost scene for scene from the film, and it's really kind of comforting to know what's coming. You don't have to second guess your responses to the action in front of you, when it's already there in your head. That's the case with most well-known plays, of course, but even more so when one is as thoroughly established and loved as this one.
Since the orchestra is easily accessible, there were children milling around even before the show started, and the young musicians graciously allowed them to get close and ask questions. The mother of one of the Munchkin kids sat across the aisle from us; I recognized her from the Romeo and Juliet audience. I don't know how many times she must have sat through this production since the season started in mid June, but she seemed to enjoy it as much as anyone.