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PS 100's ‘Wizard of Oz’

PS 100 students perform classic at Brighton Beach complex

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A lot of heart: Fifth-grader Nikita Nesterenko played Tinman in PS 100’s “The Wizard of Oz” at Trump Towers in Coney Island.
Over the rainbow: Gabrielle Medev, as Dorothy, sings the classic song.
Sing out: Twenty-five students participated in the production, including Anthony Bototski and Brandon Borkowsky.
New friends: Some 50 seniors, including Florence Garibaldi, attended PS 100’s performance.

PS 100 students followed the yellow brick road — all the way to the Trump Towers.

Fifth graders from the W. Third Street school traveled to the Brighton Beach complex on June 14 to give a special performance of “The Wizard of Oz,” the classic 1939 musical fantasy film that’s become one of the most popular movies of all time.

Gabrielle Medev starred as Dorothy, the lovable Kansas farm girl who leads her dog Toto and a cast of unlikely friends on a quest through Munchkinland to the Emerald City of Oz. Nikita Nesterenko played the Tinman and Brandon Borkowsky starred as the Scarecrow.

The group belted out “Over the Rainbow,” “If I Only Had a Brain,” and “Merry Old Land of Oz,” among other tunes.

Director MaryAnn Spinner said the students were a hit with the 50 seniors who turned out for the show.

“The seniors loved it,” said Spinner, who teaches music at PS 100. “A lot of people were very touched by the performance.”

The musical’s themes of home, friendship, and loyalty still resonate with young people more than 70 years after the film, based on L. Frank Baum’s book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” came out.

“The characters are so unqiue and they’re all finding themselves,” Spinner said. “Kids can relate to that.”

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at

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