Trinity High School junior takes to yellow brick road
Trinity High School students Monica Toledo (left) and Hannah Spohnholtz (right) rehearse a scene from "The Wiz." | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Trinity High School, 7574 W. Division St., presents “The Wiz” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16 and Saturday, Nov. 17, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18. Admission is $10; tickets for students, children 10 and under, and seniors are $5. For advance ticket purchase, call Trinity High School at (708) 771-8383.
Updated: December 16, 2012 6:33AM
RIVER FOREST — On stage is where the once shy Monica Toledo shines.
The 16-year-old Chicago resident first performed in theater in third grade as a narrator “In A Christmas Carol.” Now a junior at Trinity High School in River Forest, she has appeared in multiple school plays and musicals, including “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Phantom of the Opera.”
Toledo put on a pair of red-sequined slippers to star in the urban musical “The Wiz” at Trinity.
“I love theater because, within two months, the entire cast becomes one big family,” Toledo said. “We make bonds that will last forever.”
Q: Share a bit about your family.
A: My family has been incredibly supportive and has encouraged me to pursue theater. I love how they all want to see me reach my dreams.
Q: What got you interested in theater?
A: I was super shy when I was younger and the first time I stepped on stage I felt so at home. I love the feeling and adrenaline rush of being on stage.
Q: How do you feel about playing the lead role in “The Wiz”?
A: I am so honored to be Dorothy. “The Wizard of Oz” has always been a childhood favorite of mine. I’m so glad I’m able to bring my own spin to its beloved character.
Q: What is your favorite scene in the play?
A: When Dorothy has to say goodbye to Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion. She realizes that even though she could have gone home sooner, she doesn’t regret the time she has spent with them. Her journey home was long, but worth it.
Q: What are your future goals?
A: My future goals are to make my parents proud and to do whatever God calls me to do. Somewhere in there, I’d like to be a doctor or Broadway performer – maybe even both.
Q: What is your proudest achievement?
A: Using YouTube to teach myself how to play the guitar.
Q: What are you reading?
A: “Dear John.” Anything by Nicholas Sparks is an automatic winner.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: I’m Cuban, but I love the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” because it reminds me of my family sometimes. It’s hilarious and I can quote the movie verbatim.
Q: What’s on your iPod?
A: If you scroll through my iPod, you’ll find a ton of Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley and Chris Tomlin tunes.
Q: What’s your favorite vacation destination?
A: This past summer I went to San Francisco with my family and I fell in love with the city. I can’t wait to go back.
Q: Are you a summer or winter person?
A: I’m definitely a summer person, no doubt about it. I love the warm weather and being out in the sun.
Q: What is your favorite Chicago sports team?
A: The Bulls, hands down. Basketball has always been the sport I wish I could play but never really succeeded in, so it’s another reason why I do theater.
Q: What is your favorite community event?
A: Going to the Bethlehem Walk in Park Ridge every year around Christmas.
Q: If you were mayor for the day, what would you do?
A: I would come up with a fine arts day for children.