Event: The Wizard of Oz (Musical)
Hit Songs: Over the Rainbow, Ding! Dong! The Witch is Dead, We're Off to See the Wizard, The Merry Old Land of Oz
Adaptations: Musicals, Movies, Books, TV Series, Comics, Video Games
The Wizard of Oz- A Historical Overview
The masterfully written novel by L. Frank Baum first came to life in the form of a musical in 1902. The musical opened in Chicago and later premiered on Broadway in 1903. With a total of 293 performances, the show successfully closed in December 1904. The musical once again hit the stage in 1942 with the commissioning of St. Louis Municipal Opera. This production served as a gateway to many productions that would follow in the coming years.
Toronto Civic Light Opera Company began a production of the musical which opened in 2000. The show was renewed in 2002 and 2012 with minor uplifts in the production design. In 2011, the theater master Andrew Lloyd Webber, along with Sir Tim Rice and Jeremy Sams, reinvigorated the original novel. A fortified production started on the West End and opened the show for public in March. The shooting sales of The Wizard of Oz tickets made it the most looked-forward event of the season.
After a series of performances, the show closed in September 2012 but later came up with the Toronto production in December 2012. Officially premiering in January 2013, the show will run throughout August. The North American tour will begin in September with the premiere at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas.
The Talented Trio
Andrew Lloyd Webber along with the lyricist Tim Rice and director Jeremy Sams forms a trio that rejuvenates the original novel. With a book and some additional music, the Oscar and Tony-winning impresario, Webber contributed his artistic abilities to solidify the plot.
The Academy and Grammy Awards winning lyricist, Tim Rice's long collaboration with Webber worked its magic to create some hearty lyrics for the musical. To complete this dynamic threesome, Jeremy Sams supplied his talents of writing and direction and made the musical a tempting theatrical treat.
Critical Reception and Awards
The musical was admired for its technicalities, set design and lucidity of the performers. Danielle Hope, who played Dorothy, was specifically appreciated for her juvenile charm and articulacy. The overall response from the critical circles was moderately positive and in 2012, the musical won a Laurence Olivier Award for “Best Musical Revival”. In the same year it also won Whatsonstage.com Theatergoers Choice Award. At the currently held Dora Awards, the musical picked one Dora Award for the category of “Best Performance- Female”.