REVIEW: The Wizard of Oz (Emerald City Theatre) Using puppets for the munchkins is hilarious and efficient, and the low-budget shortcuts that Emerald City takes contribute to much of the show’s charm. Kevin Beltz ’s economical set unfolds Dorothy’s house to reveal walls with turning panels to signify location, all located in the walls of Dorothy’s home that unfolds during the storm.
Storytellers know that there’s no place like Oz in our conscious “Scarecrow,” directed by Peter Rothstein, is a radio-style telling with music and voice providing the landscape and characters. There is one fascinating element, though, that would be lost on radio. During interludes by the St. Paul bluegrass band House of Mercy, scenes from silent-era Oz films are projected on the Fitzgerald’s back wall. Immaterial to Kling’s particular story, these clips — mostly from the 1925 “Wizard of Oz” — nonetheless fill our heads with even more irresistible imagery — wholly different looks for the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man; a flapper bob for Dorothy, and fields of goddesses. Weird? Yes, in a fascinating, good way. Again, it’s all about Oz.
FRONT ROW CENTRE: ‘Wizard of Oz’ revival back on stage Cascone long dreamed of going back to the source and creating an original stage musical, one that would remain truer to Baum’s book, and yet be totally theatrical in style. In 1999 he happened to meet a brilliantly talented composer from Texas, James Doyle. They bonded over their mutual passion of all things Oz, and decided to create their own musical, with Doyle supplying the score while Cascone wrote the adaptation. Their collaboration was done mainly through correspondence, and by December 2000, timed to the 100th anniversary of the book’s publication, The Civic Light Opera Company presented the world premiere of this brand new musical.
Wizard of Oz Review: Here
The Cowardly Lion Waits for Godot Goddard Lieberson, who produced original-cast albums for Columbia Records, had the brilliant idea to record a complete performance of the play. The existence of the resulting album, which has been out of print for the past quarter century, is no secret, but its longstanding unavailability has caused it to be overlooked by most people who write about “Godot.” Even John Lahr, the comedian’s younger son, fails to mention it in “Notes on a Cowardly Lion,” the uniquely perceptive biography of his father that he wrote in 1969. It is, therefore, stop-press news for anybody who loves great theater that the 1956 recording of “Godot” is available once again, not as a CD but as an MP3-only sound file that you can download from Amazon for $3.56, or from iTunes for $5.99. (You can find it on either site by searching for “Bert Lahr.”) Culturally speaking, I’d call that the deal of the decade.
Wizard of Oz cast updates at London Palladium Hannah Waddingham (Wicked Witch Of The West), Edward Baker-Duly (Tin Man), David Ganly (Lion), Paul Keating (Scarecrow), Emily Tierney (Glinda), join previously announced Michael Crawford (Wizard), and Winner of BBC’s reality show Over The Rainbow Danielle Hope as ‘Dorothy’. Sophie Evans, who came second to Danielle Hope in the reality show, will play the role on Tuesdays from 8 March and also on the weeks that Danielle Hope is on holiday 2 May, 5 September & 12 September 2011.
Scarecrow on Fire: The Lost Notebooks of Oz Why did Kling decide to tell it from the Scarecrow’s point of view? In part to look at Kansas from an Oz perspective and also because he thought the Scarecrow would make a fine guide. “You’ve got curiosity on your side, that’s his winning feature,” Kling says about the Scarecrow. “He soaks things up and everything is amazing to him. He’s the perfect storyteller.” Of course, any show with an Oz theme wouldn’t be complete without tunes, and “Scarecrow on Fire” has music director Dan Chouinard at the helm, along with cellist Michelle Kenny and the House of Mercy Band, to provide an eclectic soundtrack with a “twist of Oz nostalgia.”
Walt Disney’s Journey to Oz “The indefatigable Walt Disney, who will be represented on the Music Hall’s screen on December 14 with Babes in Toyland is in association with his studio staff, working on a feature film that he does not expect to release before 1963. This is The Rainbow Road to Oz and it will involve not only ‘a multimillion dollar budget’, a spokesman for the for the producer said ‘but also months of writing, technical preparation and casting’. ‘The Rainbow Road to Oz,‘ our informant added in explanation ‘will be a live-action feature which takes up where The Wizard of Oz left off. Dorothy will return to the land of Oz and she’ll be involved with a variety of characters, such as the nephew of the Wicked Witch. No casting as yet. In the meantime, Disney is also in the midst of filming The Sword in the Stone. This too, is due in 1963.'”
Fiction Fixers: The Curse of OZ The Land of Oz is in great peril. An evil man has erected towers that consume the people, light, and energy of Oz itself. Protect Dorothy and Toto as they travel across Oz in hopes of finding a way home to Kansas. Team up with the Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Lion and use their powers to overcome great obstacles. Beware of the Wicked Witch and Victor Vile! It’s up to you to save Dorothy and the Land of Oz in Fiction Fixers: The Curse of OZ, a fun Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game.
Sophie Evans- I’m really looking forward to The Wizard of Oz The performer will star in the musical every Tuesday and whenever Danielle Hope is away and she told the Western Mail she is excited but nervous. “Rehearsals start in December and I can’t wait to get started … I can’t really believe by the time I’m 19 I’ll have played Dorothy in the West End,” she added.
‘The Wizard of Panto-Land’ All of the witches and wizards and torch-singing Auntie Em are played by the astonishing Dante Maurice Sterling. Sterling is well over 6 feet tall with a huge voice, infinitely flexible face, and nimble grace. He towers over the rest of the cast and carries the action like a roller coaster. In a clever twist, the audience becomes Munchkins and are cued to sing “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” at appropriate moments.