Oz in the News 2.28.11

Toto recall: the Wizard of Oz hits the West End I spend an afternoon watching rehearsals, and progress is agonisingly slow. I start watching at 2pm, as the projections team screen a just-finished animation of the haunted forest. There is a long lull, then the Wicked Witch’s wrought-iron castle revolves into position, presided over by Hannah Waddingham’s imperious witch and two terrifying monkeys. It looks glorious – but it has taken an hour and 20 minutes to run through barely two minutes of show.  The danger, Sams recognises, is that this intense focus on getting the technology working, testing lighting and sound effects, tailoring the choreography to the stage, might swamp the story at the heart of the show. “The trick,” he says, “is to take what we had in the rehearsal room, which is a heartfelt, touching, small thing, and make it small but big.”

PS22 Chorus from Staten Island closes the Oscars: ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ The kids who performed at the Oscars finale tonight at the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, California definitely stole the show. Known as the PS22 Chorus, the Staten island school kids came to Los Angeles and performed the song, ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ from the Wizard of Oz movie at the end of the show.



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