Oz in the News 3.2.11

The Wizard of Oz, London Palladium It’s big, brash, often visually impressive, occasionally a tad ugly. No amount of spectacle, though, can disguise the strangely soulless quality of the narrative itself – a problem that this new adaptation fails to solve. What’s more, the pace of Sams’s production lags badly in the second act; and the new songs, by Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Tim Rice, pad out Harold Arlen and EY Harburg’s score but add only length, rather than melodic or emotional interest.

First Night: The Wizard Of Oz, London Palladium Lloyd Webber’s handful of new numbers include an amusingly baleful and thumping military waltz à la Prokofiev for the Witch and for Michael Crawford, who is genuinely charming in a clutch of roles, a nattily rhymed catalogue song from Professor Marvel about the wonders of the world, replete with slideshow and a somewhat pre-emptive moral that home is best.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Wizard of Oz, London Palladium, review I wouldn’t get too excited by the prospect of the handful of new songs written by the old firm of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, though Red Shoes Blues sung by Hannah Waddingham’s magnificently malevolent Wicked Witch of the West brings some welcome wit to the party. As the green-faced, flame-spurting, and disconcertingly sexy villainess contemplates young Dorothy, and sings “She’s pretty, she’s clueless and I want her shoeless” you realise that the Lord has been without his old sparring partner for too long.

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One response to “Oz in the News 3.2.11

  1. Thanks for the collection of reviews! I’m amazed at how much Baum’s story and the MGM film seem to be what the Brit reviewers don’t like – not so much focusing on the ALW rehash. very interesting…

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