Oz in the News 3.18.11

Hannah Waddingham, Wicked Witch of London’s Oz, on Not Playing Elphaba and More “I really felt as if they just let me run with it, and [director] Jeremy Sams was very good at sometimes going, “Waddingham, no, you’re not doing that!” For example the dome flight that I do—[flying down from the heights of the auditorium out and over the audience]—was meant to be voice-over and I kept saying, “Look, you have to have the Witch in the audience, whoever plays her.” It’s all well and good flying on stage—that’s exciting—but thinking about children particularly, because that’s who I’m doing this for, if the Witch is behind the proscenium arch, that’s too safe.”

Garland’s daughter sings for Mom at Carnegie Hall The singers at the weekend event included Ashley Brown, Broadway’s original (and current again) Mary Poppins; Heather Headley, of “Aida” and “The Lion King”; and Karen Olivo, of “In the Heights” and “West Side Story.”  They tackled such Garland classics as “The Trolley Song,” ”Get Happy,” and “Chicago (That Toddling Town).” Headley delivered a scorching “Stormy Weather,” Olivo shone on “Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart,” and Brown drew cheers for a gorgeously sung “Over the Rainbow,” the young Garland’s signature song, of course, from “The Wizard of Oz.”  As for Luft, she belted out “The Man That Got Away” and “Come Rain or Come Shine,” then got a standing ovation for “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby (With a Dixie Melody)” — the song, she joked, that Mom always sang to satisfy Lorna’s penchant for “the loud ones.” (Garland’s older daughter, Liza Minnelli, who turned 65 over the weekend, was not at the show.)

WIZARD OF OZ Performance to Benefit Comic Relief, April 21 THE WIZARD OF OZ is set to host a special Comic Relief gala performance, starring Michael Crawford as The Wizard and Danielle Hope (winner of the BBC’s smash hit Over the Rainbow) as Dorothy, and ‘Dangerous Dave’ – BBC’s Over the Rainbow’s winning Toto. The event will take place at 7:30pm on Thursday 21st April.



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