Rough and inventive, world-premiere Oz comes to Coronado Oz re-introduces us to familiar territory. Which presents a tricky challenge: how to keep ahead of the audience? Move fast — and with urgency. In the movie, the Wicked Witch of the West terrorizes from the start (is Dorothy — are we? — mere images in her crystal ball?). In Oz, she’s absent. The first act merely gathers the principals together. They sing backstory songs but without the overriding menace on her broom. Oz has a hit-and-miss quality, inventive parts but the structure needs a great deal of fine-tuning. The Lamb’s production, however, has an engaging, “pull it together” feel. To a person director Kerry Meads, the designers, and the cast are fully committed.
Review: Lamb’s ‘Oz’ an entertainingly down-home saga While the songs draw on a variety of styles, from bluegrass to folk to country to something resembling Kurt Weill pop-opera, they take their cues from the rootsy textures of conductor-bassist Patrick Marion’s excellent eight-piece band. So instead of “Over the Rainbow,” we get the guitar- and banjo-driven “Make It Right,” a rousing statement of purpose sung by a fierce and resourceful Dorothy (played by Megan Carmitchel). And while the familiar comrades whom Dorothy meets along the journey — the Scarecrow (James Royce Edwards), the Lion (Fernando Vega) and the Woodsman (Bryan Barbarin) — still each get individual themes, the sentiments are generally pitched a shade or two darker.
Did WIZARD OF OZ’s Margaret Hamilton Predict the Concept for WICKED? In a 1975 appearance on the classic children’s show MR. ROGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD, actress Margaret Hamilton spoke about her personal take on her iconic character, one that freakishly sounds a lot like the concept for the hit Broadway musical WICKED.
Watch the first video in our exciting new series Out of Oz: Wicked Studio Sessions, where favorite Wicked alumni and current performers sing reimagined versions of Wicked songs. Enjoy this duet version of “Defying Gravity” with Elphaba Rachel Tucker, and former Fiyero Aaron Tveit!