L. Frank Baum: The Wizard Behind the Curtain If you were to ask any random American about L. Frank Baum, you would most likely be met with a quizzical look. Is that the company that makes clothes for camping? A politician who once ran for Congress? A law firm that advertises on late-night TV? The guy who invented chewing gum? No, none of the above. But simply murmur the names “Dorothy and Toto,” and it would be hard to find one living person who wouldn’t immediately recognize the most famous products of L. Frank Baum’s imagination. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the book that made Baum a household name at the turn of the 20th century, has proven to be as timeless and as culturally influential as any children’s book ever written, even if the name of its author doesn’t inspire the same level of recognition now as it once did.
Dance Review: The Wizard of Oz Bronte Kelly’s innocent and winning Dorothy progresses through this ever-changing landscape with her trusty companions, the Scarecrow of Loughlan Prior, Massimo Margaria’s Tin Man and Jacob Chown’s timorous Lion. Their encounter with the Witch of the West, a madly spinning and leaping Mayu Tanigaito, is a highlight of the first act; she is dissolved by Dorothy’s bucket of water all too soon. The second act opens in the Kingdom of Porcelain, ruled over by Laura Jones’s refined and elegant Princess. While this sequence interrupts the narrative, it offers compensation through its celebration of pure dance. All too soon Dorothy is back at the Emerald City, but not before the benign witch Glinda, danced by Abigail Boyle, performs a dreamy pas de deux with William Fitzgerald’s unexpectedly youthful Wizard. Dorothy yearns for home, but the Wizard departs by balloon without her.