Oz in the News 3.4.17

iconsquareimage0011500London Theatre Workshop in Association with Julie Clare Productions Presents JUDY! Following a critically acclaimed debut season at Southwark Playhouse under its original title, Through The Mill, Ray Rackham’s biographical musical about the life of iconic movie star and chanteuse, Judy Garland, arrives in London’s West End this Summer. Leaving behind the usual portrayal of Garland’s life as one of pure heartbreak and self-destruction, Ray Rackham has created a poignant and ultimately uplifting story portraying the star as a survivor in a man’s world. He has cleverly created an overlapping story of three ages of Judy – Young Judy (an innocent girl filled with hope and excitement as she heads toward her life-changing performance in The Wizard of Oz), Palace Theatre Judy (a woman at the height of her performing powers in the midst of a passionate romance with Sidney Luft) and CBS Judy (an older and possibly wiser woman) – that demonstrates that no matter how hard we look for love in all the wrong places, the answer is ultimately inside ourselves.

SPOILERS What Is “The Beast Forever” On ‘Emerald City’? The Finale Introduced Oz’s Biggest Threat According to NBC, the character is credited as Roquat, and a quick perusal of Baum’s Oz lore will reveal that he isn’t an original creation for the TV show — in fact, while The Wicked Witch Of The West may be Baum’s most famous villain courtesy of Margaret Hamilton’s iconic performance, Roquat is Baum’s most significant and recurring villain throughout his many Oz books. This antagonist (variously known as Roquat the Red, Ruggedo of the Rocks, or simply the Nome King) is the leader of the Nomes, who are a race of immortal, cave-dwelling rock fairies who have a deep-seated hatred for anyone who lives aboveground. He frequently clashes with both Dorothy and Ozma throughout the novels, only being defeated when they manage to steal his magic belt — the artifact through which he derives his powers. In fact, Roquat is such a prevalent presence in the books that his ultimate reveal as the show’s big bad Beast Forever should come as little surprise to fans more intimate with Baum’s source material beyond the 1939 film adaptation.

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