ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway

Littleshopofcarrie
Broadway Star
joined:12/9/12
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 12:14pm
It's in Toronto and is going on a North American Tour in the fall... Anyone know if it has a chance on coming to broadway?
South Fl Marc
Broadway Legend
joined:6/23/04
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 12:34pm
With any luck ...... NO!
Now living in DC. I really have to change my name on the board.
ErinDillyFan
Broadway Star
joined:7/14/06
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 12:42pm
It has some interesting changes. The new music is fine and adds to the story. Oh, and the Cowardly Lion is gay...
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 12:48pm
The Cowardly Lion has always been a camp-gay figure. His tendency towards mild cross-dressing and stereotypical mannerisms, along with the association of Judy Garland with pre-Stonewall gay culture, gave rise to the term "friend of Dorothy" for gay.
AEA AGMA SM
Broadway Legend
joined:8/13/09
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 01:14pm
I'm curious as to what this will look like on tour. From the pictures and video I've seen it's a pretty massive physical production that is not going to be cheap to load in and out without a pretty major scaling down of the tech elements.
Did you know that every day Mexican gays cross our borders and unplug our brain-dead ladies?
Tag
Broadway Legend
joined:11/19/05
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 02:21pm
The Toronto production was built to tour. It is a pretty massive show.
Brave Sir Robin2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/07
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 03:19pm
I listened to the new music and besides the great orchestration and Glinda's new song at the end of Act 2, the new music really doesn't add anything.
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 03:33pm
I know people have complained about revisal-revivals before, for "fixing" problems that aren't "there," but The Wizard Of Oz, pre-Webber, has one major problem with its musical structure- it's a play with songs, a pantomime, and not a full musical. The last song in the show is "King of the Forest," which more or less begins Act 2, Scene 2. Other than a sad reprise of "Over The Rainbow," that's it for the singing.

Webber's idea to patch the musical holes is not a bad one, and his use of reprise and motif in extending the music already in the show goes way better than his original songs do. Nonetheless, it's like patching a shirt with some identical cloth and some pieces of underwear- sure, you get a cohesive whole, but not all the patches fit the same way.
Brave Sir Robin2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/07
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 03:37pm
I agree it's a great idea, but I wish the songs were a little better. Also, why didn't he put in the Jitterbug?
bwaydude22089
Swing
joined:5/10/13
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 04:58pm
I hope not. This production takes a story that is deep, moving, and highly thematic and turns it into a theme park, bubble gum, hybrid mess. The 1987 RSC adaptation of the film, to me, is flawless. It is the version that is commonly performed in high schools and regional theatres. Instead of trimming the dialogue, it develops it further. Instead of reducing the songs, it adds dance music and wonderful orchestrations (based on the original film score). The second act opens with Optimistic Voices, then there's a 4 minute Merry Old Land of Oz, an extended King of the Forest (whereas the ALW production completely cuts the song), restores the awesomely wonderful Jitterbug number, as well as adds a perfect reprise of Over the Rainbow and Ding Dong the Witch Is Dead. Granted, the RSC version is a little lengthy, but it should be. Count me as someone who does not consider The Wizard of Oz a "kids show." Sure, kids should see it, but it should be built for adults. It's themes are so complex. I remember that the 1998 Madison Square Garden production added a reprise of Over the Rainbow for Glinda just before sending Dorothy home. I think that worked wonderfully as well. I really hope this is not the Oz production that comes to Broadway. Considering it didn't really do well in London, I can't imagine it coming to NY. The Wizard of Oz is huge here in the United States and I can't imagine many people jumping for joy at the thought of it being retooled in such a backwards way.
best12bars
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/05
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 05:08pm
The RSC production is nicely put together (on paper). It basically restores everything that was cut from the MGM film prior to it's opening (as bwaydude22089 said).

It's an odd construction in the MGM movie, but it actually makes sense cinematically. As soon as Dorothy and her friends are told to "bring me the broomstick of the Witch of the West" by the Wizard, it basically turns into an action movie right up until they return to the Emerald City with the broom. There is no way to add a musical number (and they tried several times and ways) without slowing the pace and lessening the tension of this section of the film. But the additions (or "cut stuff") works fine on stage.

I'n not a fan of the Webber additions and revisions though.
"Jaws is the Citizen Kane of movies."
blocked: logan2, Diamonds3
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 07:20pm
I LOVED the Madison Square Garden production. The sets and costumes were beautiful and I enjoyed the way they incorporated "The Jitterbug" for the Witch to sing. Eartha Kitt is terrific on the cast recording. Even though they trimmed some of the dialogue, I still think that production, for me, was the perfect example of how to do Oz on stage. That production should have been in a Broadway house instead of the enormous, charmless theatre at MSG.

I'm not a fan of the Andrew Lloyd Webber production and I will never understand why he felt the need to bastardize one of the greatest scores ever written for film or stage. My only wish is that someday some unscrupulous composer will take a look at The Phantom of the Opera and decide that it too needs a "better" opening number and write some hokey songs to fill out one of his most loved scores.
That's right! Underscore mother-fu@#ers!
Brave Sir Robin2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/20/07
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 07:53pm
I loved the MSG production - I saw the tour at the Pantages at a very young age and they used the sets and costumes at the local Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities. I thought it was a great production.
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 08:43pm
^Civic Light Opera rents out the MSG sets and costumes now. I saw a production in San Diego that utilized the MSG sets, costumes and orchestrations and was directed and choreographed by two members of the MSG tour. It was equally spectacular.
That's right! Underscore mother-fu@#ers!
PixelJD
Swing
joined:6/30/13
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 09:48pm
In April I performed in the RSC version and watched the Toronto ALW production, I don't want to sound biased but the RSC version triumphed over the ALW production. All of the new songs are nothing special with an exception being "Already Home" which is the big finale in Oz. Charecterization falls flat with the only charecters that are notable being The Scarecrow and The Witch. Dorothy is always just there, the lion is over-campy he seems like he just got out of a middle school fairy tale touring company and the Tin Man has next to no lines other then a one word reaction.

Something to point out about the sets; almost all the videos online and commercials here in Toronto are of the London production. The yellow brick is a small 4 person treadmill, and all the scenes introducing the proffesor Marvel, scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion have 1 to 2 small sets pieces so its definitely a tour set unlike the Londom set with the Panorama yellow brick road.

Last but not least act 2 in the ALW production is dull and almost boring. He kept merry old land and the wizard scene in act 1 leaving next to nothing for act 2 except the good Red Shoe Blues and the great already home.

Don't get me wrong I didn't hate the ALW, intact the 1st act was pretty spectacular but if there is a show that should be on BWay it should be the RSC version

Updated On: 6/30/13 at 09:48 PM
justincharacter
Broadway Star
joined:6/11/13
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 6/30/13 at 09:54pm
I thought that ALW would have done an pretty darn good job at "reworking" The Wizard of Oz...not really sure what happened
bwayto
Broadway Star
joined:12/5/11
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 7/1/13 at 12:24am
The Toronto production was built to Tour (Troika who is one of the producers of the tour ensured that it would be able to transfer with minimal downtime).

In terms of scale, the show looks massive but isn't really that technically complicated. In the London production the yellow brick road was two turntables in each other, rising and lowering, with a rotating outer shell.

In Toronto, the road is (one of the only) tracked trunk with a tredmill type device built in.

The Witch's castle is scaled back, and so is the flying.
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bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 7/1/13 at 02:06am
^ Can you describe the new set a little more? Does it use tracks to move the pieces on and off the stage, or are they moved by stagehands? And what is the witch's castle like now?
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
ErinDillyFan
Broadway Star
joined:7/14/06
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 7/1/13 at 09:41am
Not a stage tech person, but the inclined treadmills did not look like they were on tracks. They did move to different angles which may have been done with internal motors. I found these to be pointless overkill. There has to be a simpler way to indicate they are walking down the yellow brick road than walking on a treadmill that is moving around on stage.

The production makes extensive use of rear projections on a massive screen that takes up the entire back of the set and is used very well. Looks much better than the static scrims that are usually used.

The witch's castle does look like a piece that would be hard to travel with. I asked the producers of Legally Blonde why the had removed the staircase from the touring production and they said because of the difficulty moving it on trucks. The castle looks much bigger than the LB staircase, so I would be interested to see how that breaks down and assembles for a tour truck.
g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 7/1/13 at 10:52am
Seconding everything everyone has said about the RSC version. If one really feels the need to add numbers, just go with precedent:

For example, "Evening Star" is in the MUNY version, and admittedly having heard and read it, it has no place in the plot of the film, but it shouldn't be too hard to shoe-horn it in as an otherwise pointless lullaby (shades of "Distant Melody" in Peter Pan, though that had somewhat more of a point). Also, the Milwaukee Melody Top added a number for the farmhands, "While You Are Young," music by Arlen and lyrics by Jack Yellen, yanked from the 1931 musical You Said It. Might be the musical lift in Act I that Webber was looking for rather than writing a song called "Nobody Understands Me" that happens just before "Over the Rainbow" and its preceding dialogue scene makes that point in a much better way.
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik
darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 7/1/13 at 12:05pm
Is the Melody top or MUNY version the one with the talking dogs and the spaceship?
g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 7/1/13 at 12:55pm
MUNY. The Melody Top reviews seem to suggest it was a straightforward film adaptation, but the MUNY version was the only one available to license at the time, so maybe the reviews they picked for the site just don't mention the rocket ship.
Formerly gvendo2005
Broadway Legend
joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik
lovebwy
Broadway Star
joined:4/22/12
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 7/1/13 at 12:58pm
ALW should play one of the flying monkeys.
finebydesign
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 7/1/13 at 03:20pm
You were right this is delightful.
Wizard of Oz (1998 Cast) - Jitterbug
finebydesign
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/07
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 7/1/13 at 03:22pm
I think that Wonders of the World is a great song actually in the new show.
beautywickedlover
Broadway Legend
joined:6/28/07
ALW's The Wizard of Oz broadway
Posted: 7/1/13 at 03:23pm
I don't see it coming to Broadway but maybe it will play at Madison Square Garden.

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