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STAGE TUBE: Michael Crawford Celebrates Birthday at WIZARD OF OZ

Both Michael Crawford and Danielle Hope will both depart the West End production of THE WIZARD OF OZ on February 5, 2012. Both have been with the show since the beginning, and audiences had been following the yellow brick road over the rainbow to see Crawford (as the Wizard) and Danielle Hope (as Dorothy), winner of BBC TV's Over the Rainbow, at The London Palladium. But before they leave, the cast celebrated Crawford's 70th birthday at a recent curtain call.

Lloyd Webber said of Crawford: 'Michael has been for me one of the most phenomenal people I've ever worked with in the musical theatre.' Crawford added 'It's just such a joy to be back here. I had my 40th birthday playing Barnum, and to come back 30 years later, becuase I was such a hit in that, I thought they'd never ask me. But I'm here at last and I couldn't be in a more joyful show!'

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The show began previews in early February of 2011 and opened in March of 2011 to great reviews.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's new THE WIZARD OF OZ combines all the much-loved songs from the Oscar-winning movie score with new songs written with Tim Rice. With Hope and Crawford in the cast are also Edward Baker-Duly (Hickory/Tin Man), David Ganly (Zeke/Cowardly Lion), Paul Keating (Hunk/Scarecrow), Emily Tierney (Glinda), and Hannah Waddingham (Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch of the West) along with: Sophie Evans (Alternate Dorothy), Stephen Scott (Uncle Henry/Ensemble, first cover Professor Marvel/The Wizard of Oz), and Helen Walsh (Aunt Em/Munchkin Barrister/Ensemble).

Developed from the ever-popular 1939 MGM screenplay, THE WIZARD OF OZ is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally reconceived for the stage by the award-winning creative team who delighted audiences of all ages with their recent London Palladium revival of The Sound of Music. THE WIZARD OF OZ by L Frank Baum is directed by Jeremy Sams, choreographed by Arlene Phillips, music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E Y Harburg, with additional music and lyrics by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice with the set and costumes designed by Robert Jones. The show is produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Bill Kenwright.

Tickets are available from The London Palladium Box Office on 0844 412 2957 or online from



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