Like so many girls her age, little Dorothy Gale of Kansas dreams of what lies over the rainbow. One day a twister hits her farm and carries her away over the rainbow to another world. Come join Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion and Toto as they travel the universe of Dorothy’s imagination.
There are two versions of The Wizard of Oz MUNY version (this version) and the R.S.C. version. Both include the songs Over The Rainbow, Munchkinland (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead), If I Only Had A Brain, If I Only Had A Heart, If I Only Had The Nerve , We’re Off To See The Wizard (Follow The Yellow Brick Road), The Jitterbug, and The Merry Old Land of Oz. The MUNY version has Evening Star. The RSC version also includes Poppies (Optimistic Voices) and If I Were King Of The Forest.
The MUNY version is the more theatrically conservative and employs its stage, actors, singers, dancers and musicians in traditional ways to tell Mr. Baum’s story. The story and the music are treated by the adaptors as elements of a classic stage musical without reference to their use in the film.
The RSC version is a more technically complex production and uses as much of the aura of the film as is possible in a modern theatre. It is an adaption for live stage performance, even while it strives to look and sound just like the famous film, in telling the story. There is more work for the SATB chorus and small vocal ensembles in the music material for the R.S.C. version.
A teenage girl, Dorothy, lives on a farm in dreary Kansas with her Uncle Henry and Aunt Em dreaming of faraway places (“Over The Rainbow”). One day the farmhouse, with Dorothy inside, is swept off by a tornado to Munchkin land in the Land of Oz. The falling house kills the cruel ruler of the Munchkins, the Wicked Witch of the East. The Munchkins and the Sorceress of the North greet Dorothy (“Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead” and “Munchkin Land”). The Sorceress tells Dorothy that she will have to go to the Emerald City to ask the great Wizard of Oz to help her return home. The Wicked Witch of the West, sister of the late Wicked Witch of the East, vows revenge upon Dorothy.
Dorothy meets the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman. The Scarecrow wants to get a brain, and the Tin Woodman needs a heart (“If I Only Had a Brain”/”If I Only Had a Heart”). Dorothy suggests that the Wizard can help them too (“We’re Off to See the Wizard”). They then meet the Cowardly Lion (“If I Only Had the Nerve”). The four friends travel down the yellow brick road, having been warned of the lions, tigers, bears and the fantastical jitterbugs who are controlled by the Wicked Witch. The three friends meet a lion who lacks courage, and they invite him to join them. When the jitterbugs attack, Dorothy appeals to the Sorceress of the North, who freezes the jitterbugs (“The Jitterbug”).
The friends finally reach the Emerald City, where they meet Lord Growlie, his daughter Gloria and the Royal Army of Oz. Lord Growlie warns that if someone bothers the Wizard with a foolish request, he may destroy them. After a tour (“The Merry Old Land of Oz”; “Evening Star”), the friends meet the Wizard. He is very frightening and says that, before he will help them, they must kill the Wicked Witch of the West. As Dorothy and her new friends travel to the castle of the Wicked Witch, she sends various foes to hamper or attack them, but they manage to persevere. The witch eventually captures Dorothy, and her friends rush to try to rescue her, disguising themselves as ghosts. The witch is not fooled and intends to shrink Dorothy and her friends with a magic potion in her cauldron. Thinking fast, Dorothy pushes the witch into the cauldron. The water shrinks the Wicked Witch away to nothing (“Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead” (reprise)).
The friends return to the Emerald City, but the Wizard tries to put them off. The Wizard turns out to be an ordinary old man who had journeyed to Oz from Omaha long ago. However, the Wizard provides the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion with a diploma, a watch to show large heartedness, and a medal of “courage”, respectively, and convinces them all that these items solve their problems. In order to help Dorothy get home, the Wizard personally takes her in his new rocket ship.
THE WIZARD OF OZ
By L. Frank Baum
Adapted by Frank Gabrielson
With Music and Lyrics of the MGM motion picture score
by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg
Background Music by Herbert Stothart
Such credits to the authors for all purposes shall be in type size equal to or greater than that of any other credits except for that of the star(s) above the title. In the programs, the credits shall appear on the title page thereof.
The title page of the program shall contain the following announcement in type size at least one-half the size of the authors’ credits:
THE WIZARD OF OZ
is presented by arrangement with
MusicScope & Stage Musicals Ltd. of New York
2 Violin I
1 Violin II
1 Flute (doubles Piccolo)
1 Clarinet I
1 Clarinet II
1 Horns I & II
1 Trumpet I
1 Trumpet II
Timpani (3 Drums)
Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
Hi-Hat Cymbals (Optional)
Horse Hoof Sound
Cuckoo Sound (clock effect)
Piano (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material)
(3 female; 6 male)
*The Good Witch, Sorceress of the North
*Mayor of the Munchkins
*The Tin Woodman
*The Cowardly Lion
A Munchkin Farmer
The Wicked Witch of the West
The Wizard of Oz
Visiting Witch No. 1
Visiting Witch No. 2
23 Other Generals
Farmhands, Munchkins, Citizens of Oz
[No original cast size from the Municipal Theatre of St. Louis available yet]
Created for the Municipal Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri (the Muny) in 1942 and revived there several times, this is the very first stage adaptation following the 1939 release of the famous MGM movie of THE WIZARD OF OZ. The first Muny production featured Evelyn Wycoff as Dorothy and Al Downing as the Munchkin Mayor.