The Wizard of Oz Tickets
The Wizard of Oz is one of the most loved fantasy tales of all time. The story became a worldwide phenomenon after the release of MGM's hugely successful movie on the subject in 1939. The story was adapted as a musical by theater legend Andrew Lloyd Webber and featured lyrics by his long time collaborator, Tim Rice. The show opened at London's West End in March 2011 to rave reviews and was soon followed by a Canadian production. The hugely popular production is now setting out on a US tour and you can experience Dorothy's adventures live by simply getting The Wizard of Oz tickets.
The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz is based on a children's novel penned by L. Frank Baum in 1900. The original novel was titled "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and featured illustrations by W.W. Denslow. It was Baum himself who first adapted the story as a musical, though his stage production differed from the novel, since it did not feature the Wicked Witch and introduced several new characters as well. The musical opened in 1902 in Chicago and became a huge hit on Broadway a year later. Such was its appeal that it remained on tour in the US for nine years.
Baum's classic story was adopted by MGM into a full length feature film in 1939. The most commercially successful and well-known adaptation of the novel, it starred Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Frank Morgan, Margaret Hamilton and Billie Burk. The songs for the movie were written by Harold Arlen, who composed the music and Edgar "Yip" Harburg, who wrote the lyrics. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including the award for the "Best Picture." It managed to win in two categories, the "Best Original Song" and the "Best Music Score." The film version was the most faithful adaptation of Baum's classic novel at that time.
Numerous musical productions of The Wizard of Oz followed over the years, with most of them drawing inspiration from the 1939 movie. The St. Louis Municipal Opera introduced an operatic version in 1945 and the Royal Shakespeare Company performed a theater play based on the film in 1987. Both versions were hugely successful and have been revived multiple times in the UK and the US.
The 2011 musical version of the story is also based on the screenplay of the 1939 film, with Andrew Webber and Tim Rice writing extra songs for the musical to give it a new, fresher feeling. Webber and Rice first worked together on the 1965 musical, The Likes of Us. Their next projects were all mega hits in their own right: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita. The Wizard of Oz was Andrew Lloyd Webber's eighteenth musical.
The story begins when the audience is introduced to Dorothy Gale, a teenager living on her Aunt and Uncle's farm in Kansas. She believes Aunt Em and Uncle Henry do not understand her and her only true friend is her dog, Toto. Dorothy's frustrations at living on the farm amplify when Toto bites the leg of the unpleasant Miss Gulch, who threatens to call the sheriff.
Seething at being scolded unfairly, Dorothy runs from the farm and bumps into Professor Marvel. The professor tries to cheer her up by telling her about the wonderful things in the world. But as they are talking, a massive twister appears and Dorothy has to run home to find shelter. As she reaches her room, she falls and hits her head on the bedside. The house is swept away by the twister and unbeknownst to Dorothy, transports her to the Land of Oz
Dorothy's house falls in the center of a Munchkin Land and flattens the Wicked Witch of the East, who had been terrorizing the Munchkins living there. Dorothy is greeted by the Good Witch of the North, Glinda, and is given a warm welcome by the Munchkins. As a token of her appreciation, Glinda gifts Dorothy a pair of ruby slippers, which had once belonged to the Wicked Witch of the East. However, that offends the dead witch's sister, the Wicked Witch of the West, who vows to get back at Dorothy.
Since Dorothy has no clue about how to get home, Glinda tells her to visit the powerful Wizard of Oz, who could perhaps help her. The wizard lives in the Emerald City and Dorothy would have to follow the yellow brick road to get there. On her journey, Dorothy runs into a scarecrow who wants a brain, a tin man who wants a heart and a lion who wants courage; she invites all three to join her hoping the Wizard can help them too.
The company moves to the Emerald City and finally meets the fabled Wizard of Oz. The Wizard tells them that he will only help if they bring him the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West. Dorothy and her companions have to find a way to accomplish that task without being captured by the evil witch, for the broomstick is her only way out of Oz.
For the US National Tour, the cast will feature a string of new and upcoming stars, alongside established Broadway veterans.
The lead role of Dorothy will be played by Sarah Lasko. The production will be Lasko's national tour debut, though she has acted in numerous productions before this. Her favorite credits include plying Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Amalia in She Loves Me, Luisa in The Fantasticks and Abigail in The Crucible.
The Wizard of Oz/Professor Marvel:
The enigmatic wizard will be portrayed by Mark A. Harmon, who is a Broadway veteran with numerous starring credits to his name. His work includes portraying Harry Bright in Mamma Mia!, Wilbur Turnblad in Hairspray, Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, Charles Thompson in 1776, Mr, McQueen in Urinetown and Felix Turner in Regional: The Normal Heart.
The Wicked Witch of the West/Miss Gulch:
The antagonist of the musical, the wicked Witch, will be played by Shani Hadjian. Miss Hadjian has a wonderful resume and was previously on tour with Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Her other acting credits include Fancy Nancy, Les Miserables and As You Like It.
Aaron Fried has been cast as the lovable "cowardly" lion and Zeke. Fried has toured with numerous productions in the past including The Addams Family, Nice Work If You Can Get It and Grease. His other credits include Sowa's Red Gravy, Ogunquit and Gateway.
Jay McGill has been cast to portray the "heartless" Tin Man. McGill's acting credits include the television shows Being Erica, Wingin' It, The Latest Buzz and Super Why. He has also worked with the West Virginia Public Theater Company for two years.
Morgan Reynolds will play the Scarecrow, the lovable goof who yearns for a brain. Reynolds has long been associated with The Walt Disney Company and performed with them for seven years.
Glinda (Good Witch of the North):
Rachel Womble has been cast to play Glinda, the Good Witch of the North. Her acting credits include playing Philia in Forum, Martha in 1776 and Julie in Carousel.
Since the musical is based on the 1939 film, its award winning score has been utilized in the production as well. As such, Harold Arlen and EY Harburg are both credited with the music and lyrics.
Harold Arlen (Original Music)
An accomplished songwriter and vocalist, Arlen wrote more than five hundred songs over the course of his career. His greatest hits include "Get Happy," "Stormy Weather," "Blues in the Night," "That Old Black Magic" and "Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive." Arlen's Broadway credits include writing music for House of Flowers, St Louis Woman, Bloomer Girl, Saratoga and Jamaica. He also composed music for films and won an Academy Award for the song, "Over the Rainbow".
EY Harburg (Original Lyrics)
Known as Yip Harburg, he was one of the most popular lyricists in the US and collaborated with some of the twentieth century's most famous composers over the course of his career. These included Jerome Kern, Burton Lane, Jule Styne and George Gershwin. Harburg's most famous songs are "April in Paris," "Can You Spare a Dime?" and "It's Only a Paper Moon." He also won an Academy Award for his work on the Wizard of Oz.
Jeremy Sams (Director)
A standout name in the theater industry, Jeremy Sams has had a storied career. His directorial credits include The King and I (at the Royal Albert Hall), The Sound of Music (Toronto, Japan, London Palladium and UK Tour), 13 (on Broadway), Noises Off (West End and Broadway), Passion (West End), The Wind in the Willows (Old Vic and Tokoyo) and the Olivier Award nominated production of Spend, Spend, Spend.
Arlene Phillips (Choreography)
One of the biggest names in dance choreography in the world, Arlene Phillip's career has seen her collaborate on some of the biggest productions in the world. She rose to prominence with the dance group Hot Gossip and hasn't looked back since. Her theater credits include The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, We Will Rock You, Flashdance, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Jesus Christ Superstar, A Clockwork Orange, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Time. She was also the concert director of the Eurovision Song Contest, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, The James Bond Gala, Strictly Come Dancing and Midsummer Classics at the Royal Albert Hall. Phillips was also the Director of Choreography at the Manchester XVIII Common Wealth Games and worked at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. She was has been awarded the OBE for her work.
Mick Potter (Sound Design)
Mick Potter is another big name in the theater world and has been associated with several renowned productions over his career. His work includes the musicals Saturday Night Fever (New York, London), Bombay Dreams (New York, London), Phantom of the Opera (Las Vegas), Evita (London), The Sound of Music (Paris, London), Les Miserables (London, USA tour), The Woman in White (New York, London) and The Wizard of Oz (London, Toronto). He is an Olivier Award winner for his work on The Woman in White.
Hugh Vanstone (Lighting Design)
A prolific artist, Vanstone has worked on Lighting Design for over 160 productions. His most famous productions are Pacific Overtures, The Graduate (West End), The Cherry Orchard, The Unexpected Man, Matilda, The Blue Room and Arabian Nights. Vanstone has won three Olivier Awards for Lighting Design over the course of his career.
Some of the biggest names in the theater industry have worked on the Wizard of Oz and the results can be seen clearly on stage. The musical was nominated for an Olivier Award for the "Best Musical Revival" and has won numerous other accolades as well. This is your chance to experience Dorothy's tale in a whole new light; all you have to do is get The Wizard of Oz tickets.