Monday, 21 January 2013

On this Day: 21st January 1903- Wizard of Oz premieres in NYC

The Wizard of Oz was a 1902 musical extravaganza based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, which was originally published in 1900. Much of the original music was by Paul Tietjens and has been mostly forgotten, although it was still well-remembered and in discussion at MGM in the late 1930s, when the classic film version of the story was made. Although Baum is the credited bookwriter, Glen MacDonough was hired on as jokewriter after Baum had finished the script.

The 1902 show premiered in Chicago and later to Broadway in 1903, where it ran for 293 performances from January 21, 1903 to December 31, 1904, followed by travelling tours of the original cast. It starred Anna Laughlin as Dorothy Gale, Fred Stone as The Scarecrow and David C. Montgomery as the Tin Woodman (who is called Niccolo Chopper in the musical [in the books, he had begun life as human Nick Chopper]). Arthur Hill (no relation to the Canadian actor) played the Cowardly Lion, but in this version, his role was reduced to a bit part. An element from the show — the snowfall caused by the Good Witch, which defeats the spell of the poppies that had put Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion to sleep — was later used in the famous 1939 movie.

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Research courtesy of Wikipedia

Images courtesy of Wikimedia


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