The Wizard of Oz (MUNY Version)

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The Wizard of Oz (MUNY Version)

L. Frank Baum, Frank Gabrielson, Harold Arlen, E. Y. Harburg, Herbert Stothart

Full Length Musical, Dramatic Comedy  /  4f, 4m, 13 any gender

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

This playful stage adaptation of L. Frank Baum's celebrated novel features characters and events not seen in the MGM film.

Photo: THE WIZARD OF OZ and all related characters and elements © & TM Turner Entertainment Co. (s19)

The Wizard of Oz (MUNY Version)
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OVERVIEW

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    4f, 4m, 13 any gender
  • Duration
    Duration
    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Fantasy, Adventure, Adaptations (Stage & Screen), Theatre for Young Audiences, Fables/Folktales
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Appropriate for all audiences
Accolades
Accolades
  • Winner! 1940 Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song ("Over The Rainbow")
    Winner! 1940 Academy Award for Best Music, Original Score
Description
This original stage version of The Wizard of Oz premiered at the Municipal Theatre of St. Louis (MUNY) in 1942.

There are two full-length versions of The Wizard of Oz: MUNY and RSC. Both include the songs "Over The Rainbow," "Munchkinland (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead)," "If I Only Had A Brain/A Heart/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 also has "Evening Star." The RSC version also includes "Poppies (Optimistic Voices)" and "If I Were King Of The Forest."

This MUNY version is the more theatrically conservative, and employs its stage, actors, singers, dancers, and musicians in traditional ways. Using L. Frank Baum's book - and not the MGM film - as its inspiration, this version employs story and songs as elements of a classic stage musical. This version does not include Toto, but instead adds new characters, including: Farmhand Joe, Gloria of Oz, Lord Growlie, Tibia (the witch's skeletal assistant), two comical neighboring witches, and the Royal Army of Oz.

The RSC Version is a more faithful adaptation of the film. A more technically complex production, it recreates the dialogue and structure of the MGM classic nearly scene for scene, though it is adapted for live stage performance. The RSC version's musical material also provides more work for the SATB chorus and small vocal ensembles.
History
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.

Act I

A teenage girl named 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. When the jitterbugs attack, Dorothy appeals to the Sorceress of the North, who freezes the jitterbugs ("The Jitterbug").

Act II

In the Emerald City, the Royal Army of Oz (which consists of many generals and just one private) practices maneuvers. Dorothy and her friends arrive and meet Lord Growlie, his daughter Gloria, and the Royal Army. Lord Growlie warns them of the Great Wizard's power and temper. Gloria leads the friends on a tour ("The Merry Old Land of Oz") and several Ozian girls ask Dorothy to sing about love ("Evening Star"). Finally, the friends meet the Wizard, who declares that he will only help them after they kill the Wicked Witch of the West. The four friends set off for the witch's castle. With the aid of her skeletal assistant, Tibia, the witch eventually captures Dorothy, and her friends rush to try to rescue her, disguising themselves as ghosts. The witch, unfazed, intends to shrink Dorothy and her friends with a magic potion in her cauldron. When the Witch threatens the Scarecrow with fire, Dorothy pushes the her into the cauldron, shrinking her away to nothing ("Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead" - Reprise).

The friends return to the Emerald City, but the Wizard turns out to be an ordinary old man who had journeyed to Oz from Omaha long ago. Despite his lack of magical powers, the Wizard provides the companions with symbolic gifts: a diploma for the Scarecrow, a pocket watch for the Tin Woodman, and a medal of courage for the Cowardly Lion. To help Dorothy return home, the Wizard personally escorts her in his new rocket ship. As Dorothy and the Wizard fly off to Kansas, the entire company sings a reprise of "Over The Rainbow."

Considerations

Performing Groups
  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Youth/Camp Programs
Cautions
  • No Special Cautions

Licence details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Specifics

Details

  • Time Period: 1930s
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The Gale farmhouse in Kansas and various locations in the Land of Oz
  • Features / Contains: Fantasy Costumes

Casting

4f, 4m, 13 any gender
Cast Attributes
  • Expandable casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
Principals

(4 female; 4 male; 3 any gender)

Dorothy
The Good Witch, Sorceress of the North
Gloria
The Wicked Witch of the West*

The Scarecrow
The Tin Woodman
The Cowardly Lion
The Wizard of Oz*

Munchkin Mayor
Munchkin Barrister
Munchkin Coroner

*non-singing

Supporting

Aunt Em
Uncle Henry
Farmhand
A Munchkin Farmer
Visiting Witch No. 1
Visiting Witch No. 2
Tibia
Servant
Ozmas
Lord Growlie

SATB Chorus

Private
Foremost General
23 Other Generals
Oz Lady
Girls

Farmhands, Munchkins, Citizens of Oz

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Dance Requirements: Easy
  • Vocal Demands: Easy
  • Orchestra Size: Large
  • Chorus Size: Large
Act I

1. Overture – Orchestra
2a. “Over The Rainbow” – Dorothy
2b. “Over The Rainbow” – Chorus of Farmhands
3. Cyclone – Orchestra
4. Scene Change: Over The Rainbow – Orchestra
5. Cuckoo – Percussion
6. Sorceress Of The North – Orchestra
7. “Munchkinland” – Dorothy, Good Witch, & Munchkins
8. Exit: Sorceress Of The North – Orchestra
9. Wicked Witch Music – Orchestra
10. “If I Only Had A Brain” – Scarecrow
10a. Dance: If I Only Had A Brain – Orchestra
11. Wicked Witch Music – Orchestra
12. “If I Only Had A Heart” – Tin Man
13. “We’re Off To See The Wizard” – Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, & Munchkins
14. “We’re Off To See The Wizard” – Dorothy, Tin Man, & Scarecrow
15. “If I Only Had The Nerve” – Lion
16. “We’re Off To See The Wizard” – Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, & Lion
17. “Jitterbug” – Dorothy, with Tin Man, Scarecrow, & Lion
17a. Jitterbug (Dance) – Orchestra
18. Entrance: Sorceress Of The North – Orchestra
19. Reprise: Jitterbug Dance – Orchestra
19a. Ballet – Orchestra
20. “We’re Off To See The Wizard” – Sorceress, Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, & Lion

Act II

21. March: Changing Of The Guard – Orchestra
22. March – Orchestra
23. Finger Snap – Percussion
24. “The Merry Old Land Of Oz” – Gloria
24a. Funeral March Of A Marionette – Orchestra
25. “Evening Star” – Dorothy, optionally with Gloria & Girls
26. Entrance: Wizard – Orchestra
27. Exit: Wizard – Orchestra
28. Wicked Witch Music – Orchestra
29. Ghost Dance – Orchestra
30. “Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead” – Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, & Lion
31. Reprise: “Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead” – Dorothy, Tin Man, Scarecrow, & Lion
32. Scene Change: Ballet – Orchestra
33. Entrance: Wizard – Orchestra
34. Finale: “Over The Rainbow” – Ensemble of Dorothy, Principals, & Chorus

Full Orchestration

Violin I
Violin II
Viola
Cello
Bass

Flute (doubles Piccolo)
Oboe
Clarinet I
Clarinet II
Bassoon

Horns I & II
Trumpet I
Trumpet II
Trombone

Percussion:
Timpani (3 Drums)
Snare Drum (Brushes & Sticks)
Bass Drum
Tom Tom
Suspended Cymbal
Hi-Hat Cymbals (Optional)
Glockenspiel
Chimes
Horse Hoof Sound
Cuckoo Sound (clock effect)
Wood Block
Triangle
Metal Snapper

Materials

Scripts

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package:
1 Piano/Conductor Score
36 Libretto/Vocal Books
1 Flute/Piccolo
1 Oboe/English/ Horn
1 Clarinet 1
1 Clarinet 2
1 Bassoon
2 Horn 1&2
1 Trumpet 1
1 Trumpet 2
1 Trombone
1 Percussion
2 Violin 1
1 Violin 2
1 Viola
1 Cello
1 Bass

Piano Only:
1 Piano/Conductor
36 Libretto/Vocal book

Additional Resources And Services Available

Media

Press

“This is, to come out with it immediately, the most marvellous show.” – Jeremy Kingston, The Times

“'Iconic' is an overused word these days, but when you’re talking about The Wizard of Oz, there’s really no other—whether you mean the 1939 film with Judy Garland, L. Frank Baum’s book (it came first, you know), or a stage version... this Oz, brimming with color, seduces and delights.” – Collin Kelley, Atlanta In Town

“Since this classic movie first delighted children and grownups back in 1939, L. Frank Baum’s glorious fantasy has been a continual favorite. Whether on film, in print or live on stage, as it is at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, this fanciful story, with its inspiring lesson about friendship, is one of the most beloved in children’s literature... Did Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen have any idea of the enduring musical magic they’d created when they composed all those wonderful, infectious songs?” – Colin Douglas, Chicago Theatre Review

Videos

  • Highlights - Walnut Street Theatre

  • Over The Rainbow

  • Alliance Theatre - Wizard of Oz

  • Chicago Shakes - Wizard of Oz

More videos +

Photos

  • The Wizard of Oz (MUNY Version)

    Credit: © & TM Turner Entertainment Co. (s19)

  • The Wizard of Oz (MUNY Version)

    Credit: © & TM Turner Entertainment Co. (s19)

  • The Wizard of Oz (MUNY Version)

    Credit: © & TM Turner Entertainment Co. (s19)

  • The Wizard of Oz (MUNY Version)

    Credit: © & TM Turner Entertainment Co. (s19)

More

Authors

L. Frank Baum

Lyman Frank Baum (May 15, 1856 – May 6, 1919) was an American author of children's books, best known for writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, published in 1900. One of the most successful novels in American literature, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz sold out instantly, became a cutlrual sensation, ...

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Author

Frank Gabrielson

Harold Arlen

Harold Arlen (1905-1986) wrote some of the greatest hits from the 30's and 40's, including the entire score to the classic movie The Wizard of Oz. Songs such as “Over the Rainbow,” “Get Happy,” “Stormy Weather,” “It's Only a Paper Moon,” “I've Got the World on a String” and “Last Night When We Were Young” a ...

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E. Y. Harburg

One of America’s greatest lyricists for stage and screen, Yip Harburg (1896-1981) was the son of poor Russian-Jewish immigrants and attended CCNY. Also a book writer (usually with Fred Saidy), director, and poet, Harburg wrote lyrics for more than 550 songs, including “It’s Only A Paper Moon” (with Harold Arlen), “A ...

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Herbert Stothart

Herbert Stothart (1885-1949) was nominated for nine Oscars and won for Best Original Score for his work on the 1939 film of The Wizard of Oz. As a young man he studied music in Europe and at the University of Wisconsin where he also taught. He worked as a musical director for Arthur Hammerstein and later be ...

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