This original stage adaptation of The Wizard of Oz premiered at the Municipal Theatre of St. Louis (MUNY) in 1942.
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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.