Play the Songs
This original stage version of THE WIZARD OF OZ premiered at the Municipal Theatre of St. Louis (MUNY) in 1942.
There are two 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 source, this version employs story and songs as elements of a classic stage musical. This version also includes the characters of Gloria and Lord Growlie.
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.
Music samples provided courtesy of Hallmark Records and Sony/ATV Music Publishing
- Rehearsal Materials
- Cast List
- Brief History
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
TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC.
560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022
2 Violin I
1 Violin II
1 Flute (doubles Piccolo)
1 Clarinet I
1 Clarinet II
2 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)
1 Piano Conductor’s Score
1 Prompt Book for Director
28 Prompt Books for Cast
34 Chorus-Vocal Parts
Optional Additional Materials
1 Piano Rehearsal CD
(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.
Find upcoming performances near you.
Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance Port Huron Civic Theatre LAKEPORT, MI 08/11/2017 08/13/2017 John Long Middle School GRAFTON, WI 11/03/2017 11/05/2017 Westridge School for Girls PASADENA, CA 03/09/2018 03/11/2018