The Wizard Of Oz (R.S.C. 1987)

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Like so many girls her age, little Dorothy Gale of Kansas dreams of what lies over the rainbow. One day a twister hits her farm and carries her away over the rainbow to another world. Come join Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion and Toto as they travel the universe of Dorothy’s imagination.
There are two versions of THE WIZARD OF OZ. Both include the songs Over The Rainbow, Munchkinland (Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead), If I Only Had A Brain, If I Only Had A Heart, If I Only Had 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 has Evening Star. The RSC version also includes Poppies (Optimistic Voices) and If I Were King Of The Forest.
The MUNY version is the more theatrically conservative and employs its stage, actors, singers, dancers and musicians in traditional ways to tell Mr. Baum’s story. The story and the music are treated by the adapters as elements of a classic stage musical without reference to their use in the film.
The RSC version is a more technically complex production and uses as much of the aura of the film as is possible to create in a modern theatre. It is an adaption for live stage performance, even while it strives to look and sound just like the famous film, in telling the story. There is more work for the SATB chorus and small vocal ensembles in the music material for the RSC version.
Put a smile on everyone’s face with THE WIZARD OF OZ!

*Music samples provided courtesy of Jay Records and Sony/ATV.

Video demonstration of Tams Rehearsal Aid

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Dorothy Gale, a young girl who lives on a farm in Kansas with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, gets in the way while the adults try to work. She finds a quiet place where she won’t get into any trouble -Over The Rainbow. The girl is upset because their mean neighbor, Miss Gulch, presents her with a Sheriff’s summons for her cherished dog, Toto. Toto escapes from Miss Gultch’s bicycle basket and joins Dorothy as she runs away from the farm. They meet up with kind Professor Marvel, who convinces her to go back home. A cyclone hits the area, and Dorothy and Toto are locked out of the family’s storm cellar. They go into her room in the house, where Dorothy is accidently hit on the head. This begins their journey to the Land of Oz.
    When she wakes up in Oz, Dorothy is greeted by Glinda, the Witch of the North (who has an uncanny resemblance to Aunt Em.) Upon landing, Dorothy’s house inadvertently lands on and fatally strikes the Wicked Witch of the East. This frees the Munchkins from the Wicked Witch of the East’s power, so they now consider Dorothy their heroine -Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead & Munchkin Musical Sequence. The Wicked Witch of the West (Miss Gulch) comes to avenge her sister’s death and to claim her sister’s magic ruby slippers, only to find that Glinda has already put them on Dorothy’s feet. The Wicked Witch of the West has a new challenge – to get those slippers for herself. Dorothy wants to go back home to Kansas, but the Munchkins tell her the only one who may help her get back home is the Wizard of Oz. So Dorothy is off to see the Wizard -Yellow Brick Road.
    Along the way she meets three new friends and travel companions. The Scarecrow (Hunk, the first of Uncle Henry’s farmhands) explains why he needs to see the Wizard in If I Only Had A Brain. The Tinman (Hickory) joins them because his life would be better If I Only Had A Heart and the Lion (Zeke) comes along -If I Only Had The Nerve. All four sing We’re Off To See The Wizard.
    The Wicked Witch of the West makes her second unsuccessful attempt to get Dorothy’s ruby slippers when Dorothy is with the Scarecrow and the Tinman. But she fails to scare them. Her next plan includes the Lion, and involves a beautiful field of poppies with a poisonous scent. Glinda rescues the travelers by turning the poppies into snowflakes -Poppies.
    Our travelers arrive at the Emerald City to be discouraged from entering by the Gatekeeper (Uncle Henry). He finally lets them in -Merry Old Land Of Oz. Before they are allowed to meet the Wizard, the travelers must be cleaned up by the Osians. Even after they prepare for the meeting, the Wizard refuses to meet them. The Wicked Witch appears again. The lion fantasizes in King Of The Forest. The guard finally brings them to the Wizard, but the four friends must prove themselves worthy of the Wizard’s help by bringing him the Wicked Witch of the West’s broomstick. The only way to get her broomstick would be to kill her. So off the foursome goes, to the land of the Winkies (the Wicked Witch’s slaves) and the Wicked Witch’s castle.
    The group is in the haunted forest filled with jitterbugs that spook them. The jitterbugs make them dance until they all collapse from exhaustion – Jitterbug and then the Wicked Witch’s flying monkeys swoop down and capture Dorothy and Toto. At the castle the Wicked Witch again fails to take the ruby slippers off Dorothy’s feet, so threatens Dorothy with her life. Toto manages to escape. The Lion, Scarecrow and Tinman recover from the poppies’ scent, and make it to the castle to rescue Dorothy. Toto meets them at the entrance, and they sneak in, wearing Winkie uniforms, as part of the Winkie army. The foursome and Toto are reunited, but the Wicked Witch prevents their escape. The Wicked Witch becomes even meaner and threatens the Scarecrow with fire on her broomstick. Dorothy throws a bucket of water at the fire and ends up dousing the Wicked Witch. The Wicked Witch screams, smoulders and shrinks. She melts into nothing. -Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead (reprise). The foursome take the broom back to the Wizard.
    The Wizard is again reluctant to see the travelers, but Toto playfully pulls aside the curtain that separates the Wizard from them. An ordinary man (Professor Marvel) speaking into a microphone is revealed. As the Wizard he performs graduation exercises, giving the Scarecrow a Dr. of Thinkology, making the Lion a member of the Legion of Courage and giving the Tinman a heart-shaped watch. He offers to take Dorothy back to Kansas in his hot-air balloon. The balloon accidently takes off without Dorothy and Toto, but Glinda saves the day. She explains to Dorothy that all this time, Dorothy has had the power herself to go home. All she has to do is close her eyes, tap her heels together three times and repeat to herself “there’s no place like home.”
    Back in Kansas the storm is over. Dorothy wakes up confused, with a bump on her head. She and Toto were not the only ones who had an adventure during the storm. Miss Gulch was hit by a telegraph pole and broke her leg. At least Miss Gulch won’t be bothering Toto for a while. Dorothy appreciates her family and friends even more than ever.

  • By L. Frank Baum
    With Music and Lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg
    Background Music by Herbert Stothart
    Dance and Vocal Arrangements by Peter Howard
    Orchestration by Larry Wilcox
    Adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company
    Based upon the Classical Motion Picture owned by Turner Entertainment Co. and distributed in all media by Warner Bros.

  • Full Orchestration

    2 Violin I
    1 Violin II
    1 Viola
    1 Cello
    1 Bass

    1 Flute, Piccolo and Recorder
    1 Oboe and English Horn
    1 Reed I – Alto Sax, Clarinet & Bass Clarinet
    1 Reed II – Tenor Sax, Flute & Clarinet
    1 Reed III – Baritone Sax, Flute & Clarinet

    1 Horn I & II
    1 Trumpet I & II
    1 Trombone (doubles Tuba for #22 only)

    1 Harp
    1 Piano, Celeste & Synthesizer
    (Keyboard Synthesizer with registration for Honky-tonk Piano, Vibraphone, Strings, Celeste, Harpsichord, and Contrabass Clarinet.)
    2 Percussion I & II
    Mallet Instruments:
    Timpani (2 Pedal Drums), Bells, Xylophone, Vibraphone, Chimes, Suspended Cymbal, Bass Drum/Cymbals Combo, Triangle, Tambourine, Ratchet, Spook Noises – ad lib. (or low Timp.), Siren, Temple Blocks (2 pitches), Mark Tree, Whistle, Anvil, Klaxon Horn, Gong, Steel SFX, Steel Drum (various pitches) and Metalic Objects (or Steel Drum ad lib.).
    Trap Drum Set:
    Snare Drum (brushes & sticks), Bass Drum, Tom Tom (2 pitches), Wood Block (2 pitches), Cow Bell (3 pitches), Triangle, Tam Tam, Spook Noises-ad lib., Cymbals-Hi-Hat, suspended, crash & ride, Metalic Objects (opt: various Cow Bells), Hollow Cylinder (opt: low pitch Cow Bell) and Chimes (Bb Eb F).

    Piano-Conductor’s Score & Rehearsal Piano Score sent with Rehearsal Material

    Available at an additional charge, with the rental of the orchestration: A special Keyboard Synthesizer part that can be substituted for the upper Strings (Violin I, Violin II, Viola and Cello).

    Also available, at an additional charge, with the rental of the orchestration: Full Orchestra Score (Partitur) in 2 volumes.

  • 1       Prompt Book-Vocal Part
    1       Piano Conductor’s Score
    1       Rehearsal Score
    1       Original Cast CD
    30     Prompt Book-Vocal Parts

    Optional Additional Materials

    1       Tams Rehearsal Aid.
    1       Keyboard Synthesizer part as substitute for the upper Strings (Violin I, Violin II, Viola and Cello). Requires rental of the full orchestration.
    1       Full Orchestra Score (partitur) in 2 volumes. Requires rental of the full orchestration.

  • Principals

    (2 female; 4 male)

    Dorothy
    Glinda (doubles as Aunt Em/Emily Gale)
    Scarecrow (doubles as Hunk — a farmhand)
    Tinman (doubles as Hickory — a farmhand)
    Lion (doubles as Zeke — a farmhand)
    Guard (doubles as Uncle Henry/Henry Gale)

    From the Chorus

    Three Crows — male trio
    Three Trees — female trio

    Munchkin Mayor
    Munchkin Coroner
    Munchkin Fiddler

    Three Munchkin Tots
    Three Tough Munchkin Kids

    SATB Chorus

    Ozians
    Jitterbugs
    Munchkins
    Nikko — commander of monkeys
    Popikins, Beauticians, Manicurists and Offstage Voices with the Orchestra — girls
    Snowmen, Polishers and Winkies — boys

    Non-singing

    Miss Almira Gulch (doubles as Wicked Witch of the West)
    Professor Chester Marvel (doubles as Wizard of Oz)

    [No original cast size from Barbican Centre available yet]

  • A version of WIZARD OF OZ based on the motion picture with book adaptations by Frank Gabrielson was presented by the Municipal Theatre of St. Louis in 1942. This second version with book adaptations by John Kane follows the famous motion picture even more closely and was presented by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican Centre in London in 1987.