The Wizard of Oz (2011 musical)

The Wizard of Oz is a 2011 musical based on the 1939 film of the same name, with a book adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jeremy Sams. The musical uses the Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg songs from the film and includes some new songs and additional music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and additional lyrics by Tim Rice.

The Wizard of Oz
Wiz of oz london.jpg
MusicHarold Arlen
Andrew Lloyd Webber (additional)
Herbert Stothart (incidental)
LyricsE. Y. Harburg
Tim Rice (additional)
BookAndrew Lloyd Webber
Jeremy Sams
Basis1939 film The Wizard of Oz and 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Productions2011 West End
2012 Toronto
2013 US tour
2017 Australian tour

After previews in the West End from 7 February, the musical opened on 1 March 2011, directed by Jeremy Sams, and closed on 2 September 2012. The original cast included Danielle Hope as Dorothy Gale, Michael Crawford as the Wizard and Hannah Waddingham as the Wicked Witch of the West. Sophie Evans played Dorothy on Tuesday evenings and took over the role full-time in February 2012. The role of Dorothy was cast through the 2010 reality television show Over the Rainbow, in which Hope won and Evans was the runner-up. After a similar Canadian reality TV search show, a Toronto production began in December 2012 and closed in August 2013, and was followed by a North American tour. In April 2017 an Australian tour was announced including season at the Lyric Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, the Capitol Theatre in Sydney, and at the Adelaide Festival Theatre. The cast includes Anthony Warlow as the Wizard with Lucy Durack as Glinda the Good Witch and Jemma Rix as Wicked Witch of the West.[1][2][3]


The Wizard of Oz was first turned into a musical extravaganza by Baum himself. A loose adaptation of his 1900 novel (there is no Wicked Witch or Toto, and there are some new characters), it first played in Chicago in 1902 and was a success on Broadway the following year. It then toured for nine years.[4] The 1939 film adaptation bore a closer resemblance to the storyline of Baum's original novel than most previous versions. It was a strong success, winning the Academy Awards for Best Original Song and Original Score, and continues to be broadcast perennially.

Among the many musical theatre adaptations of The Wizard of Oz, two previous ones have used the songs from the film. In 1945, the St. Louis Municipal Opera (MUNY) created a version with a script adapted by Frank Gabrielson from the novel, but it is influenced in some respects by the motion picture screenplay. It uses most of the songs from the film. This was followed, in 1987, by a Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) adaptation designed to more closely recreate the film version. The book by John Kane closely follows the film's screenplay, and it uses nearly all of the film's music.[5] Both the MUNY and RSC adaptations were successes and have been revived numerous times in the US and UK.[6]

Lloyd Webber

The Wizard of Oz is Andrew Lloyd Webber's 18th musical.[7] Tim Rice first collaborated with Lloyd Webber in 1965, together writing The Likes of Us. Their next piece was Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, followed by two more concept albums that became hit musicals, Jesus Christ Superstar (1971) and Evita (1978). Except for a special collaboration for Queen Elizabeth's 60th birthday celebration, the musical Cricket in 1986, after Evita, each man turned to other collaborators to produce further well-known musical theatre works.

To create the new musical, Lloyd Webber and director Jeremy Sams adapted the 1939 film's screenplay, and Rice and Lloyd Webber added several new songs to the film's score.[8]


London (2011-12)Edit

After previews beginning 7 February,[9] the musical opened in the West End, at the London Palladium, on 1 March 2011. The role of Dorothy was originated by Danielle Hope, who was selected through the reality television show Over the Rainbow,[10] and the title role of the Wizard was created by Michael Crawford.[11] Over the Rainbow runner-up Sophie Evans performed the role of Dorothy on Tuesday evenings and when Hope was ill or on holiday.[12] Hannah Waddingham originated the role of the Wicked Witch of the West[13] and was replaced in September 2011 by her understudy, Marianne Benedict.[14] Hope and Crawford left the production on 5 February 2012.[15] Evans replaced Hope in the role of Dorothy full-time in February 2012,[16] and Russell Grant took over soon afterwards as The Wizard, for 14 weeks.[17] Des O'Connor portrayed The Wizard from May 2012 until the production closed.[18]

The musical was produced by Lloyd Webber and Bill Kenwright,[19] with direction by Jeremy Sams, choreography by Arlene Phillips and sets and costumes by Robert Jones.[13] It took in pre-opening sales of £10 million.[20] The production celebrated its 500th performance on 9 May 2012[21] and closed on 2 September 2012.[18]

Toronto and North American tour (2012-14)Edit

An autumn 2012 reality TV show, Over the Rainbow, hosted by Daryn Jones, searched for a Canadian girl to play the role of Dorothy in a Toronto staging by Mirvish Productions.[22][23] On 5 November 2012, viewers of the show chose Danielle Wade, a 20-year-old University of Windsor acting major, to play the role, with Stephanie La Rochelle as 1st runner up.[24][25] The production premiered on 20 December 2012 at the Ed Mirvish Theatre with an official opening on 13 January 2013. Besides Wade, the all-Canadian cast also included Cedric Smith as Professor Marvel/the Wizard, Lisa Horner as Miss Gulch/The Wicked Witch of the West, Mike Jackson as the Tin Man, Lee MacDougall as the Cowardly Lion, Jamie McKnight as the Scarecrow and Robin Evan Willis as Glinda.[26] The production concluded its run on 18 August 2013, having been seen by over 500,000 people.[27]

The musical received a North American tour beginning on 10 September 2013 at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the original Canadian cast, except that Jacquelyn Piro Donovan played Miss Gulch/The Wicked Witch of the West. It concluded on 29 June 2014 at the Detroit Opera House.[28]

Australian tour (2017–2018)Edit

The musical began touring Australia beginning 4 November 2017 at the Lyric Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane, Queensland, followed by a season at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney in Sydney from 30 December 2017. The cast included Anthony Warlow as the Wizard, Lucy Durack as Glinda the Good Witch, Jemma Rix as the Wicked Witch of the West,[1][2] and Samantha Dodemaide as Dorothy. Durack and Rix previously portrayed Glinda and Elphaba respectively in the Australian production of Wicked.[3]

Leicester (2021–2022)Edit

The musical was scheduled to make its UK regional premiere in a new production directed by Nikolai Foster for the Curve, Leicester running from 28 November 2020 to 16 January 2021.[29] However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the production has been postponed a year running from 27 November 2021 to 15 January 2022.[30]


Act I

Orphaned teenager Dorothy Gale lives on a farm in Kansas with her Aunt Em, Uncle Henry and dog Toto, but feels misunderstood ("Nobody Understands Me"). The unpleasant Miss Gulch threatens to call the sheriff after Toto bites her leg. Dorothy wants to escape to a nicer place, somewhere ("Over the Rainbow"). She runs away from the farm and meets Professor Marvel, who tells her all about ("The Wonders of the World").[31] They are interrupted by a twister, and Dorothy runs home for shelter. Inside the farmhouse, she bangs her head on the bedside. The house is borne away by the storm.

Landing in Oz, Dorothy's house flattens the Wicked Witch of the East. Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, greets Dorothy and tells her where she is. Glinda calls for the Munchkins to ("Come Out"). These little people, overjoyed at the demise of their wicked tormentor, welcome Dorothy and Toto ("Ding Dong the Witch is Dead"; "We Welcome You to Munchkin Land"). Glinda presents Dorothy with the magic ruby slippers that belonged to the dead witch. This enrages the witch's sister, the Wicked Witch of the West. Glinda tells Dorothy that the Wizard of Oz might be able to help her return home, and how to find him ("Follow the Yellow Brick Road"). Dorothy sets off toward the Emerald City to speak to the great Oz ("You’re Off to See the Wizard").

On her way, she meets the Scarecrow, who feels inadequate with a head full of only stuffing ("If I Only Had a Brain"). Dorothy invites him to travel with her, hoping the Wizard can help him ("We’re Off to See the Wizard"). They soon meet the Tin Man, who is unhappy with his empty tin chest ("If I Only Had a Heart") and invite him to join them. The Wicked Witch of the West threatens to light the Scarecrow on fire unless Dorothy gives her the ruby slippers; Dorothy refuses. In the dark forest, they encounter a very unhappy Lion, afraid of his own tail ("If I Only Had the Nerve"). He too joins the group on the road to the Emerald City.

Emerging into the light, the friends encounter another obstacle. The Wicked Witch has cast a spell creating a huge field of poppies that puts Dorothy and the Lion to sleep. Glinda counters with a snowfall that nullifies the poison, so the friends may continue on their journey ("Optimistic Voices"). Arriving at the Emerald City, Dorothy and company persuade the gatekeeper to admit them. They are welcomed with open arms and are groomed in preparation for a meeting with the Wizard ("The Merry Old Land of Oz"). The Wicked Witch flies down into the City with more threats, still angry that she doesn't have the ruby slippers. The four friends and Toto go into the Wizard's chamber. The great Oz appears as a frightening, disembodied head and says he will grant the group their wishes if they do something for him first. He demands: ("Bring Me the Broomstick") of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Act II

In a forest on the way to the castle of the Wicked Witch of the West, the group try to figure out how to steal the broomstick ("We Went to See the Wizard"). They hide from a group of the Witch's Winkies ("March of the Winkies"). Meanwhile, in her castle, the Witch sends her flying monkeys to capture Dorothy and Toto and bring them to the castle ("Red Shoes Blues"). She imprisons Dorothy and tells her to give up the slippers within the hour or die ("Red Shoes Blues" (reprise)). Dorothy wishes more than ever that she was back at home ("Over the Rainbow" (reprise)). The Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion consider how to rescue her from the Witch's castle ("If We Only Had a Plan"). They disguise themselves as Winkies and sneak into the castle ("March of the Winkies" (reprise)). They find the Witch and Dorothy. When the Witch tries to attack the Scarecrow, a Winkie hands Dorothy a bucket of water, which she throws over the Witch, melting her. The Winkies are thrilled to be free of the wicked witch ("Hail – Hail! The Witch is Dead").

Dorothy and her friends return with the broomstick to see the Wizard. Toto reveals that the Wizard's fearsome visage is an illusion; he is just an ordinary man. Still, he gives the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion tokens of the brains, heart and courage that they already had inside of them. He tells Dorothy that he himself will take her to Kansas in his hot air balloon, appointing the Scarecrow as prime minister of Oz, with the Tin Man and Lion as other ministers ("You Went to See the Wizard"). Just before the balloon flies off, Toto runs into the crowd, and Dorothy retrieves him, missing her ride; she is seemingly stranded in Oz. Glinda appears to tell her that she and Toto had the power to return home all along ("Already Home"). After saying goodbye to her friends, Dorothy clicks her heels together three times, chanting ("There’s No Place Like Home").

Back in Kansas, Aunt Em and Uncle Henry tell Dorothy that she hit her head and had been unconscious for days. Dorothy insists her adventure in Oz was real, not a dream, but she is very grateful to be home. As Aunt Em and Uncle Henry leave her alone in her bedroom to rest, a gust of wind blows open her cupboard door, revealing the ruby slippers.

Notable CastsEdit

Character Original West End


Toronto/North American Tour[32]


Australian Tour[33]


The Wizard of Oz/Professor Marvel Michael Crawford Cedric Smith Troy Bruchalski
Dorothy Gale Danielle Hope

Sophie Evans

Danielle Wade Kalie Kaimann
Scarecrow/Hunk Paul Keating Jamie McKnight Christopher Michael Milligan

Joshua Bellamy

Jack Saleeby

Tin Man/Hickory Edward Baker-Duly Mike Jackson Nick Gurinsky
Cowardly Lion/Zeke David Ganly Lee MacDougall Nicholas J. Pearson
The Wicked Witch of the West/Miss Gulch Hannah Waddingham Lisa Horner Emily Perzan
Glinda the Good Witch Emily Tierney Robin Evan Willis Katherine Walker Hill
Aunt Em/Others Helen Walsh[34] Charlotte Moore
Uncle Henry/Others Stephen Scott[34] Larry Mannell Michael Weaver

Toto, Dorothy's dog, was played by four different West Highland White Terriers in the original west end production.[35][36]

Musical numbersEdit


Most of the musical's songs are taken from the 1939 film and were written by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg. New numbers written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice include a song for Professor Marvel ("The Wonders of the World") and the Wicked Witch of the West ("Red Shoes Blues"), two songs for the Wizard ("Bring Me the Broomstick" and "Farewell to Oz") and another song for Dorothy ("Nobody Understands Me"). A song featured in the film but omitted in the musical is "If I Were King of the Forest."[37][38] Also not used in this musical was "The Jitterbug".

*denotes new song by Rice and Lloyd Webber.
**denotes new lyric by Rice.

Cast RecordingEdit

A cast album, featuring the songs from the original production, was released as a CD and digital download on 9 May 2011.[39]


Opening night reviews were mixed but generally praised the designs, the special effects and several cast members, especially Waddingham. The Telegraph reviewer, Charles Spencer, rated the production three out of five stars, writing: "Jeremy Sams’s production pulls out all the stops, with ingenious designs by Robert Jones that skilfully conjure up both the sepia world of Kansas and the lurid colours of Oz. Dorothy’s flight to the enchanted land is thrillingly caught with the help of film effects that wouldn’t look out of place on Doctor Who and the story is told with clarity and pace", but added that Hope "offers a thoroughly competent rather than an inspired performance" that "lacks the heart-catching vulnerability of the young Judy Garland".[40] Paul Taylor of The Independent gave the show four out of five stars, commenting: "Jeremy Sams's production is a marvel of beguiling narrative fluency and, with Robert Jones's superb designs, of endlessly witty and spectacular visual invention – from the digitally-enhanced hurricane transition to Oz to the skeletally twisted Gothic palace of the Wicked Witch and her totalitarian, helmeted guards."[41] Henry Hitchings of the London Evening Standard also gave the show four out of five stars, praising Jones's "lavish costumes and lovingly conceived sets. ... The story is lucid and well-paced, though the technological wizardry occasionally obscures its inherent magic. ... Danielle Hope ... makes a winning impression. Her performance combines innocence with easy charm, and her voice soars."[42] Although Michael Billington, the reviewer at The Guardian, felt "blitzkrieged rather than charmed", he gave the production three stars out of five, writing:

"The star of the show is undoubtedly the set and costume designer, Robert Jones. The Kansas cyclone that whisks Dorothy into a dreamworld is evoked through vorticist projections (the work of Jon Driscoll) that betoken chaos in the cosmos. The Yellow Brick Road is on a tilted revolve from inside which poppyfields and labyrinthine forest emerge. The Emerald City is full of steeply inclined walls suggesting a drunkard's vision of the Chrysler Building lobby. And the Wicked Witch of the West inhabits a rotating dungeon that might be a Piranesi nightmare. ... Of course, there are the songs; it's good to be reminded of such classics as "Over The Rainbow", "We're Off To See The Wizard", and "Follow The Yellow Brick Road". The additions by Lloyd Webber and Rice are also perfectly acceptable. Dorothy is given a good plaintive opening number, and Red Shoes Blues, sung by the Wicked Witch, has a pounding intensity."[43]

The Oxford Times reviewed the production during Evans's first week (in May 2011) replacing the vacationing Hope, calling the show "hugely enjoyable" and commenting of Evans: "Such is her success in the role that it would be hard to imagine anyone could consider they were getting second-best."[44]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Original London productionEdit

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref
2012 Laurence Olivier Award Best Musical Revival Nominated [45] Theatergoers Choice Awards Best Musical Revival Won [46]
Best Supporting Actress in a Musical Hannah Waddingham Won
Newcomer of the Year Danielle Hope Nominated
Best Set Designer Robert Jones Nominated

Original Toronto productionEdit

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref
2013 Dora Awards Outstanding Production Nominated [47]
Outstanding Performance - Female Lisa Horner Won
Outstanding Performance - Male Cedric Smith Nominated
Outstanding Performance - Ensemble Cast Nominated

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "The World's Favourite Musical Returns To Australia". The Wizard of Oz The Musical Official Site. The Really Useful Group. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b James, Erin. "Once a witch, always a witch: Durack and Rix reunite for The Wizard of Oz". Aussie Theatre. Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Lucy Durack and Jemma Rix Join Anthony Warlow in a Trip Down the Yellow Brick Road in THE WIZARD OF OZ". Broadway World.
  4. ^ Swartz, p. 146
  5. ^ Swartz, p. 257
  6. ^ Raymond, Kurt. "We're off to Stage the Wizard of Oz". Beyond the Rainbow to Oz website. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
  7. ^ Underhill, William. "The Wizard of the West End". Newsweek, 30 January 2011 Archived February 4, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "The Show". Retrieved 10 February 2011
  9. ^ "The London Palladium, 'The Wizard of Oz' ". London Theatreland. Retrieved 19 December 2010
  10. ^ Vine, Katherine (2 April 2010). "Yellow Brick Road to Fame". Manchester: Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  11. ^ "Michael Crawford to Star in New 'Wizard of Oz'". Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  12. ^ "Sophie Evans cast as alternate Dorothy". 22 July 2010. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  13. ^ a b Shenton, Mark. "Hannah Waddingham, Paul Keating and More Cast in London Palladium's New Wizard of Oz" Archived November 27, 2010, at the Wayback Machine., 25 November 2010
  14. ^ Marianne Benedict taking over from Hannah Waddingham in Wizard of Oz
  15. ^ Michael Crawford & Danielle Hope to Depart UK Wizard of Oz Feb. 5,, 12 January 2012
  16. ^ "Sophie Evans to Take Over as Dorothy in West End's The Wizard of Oz", accessed 20 January 2012
  17. ^ "Russell Grant to Replace Michael Crawford in Title Role of London's The Wizard of Oz" Archived 2012-01-25 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 23 January 2012
  18. ^ a b "Confirmed: Des O'Connor to Star as The Wizard in THE WIZARD OF OZ from May 22; Show to Close in September", BroadwayWorld, 22 May 2012, accessed 14 September 2013
  19. ^ Dalglish, Darren. "The Wizard of Oz cast updates at London Palladium". LondonTheatre, 25 November 2010. Retrieved 18 December 2010
  20. ^ Stott, Hannah. "'The Wizard of Oz' Prepares to Open to the Public With £10m of Tickets Already Sold". Sky News online, 2 March 2011
  21. ^ "Photo Flash: Wizard of Oz Celebrates 500th Performance!",, 10 May 2012
  22. ^ "CBC fall season reflects reduced budget", CBC News, 10 May 2012
  23. ^ "Canada to Launch Over the Rainbow Reality Show to Cast 'Dorothy' in ALW's THE WIZARD OF OZ", Broadway World, 23 May 2012
  24. ^ "Over the Rainbow viewers pick Danielle to play Dorothy", CBCnews, 6 November 2012
  25. ^ Ahearn, Victoria. "Over the Rainbow winner realizing she's not in La Salle, Ont., anymore", The Province,, 7 November 2012
  26. ^ "All-Canadian Cast to Lead Toronto's The Wizard of Oz", BroadwayWorld, accessed 13 November 2012
  27. ^ "Wizard of Oz Ends Toronto Run Today, North American Tour to Launch in Vegas, 9/10", Broadway World, 18 August 2013
  28. ^ "Danielle Wade - Feature Interview", CBC Radio, accessed 2 June 2014
  29. ^ "Curve Theatre / The Wizard of Oz announced as this year's Made at Curve Christmas musical". Curve Theatre / The Wizard of Oz announced as this year’s Made at Curve Christmas musical. Retrieved 2020-02-15.
  30. ^ "Curve Theatre / The Wizard Of Oz Postponed until 2021". Curve Theatre / The Wizard Of Oz Postponed until 2021. Retrieved 2020-07-11.
  31. ^ In the song, he describes famous landmarks like the Wonders of the World, images of which are projected onto a screen that is part of his wagon.
  32. ^ "The Wizard of Oz begins North American tour in Las Vegas Sept. 10". 2013-04-24. Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  33. ^ "Cast – Wizard of Oz Tour". Retrieved 2020-10-08.
  34. ^ a b "Cast List - The Wizard of Oz - The Musical". Retrieved 7 January 2011.
  35. ^ "As Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Wizard of Oz hits London's West End, we look at the real stars – the dogs who play Toto". The Guardian, 2 March 2011
  36. ^ Peck, Tom. "Dogs: The new stars of stage bow-wowing the West End". The Independent, 3 March 2011
  37. ^ "Scenes and Musical Numbers". Archived from the original on 2011-03-07. Retrieved 2011-02-27.
  38. ^ Theatre Programme, London Palladium, 26 February 2011
  39. ^ "Wizard of Oz album released". 2011-05-09. Archived from the original on September 11, 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-21.
  40. ^ Spencer, Charles. "Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Wizard of Oz, London Palladium, review". The Telegraph, 1 March 2011
  41. ^ Taylor, Paul. "First Night: The Wizard of Oz, London Palladium. The Independent, 2 March 2011
  42. ^ Hitchings, Henry. "Andrew Lloyd Webber finds new magic in The Wizard Of Oz". London Evening Standard
  43. ^ Billington, Michael. "'The Wizard of Oz' - review". The Guardian, 2 March 2011
  44. ^ Gray, Christopher. "The Wizard of Oz: The London Palladium", The Oxford Times, 6 May 2011. See also Price, Karen. "Review: The Wizard of Oz, London Palladium". Wales Online, 30 April 2011 "She plays a naive and tender Dorothy who you really want to befriend."
  45. ^ 2012 Laurence Olivier Award Nominations Announced; Matilda The Musical Leads with 10 Archived 2012-03-17 at the Wayback Machine
  46. ^ Full List: 2012 Award winners Archived 2012-02-23 at the Wayback Machine
  47. ^ Dora Mavor Moore Awards Nominees & Recipients Archived 2013-10-05 at the Wayback Machine, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, accessed 14 April 2014


External linksEdit