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The Wizard of Oz, one of the most sucessful American stage extranvaganzas of the early twentieth century, has about it the magic and wonder of a child's world fantasty.
It was produced by Fred R. Hamlin and directed by Julian Mitchell, with book and lyrics by L. Frank Baum, music by Paul Tietjens, and with scenery, costumes, and special effects designed by W. W. Denslow. Or that, at least, was the original plan: Mitchell replaced all but eight of the Baum/Tietjens songs with twenty songs by others. Additional costumes for the show were designed by Caroline Siedle.
After fourteen weeks in Chicago, the show toured the West and Canada, then moved to New York. It ran at the Majestic Theater on Broadway for 293 stage nights from January to October 1903. It returned to Broadway in 1904, where it played from March to May and again from November to December. It successfully toured the United States with much of the same cast, as was done in those days, until 1911, and then became available for amateur use.
The stage version starred David C. Montgomery and Fred Stone as the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow respectively, which shot the pair to instant fame. The stage version differed quite a bit from the book, and was aimed primarily at adults. Toto was replaced with Imogene the Cow; Tryxie Tryfle (a waitress) and Pastoria (a streetcar operator) were added as fellow cyclone victims. The Wicked Witch of the West was eliminated entirely in the script, over which Baum had little control or influence. Jokes in the script, mostly written by Glen MacDonough, called for explicit references to President Theodore Roosevelt, Senator Mark Hanna, and oil magnate John D. Rockefeller.
In the play, Baum's characters escape the deadly poppy field when a snowfall suppresses its soporific odors. This was the one element in the play that was reproduced in the 1939 MGM film of the book.
This stage version was the first to use the shortened title "The Wizard of Oz". Most subsequent versions of the story, including newer editions of the novel, have been titled "The Wizard of Oz", rather than using the full, original title.
The three partners, Baum, Tietjens, and Denslow, quarreled over the division of the royalties even before the show premiered. The original arrangement called for an equal three-way split; Baum and Tietjens thought Denslow was overpaid for his limited contributions, while Denslow thought he deserved half. The dispute led to the end of Denslow's partnership with Baum.
The success of The Wizard of Oz inspired a range of imitations, one of which, Victor Herbert's Babes in Toyland (1903), proved vastly superior to its inspiration and became a recognized classic.
Dorothy Gale lives on a farm in Kansas with a farmer (presumably Uncle Henry, although she mentions having a father) and many farm hands and farm maids. One day, whilst Dorothy is playing with her pet cow Imogene, a golfer flirts outrageously with a maid. Things are broken up by a furious cyclone. Dorothy and Imogene take shelter in the farmhouse, which (through a piece of stage trickery highly acclaimed by the theatre critics of the era) is whisked away into the sky. The action shifts to the Land of Oz, where the Munchkins dance around their maypole. Suddenly the cyclone strikes there and the lights go down. When the lights have returned again, Dorothy's house has fallen to earth intact and unharmed, and the house has accidentally killed the Wicked Witch of the East. The Munchkin maiden Cynthia Cynch enters. The Munchkins accuse Cynthia of being a witch and causing the storm but she is rescued by the Good Witch of the North, who tells them that it was an ordinary storm. Cynthia explains she once worked in one of Oz's largest department store, but she is now insane because of the disappearance of her lover, Niccolo Chopper. She sings "Niccolo's Piccolo", her lover's favourite ballad. Soon the poet of Oz, Dashemoff Daily, enters. He declares that the rightful king of Oz, Pastoria, has been swept into Oz via the cyclone and is on his way to the Emerald City to claim the throne. Dorothy exits the house and marvels at the strange land. Dashemoff has written a song for her, thinking her name is Caroline Barry. He is disappointed when Dorothy disproves the fact. The Good Witch awards Dorothy with a magic ring, good for three wishes and can summon the Good Witch at any time. Dorothy wishes she knew the word to Dashemoff's song and accidentally wastes the first wish. She sings the song, "Carrie Barry". Soon Pastoria enters, flanked by General Riskitt, his girlfriend Tryxie Tryfle and the one-man Army of Pastoria. He is scalping tickets for his coronation, in order to finance his revolution. He was lost in Kansas many years ago and began working as a mechanic. He sings "In Michigan", about his favourite US state. The Good Witch tells Dorothy that if she wants to get home, she must ask the Wizard of Oz to help her. After a while, everyone exits and Dorothy is left alone with a Scarecrow, hung on a pole. She wishes she had someone to talk to, and unwittingly wastes another wish on the wishing ring: the Scarecrow comes to life. He gets down off his pole and complains that he has no brain. Dorothy suggests that she join him on the road to the Emerald City and he sings "Alas for the Man Without Brains". Pastoria and Co. have a run-in with the Cowardly Lion, who cannot speak. They capture the Lion and disguise themselves as a traveling circus, pretending the Lion is part of their act. Dorothy and the Scarecrow, meanwhile, are on their way to the Emerald City. They come upon the Tin Woodman, who has rusted playing his piccolo. As it turns out, the Woodman's real name is Niccolo Chopper and he is in fact Cynthia's lost lover. He sings "When You Love! Love! Love!" and explains how he has no heart, so cannot love Cynthia. He joins the others in the hope of receiving one from the Wizard, and return to Cynthia. In the finale of Act One, Dorothy, the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, Pastoria, the Cowardly Lion and others and Dashemoff Daily all meet in a life-sized poppy field. The opium in the poppies makes all of them fall asleep, except the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, who cannot smell anything. A thick snow rains down and kills the poppies. The Scarecrow and Tin Woodman look on in awe as the Snow Queen and her Snow Children all appear in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. The Snow Children get out and lift the sleeping characters up and put them in the sleigh. Act One ends as they ride off into the snow toward the Emerald City
The Guardian patrols outside the Gates of the Emerald City. The sleigh carrying all the main characters appears. Dorothy, Pastoria, Dashemoff and the others are now awake. Sir Wiley Gyle enters. He is a mad old inventor who scorns all magic. He is soon captured and sent to the Emerald City dungeon. So, the travelers all enter the Emerald City. In the Courtyard of the Emerald City, the Phantom Patrol greets the travelers. The Patrol disappears and reappears, and soon leaves for good. Cynthia returns and asks Pastoria if he is her Niccolo. When he says no, she becomes furious. The Wizard's Wise Men, led by Bardo, enter and introduce the Wizard himself. He performs magic tricks to entertain the crowd and sings the song "Mr. Dooley". The distraught Cynthia asks the Wizard if he is her Niccolo, and is further outraged when he says no. She exits. Dorothy, the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman come forward and request their desires (home, brains, heart). The Wizard gives the Scarecrow a brain of the Mark Hana variety and the Tin Woodman a heart. He declares this the greatest of all his achievements and calls for a celebration. The Ball of All Nations is thrown, in which anywhere up to twelve songs are song by various characters. The Wizard performs a basket trick in which Pastoria is the mark. In the middle of the trick he claims his right to the throne and overthrows the Wizard. A great commotion breaks out, with the Wizard escaping in a hot air balloon. Dorothy, still longing for home, sets off with her companions to the castle of Glinda the Good Witch of the South.
Dorothy and her friends arrive at the palace and are welcomed. There are great celebrations, with Glinda promising to send Dorothy home. The whole cast rushes out from the wings and sings the finale.
- Dorothy Gale: Anna Laughlin
- Scarecrow: Fred A.Stone
- Niccolo Chopper, the Tin Woodsman: David C.Montgomery
- Cynthia Cynch: Helen Byron
- Sir Dashemorff Daily: Bessie Wynn
- King Pastoria II: Gilbert Clayton
- The Wizard of Oz: Bobby Gaylor
- Cowardly Lion: Arthur Hill
- Tryxie Tryfle: Grace Kimbell
- Imogene the Cow: Edward J.Stone
- Locasta, the Witch of the North: Edith Hutchins
- Sir Wiley Gyle: Stephen Maley
- Brigadier General Riskitt: Harold T.Morey
Some of the music was known even beyond the United States. During the Baums' 1907 stay at the Shepherd's Hotel in Cairo, Egypt, a Hungarian Gypsy Band play
- She Didn't Really Mind the Thing at All (Wizard), by John Slavin and Nathaniel D. Mann
- Mr. Dooley (Wizard) [written for A Chinese Honeymoon (1902)], by William Jerome and Jean Schwartz
- The Witch Behind the Moon (Cynthia) [replaced by There's a Lot of Things You Never Learn at School c. 1903], by Weslyn and Albert
- I'll Be Your Honey in the Springtime (Dorothy and Chorus), by Harry Freeman
- Bloomin' Lize (Scarecrow and Nick), by Matt C. Woodward and Benjamin Jerome
- Meet Me Down at the Corner (Wizard) [another Irish-themed song added c. 1907], by Will D. Cobb and Harry Hoyt
- The Lobster Song (I Was Walking 'Round the Ocean) (Scarecrow and Nick), by Hugh Morton and Gustave Kerker
- That's Where She Sits All Day (Scarecrow and Nick in "cockney Negro"), by Frank Leo
- Nautical Nonsense (Hurrah for Baffin's Bay!) (Scarecrow and Nick), by Vincent Bryan and Theodore F. Morse
- Pocahontas (Cynthia) [added c. 1907-08], by Bryan and Gus Edwards
- Honey, My Sweet (Dorothy), by Henry M. Blossom, Jr. and George A. Spink
- Must You? (Nick, with Scarecrow), by Harry Boden, David C. Montgomery, and Bert Brantford
- There's a Lot of Things You Never Learn at School (Cynthia) [replaced "The Witch Behind the Moon" c. 1903], by Ed Gardenier and Edwin S. Brill
- Mary Canary (Sir Dashemoff), by Edward P. Moran and Seymour Furth
- Johnnie Morgan, by Harry H. Williams and Vanalstyne
- Good Bye Fedora (Scarecrow) [added c. 1904-05], by Williams and Robert J. Adams
- Only You (Sir Dashemoff), by Charles Zimmerman and Frank Keesee
- When the Heart is Sad (Sir Dashemoff), by Zimmerman and Hollister
- Budweiser's a Friend of Mine (Wizard) [added c. 1908 after its success in Ziegfeld Follies of 1907], by Bryan and Furth
- Julie Dooley (Wizard) (originally from The Horse and his Boy (1904)), by Frank R. Adams, Will M. Hough, and Joseph E. Howard
- The Tale of a Stroll (Tryxie) (originally from The Swedish Chef (1904)) [briefly substituted for "Sammy" when Marion Stanley took over the role of Tryxie in 1905], by George Totten Smith, Byrd Dougherty, and Benjamin M. Jerome
- Can't You See I'm Lonely (Tryxie) [briefly replaced "Sammy" in 1905, when Isabelle D'Armond, who had played Dorothy in the second touring company, took over the role of Trixie c. 1905-6], by Felix F. Feist and Harry Armstrong
- Are You Sincere? (Tryxie) [added c. 1908 as another "Sammy" substitute, by Alfred Bryan and Albert Gumble. It was parodied by Nat M. Wills as "Are Youse in Here?" on Victor 5613.]
- The Moon Has His Eyes on You (Sir Dashemoff) [replacing "Love Is Love" c. 1905], by Billy Johnson and Albert von Tilzer
- Come Take a Skate with Me (Dorothy) [added c. 1907; written for His Honor, the Mayor (1906)], by R.A. Browne and Gus Edwards
The show toured from 1903 to 1909. It ran on Broadway from January to October 1903, and again from March 1904 to October 1905. It was released for stock and regional shows in 1911.ed songs from the musical in their honor.
- Imogene the Cow was a Replacment for Toto
- The Wicked Witch of the West is absent.
- The Silver Shoes are Replaced by a Ring
- This was the First apperance of King Pastoria
- The Good Witch of the North is given the name Locasta
- The name Niccolo Chopper was Later used in the book The Tin Woodsman of Oz (but Niccolo was changed to Nicholas)
- This introduced Dorothy's last name Gale.
- The Cowardly Lion is Reduced to a bit part and Dosen't speak.
- This Muscial added new characters to the story such as King Pastoria II and his girlfriend, Trixie Tryfle (a waitress), Cynthia Cynch (A lady lunatic), Sir Dashemoff Daily, the poet laureate; Sir Wiley Gyle, and General Riskitt.
- The snowfall during the poppy field scene was later used the the 1939 MGM film.
- Cynthia Cynch was a Prototype for Nimmie Amee.