The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a musical play based on the novel of the same title by L. Frank Baum that premiered at the Toronto Civic Light Opera Company in 2000. The lyrics are by James Patrick Doyle and Joe Cascone, the music is by Doyle and the book is by Cascone who also directed. This company describes the show as the most requested in their repertory and revived it in 2002 and again in 2010.
Joe Cascone, artistic director of the Toronto Civic Light Opera Company, had long wanted to stage a musical of The Wonderful Wizard of Ozthat was truer to Baum's original intentions, and as such, was able to incorporate various influences from the many adaptations of the story produced throughout the 20th century, including the original 1903 musical, the famous 1939 MGM film, the musical The Wiz and several others. In writing the libretto for the new musical, Cascone made Baum a character in the play as a narrator, also doubling as the Wizard. Composer and lyricist James Patrick Doyle was a long time Oz admirer who restored some of the music from Baum's The Maid of Arran, the1902 Wizard, The Woggle-Bug, The Tik-Tok Man of Oz, Prince Silverwings, and The Patchwork Girl of Oz, which had not been heard in recent decades. The production premiered in 2000 at the Toronto Civic Light Opera Company, directed by Cascone, with choreography by Lesley Ansell. Two original cast albums were released. One by Hungry Tiger Music in 2000, and one by The Civic Light Opera Company in 2002, featuring the revised score.
The Toronto Civic Light Opera revived the show in 2002 and again in 2010. Joe Cascone and David Haines, of the original and revival casts (as, respectively, Baum/Wizard and the Cowardly Lion), presented highlights of this musical as well as of many other Oz musical incarnations at the International Wizard of Oz Club's Winkie Convention at Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, California, on July 9, 2011.
The original cast album was recorded October 27, 2000, at Grace Church Chapel on the Hill, Toronto.
- Just a Touch of Humbug (Baum and Co.)
- Gray (Dorothy)
- 'Round and Around (Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, Dorothy & Co.)
- Free! (Boq & Munchkins)
- The Wizard Who Lives in Oz (Locasta, Munchkins)
- Wicked Is What I Do (Wicked Witch & Co.) *
- Rags and Hay (Scarecrow)
- A Tin Man's Tale (Tin Woodman)
- 'Fraid Not (Lion)
- Dream for Me (Scarecrow, Tin Woodman & Lion)
- Further Along the Way (Four Friends)
- Pull Together (Mouse Queen & Co.)
- Finale Act I (Four Friends & Co.)
- Emerald City (Royal Army & Co.)
- Oz, the Great and Terrible (Wizard, Four Friends)
- Come Along with Me (Four Friends)
- The Golden Cap/Fly! (Wicked Witch, Monkeys)
- Nothing Special (Dorothy)
- Wicked Waltz of the West (Wicked Witch) *
- In the Castle of No Return (Wicked Witch, Winkies) - added to the 2010 production
- Reprise—Just a Touch of Humbug (Wizard & Co.)
- Even Further Along the Way (Baum, Four Friends & Co.)
- Reprise—Dream for Me (Glinda) *
- This Land of Oz (Glinda & Co.)
- Cut from subsequent productions
The score was largely re-recorded and released on a second CD in 2002 by The Civic Light Opera Company to reflect many of the musical changes that had been made since the original version had been made in the preceding two years. This CD is available through http://www.civiclightoperacompany.com/wizard_of_oz.html
Cast of Characters
- L. Frank Baum/Wizard of Oz
- Dorothy Gale
- Aunt Em
- Uncle Henry
- Locasta, Good Witch of the North
- Tin Woodman
- Cowardly Lion
- Queen of Field Mice
- Wicked Witch of the West
- Flying Monkey King
- Hungry Tiger
- Glinda, Good Witch of the South
and various Farmers, Munchkins, Crows, Kalidahs, Poppies, Field Mice, Emerald City Citizens, Flying Monkeys, Winkies, Hammerheads, Fighting Trees, Quadlings.
The role of Dorothy was originally played by Kelly Sanders in 2000 and 2002. In the 2010 production, Olivia Stupka and Alisa Berindea alternated in the role of Dorothy. Members of the original casts to reprise their original roles again in 2010 were David Haines as the Cowardly Lion, Joe Cascone as L. Frank Baum/Wizard, Julie Lennick as the Wicked Witch of the West, Carol Kugler as the Mouse Queen, Sandi Horwitz as Locasta and Susan Sanders (originally in the ensemble, now playing Aunt Em).