Now playing: Wicked. This is it, the biggest thing to hit Oz in years: the award-winning musical based on Gregory Maguire's novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. The book is by Winnie Holzman, the music by Stephen Schwartz, and the show is directed by Joe Mantello. It has done so well, it has spawned the following sit-down companies:
- Gershwin Theater, Broadway, New York City, New York. Tickets may be purchased online at ticketmaster.com. For more details, go to wickedthemusical.com. For a "Behind the Emerald Curtain" tour on Saturday mornings, go to emeraldcurtain.com/NewYork.html for details.
- The Apollo Victoria Theartre, The West End, London, England, United Kingdom. For more information, including booking tickets, see wickedthemusical.co.uk or wickedwestend.co.uk. You can also follow the British Wicked on the following social network sites:
- Dentsu Shiki Theatre, Tokyo, Japan (see wicked.jp for details)
- Orpheum Theater, San Francisco, California (see shnsf.com/shows/wicked, and shnsf.com/shows/wicked/BEC for their own version of Wicked: Behind the Emerald Curtain), through September 5
- Capitol Theatre, Haymarket, Sydney, Australia (see wickedthemusical.com.au)
- Metronom Theater, Oberhausen, Germany (see www.stage-entertainment.de/musicals/wicked-oberhausen/wicked-oberhausen.html)
Wicked is also touring North America. For more information and updates about the tour, see wickedthemusical.com/#WickedCitiesOnTour or musicalschwartz.com/wicked-tour.htm. Here's the current schedule (locations and dates are subject to change):
- June 16-July 11, 2010: Fabulous Fox Theatre, St. Louis, Missouri
- June 30-July 25, 2010: The Hobby Center, Houston, Texas
- July 14-August 8, 2010: Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- July 28-August 29, 2010: Ohio Theatre, Columbus, Ohio
- August 11-September 19, 2010: Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- September 22-October 10, 2010: Overture Center, Madison, Wisconsin
- October 13-31, 2010: Orpheum Theatre, Memphis, Tennessee
- October 20-November 28, 2010: Canon Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
- November 3-14, 2010: Robinson Center, Little Rock, Arkansas
- November 17-28, 2010: Chapman Music Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma
- December 1-12, 2010: Miller Auditorium, Kalamazoo, Michigan
- December 1, 2010-January 23, 2011: Cadillac Palace Theatre, Chicago, Illinois
- December 15, 2010-January 1, 2011: Murat Center, Indianapolis, Indiana
- January 5-23, 2011: UA Centennial Concert Hall, Tucson, Arizona
- January 26-February 13, 2011: Popejoy Hall, Albuquerque, New Mexico
- January 26-February 20, 2011: Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Appleton, Wisconsin
- February 16-March 6, 2011: Majestic Theatre, San Antonio, Texas
- February 23-March 27, 2011: Carr Performing Arts Centre, Orlando, Florida
- March 9-April 3, 2011: Orange County Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa, California
- March 30-April 24, 2011: Broward Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- April 6-17, 2011: Saroyan Theatre, Fresno, California
- April 20-May 1, 2011: Hult Center, Eugene, Oregon
- April 27-May 22, 2011: Shea's Performing Arts Center, Buffalo, New York
- May 4-15, 2011: Morrison Center, Boise, Idaho
- May 5-June 12, 2011: Omaha Theatre, Omaha, Nebraska
- May 18-29, 2011: INB Performing Arts Center, Spokane, Washington
- June 15-August 21, 2011: Opera House at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC
And for the first time, new productions, not based on the Broadway original, have been authorized. So far announced:
- Wicked: Uusi Musikaali Lumotusta Maailmasta, Helsingen Kaupungin Teaterri, Helsinki, Finland, opens August 26, 2010 (tickets)
- Wicked: Heksene Fra Oz, Det Ny Teater, Copenhagen, Denmark, January 13-May 8, 2011 (tickets)
Now playing: High Drama: Against All Oz, thewb.com. The late television network is reborn as an online broadcaster. Besides many old Warner Bros. shows, they also have a reality series, a behind-the-scenes look at a high school's production of The Wizard of Oz. To see the trailer and watch episodes from the first two season, go to thewb.com/shows/high-drama.
Now open: The Wizard of Oz exhibit, The Health Adventure, Asheville, North Carolina. The traveling children's museum exhibit has made its way to western North Carolina. Based on the original novel by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow, visitors step into the book and follow the yellow brick road through interactive exhibits. For more information, see The Health Adventures' website at thehealthadventure.org.
Now open: The Wizard of Oz exhibit, Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, New York City, New York. The world's most famous name in wax now has an Oz exhibit at its Times Square location, including a wax replica of Judy Garland as Dorothy. Plus, later this summer, The Wizard of Oz will become part of their 4-D theater. For more information, see the website at madametussauds.com/NewYork.
Now through September 5, 2010: "Icons of Costume: Hollywood's Golden Era and Beyond" museum exhibit, James A. Michener Art Museum, Doylestown, Pennsylvania. This is an exhibit of Oscar-nominated movie costumes, from the 1940s to the 1990s. As part of the exhibit on Saturdays and Sundays, visitors can appear in scenes from some of their favorute movies, including The Wizard of Oz. (You can even see some of the results on the museum's YouTube channel.) The screen tests cost extra, beyond museum admission. For information, see michenermuseum.org/exhibits/costume.php.
Now through September 12, 2010: The Wizard of Oz exhibit, Minnesota Children's Museum, St. Paul, Minnesota. Children (and adults) can learn about science while they travel over the rainbow to Oz. This version is based on the famous movie version. For more information, see mcm.org.
July 2-3, 2010: The Wizard of Oz, national cablecast, Turner Classic Movies. The famous MGM movie version of The Wizard of Oz. Scheduled to be shown 8:00 p.m. EST on July 2 (preceded by the documentary The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Movie Magic at 7:00 p.m., with another documentary, Memories of Oz, following at 10:00 p.m.) and 6:00 p.m. EST on July 3. Check local listings for availability and showtime in your area. For more information, check out the TCM website at www.tcm.com. The movie has its own dedicated page at www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=852&category=overview, and the documentaries have sites, too, at www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=5729&category=overview for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Movie Magic, and tcm.com/tcmdb/title.jsp?stid=343835 for Memories of Oz. The evening of July 2 is also TCM's salute to Terry, the cairn terrier who played Toto, so they're showing two more films she appeared in, Fury at 10:30 p.m. and George Washington Slept Here at 12:15 a.m. the next morning.
July 2-18, 2010: Left of Oz, The Ashby Stage, Berkeley, California. We're not in Kansas any more, as this play is an all-lesbian version of The Wizard of Oz, with Dorothy looking for love in San Francisco. This is billed as a "lez-queer musical comedy". If this is not your idea of Oz or theater, you have been warned! Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $50 for VIP seating in the front row, which include a cast party and CD. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets. For more information, see the show's website at leftofoz.com.
July 10, 2010: The Wizard of Oz, Canton Palace Theatre, Canton, Ohio. This is not a stage adaptation of the famous movie version. This is the original stage presentation, first appearing on Broadway in 1903. Presented by the Canton Comic Opera Company. Tickets are $20 for adults, and $10 for children and students. For more details, see the company's website at cantoncomicoperaco.com. There will also be a free lecture and concert the night before, July 9, at the Cable Recital Hall of the Cultural Center for the Arts, beginning at 8:00 p.m. This presentation will include songs that had been performed in the show at some point, but were cut or changed to other songs. You can watch a preview video on YouTube.
July 12, 2010: The Wizard of Oz, Orange County Performing Arts Center, Cost Mesa, California. Not only can you see the popular 1939 film version of the story on the big screen, you can see it for free, tonight only at 8:00. For more details, see www.ocpac.org.
July 15-17, 2010: The 16th annual Chautauqua Festival, Bonne Terre, Missouri. This event will feature David Skipper's presentation, L. Frank Baum: The Royal Historian of Oz, Saturday evening, July 17th. David appears in character as Baum. Joining him will be George Frein as Ted Giesel (Dr. Suess) and Helene Lang performing as Beatrix Potter. Further information will be made available as soon as there is some.
July 18-21, 2010: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: A New Musical Reading, Manhattan Theatre Source, New York City, New York. This is a reading of a new musical production, which includes songs by L. Frank Baum and Paul Tietjens from the original 1902 dramatic version of the story. For information about the theater (the show itself isn't up yet), see theatresource.org.
July 23-25, 2010: The Winkie Convention, Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, California. Highlights include the auction and sales tables, the costume contest, and the annual Winkie Award. Special presentations will highlight the centennial of The Emerald City of Oz. More information to come, or stay up to date on the event's FaceBook page.
July 24-August 29, 2010: The Wizard of Oz, Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theater, Fall City, Washington. See the Royal Shakespeare Company version of the play, based on the famous film version, in an open air forest theater! Performances are Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 3:00 p.m. A barbecue dinner is available between shows on Saturdays, and after the show on Sundays. For more information and to make reservations (required for the barbecue), call 425-736-7252, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the theater's website at foresttheater.org.
July 30, 2010: The Wizard of Oz, Orpheum Theatre, Memphis, Tennessee. A rare chance to see the beloved 1939 film version of the story on the big screen. The show starts at 7:15 p.m., and tickets are $7 for adults and $6 for those twelve and under. For details, see www.orpheum-memphis.com.
September 17-19, 2010: Chesterton Wizard of Oz Festival, Chesterton, Indiana. One of the earliest Wizard of Oz festivals, this year Chesterton celebrates its twenty-ninth edition. For more information, see the event's website at www.ozfestivalchesterton.com.
October 2-3, 2010: Autumn at Oz Party, Beech Mountain, Banner Elk, North Carolina. The Wizard of Oz Park on the mountain may no longer be in regular operation, but it's still there, and Oz and park fans get together once a year for a party. Special guests will be announced soon. Tickets are $20. For more information, check out emeraldmtn.com/LandofOz/oz.htm.
October 2-3, 2010: Oztoberfest, Wamego, Kansas. The town not only has an Oz museum, they're putting on an Oz festival. Munchkins, authors, and other special guests will attend, and there's also admission to the museum. For more details, call the Oz museum at 1-866-458-TOTO, or see the event's website at oztoberfest.com.
Opening March 29, 2011: The Wizard of Oz, The West End, London, England, United Kingdom. Now that Danielle Hope has won the role of Dorothy through the television show Over the Rainbow, Andrew Lloyd Webber has to put on his show. It will debut in the West End on March 29. News and information is available on Webber's website, at andrewlloydwebber.com/shows/the-wizard-of-oz, and tickets are already on sale.
April 7-9, 2011: The Wizard of Oz, Orange County Performing Arts Center, Cost Mesa, California. This is a brand new listing with few details, so I'm not sure what this is. The Pacific Symphony is listed, however, so perhaps this is a showing of the movie with a symphony performing the music. For details, keep an eye on www.ocpac.org.
August 5-7, 2011: The International Wizard of Oz Club's National Oz Convention, Banner Elk, North Carolina. The Oz Club brings its annual convention to the site of the Wizard of Oz theme park of the 1970s, where many of the attractions still stand. Alongside its usual activities, former park employees are expected to talk about their time there. Details coming when they're available.