The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True
|The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True|
|Written by||L. Frank Baum|
|Narrated by||Joel Grey
Debra Winger ("Cyclone" scene)
|Music by||Herbert Stothart
E. Y. Harburg
|Distributed by||TBS/Turner Video|
The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True was a 1995 musical performance based on the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz (starring Judy Garland). The book and score of the film were performed on stage at Lincoln Center to benefit the Children's Defense Fund. The concert featured guest performers including Jackson Browne as the Scarecrow, Roger Daltrey as the Tin Man, Natalie Cole as Glinda, Joel Grey as the Wizard (a role he reprised in Wicked), Jewel as Dorothy, Nathan Lane as the Cowardly Lion, Debra Winger as the Wicked Witch, and Lucie Arnaz as Aunt Em. The Boys Choir of Harlem appeared as the Munchkins, and Ry Cooder and David Sanborn performed as musicians.
The production consists of an abbreviated script and highlights most songs and musical numbers from the movie. The most notable difference is Uncle Henry, his three farmhands, and Miss Gulch do not appear in this production. The concert begins with Jewel as Dorothy Gale singing the complete version of Over the Rainbow. The concert also includes the song The Jitterbug which was cut from the original film.
Throughout the entire concert, the conductor and orchestra are featured on-stage with the performers. The performers are predominantly positioned at music stands reading the script and music (similar to reader's theatre). The choreography is different from the 1939 movie: noticeable differences include the Munchkins not dancing and at no point do the four principals (Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion) dance together. Throughout the production, various photos of “Wizard of Oz” artwork such as a tornado (narrated by Debra Winger who also performs as the Wicked Witch), the Yellow Brick Road, and Emerald City are projected on a screen in the back of the stage.
The tempi for various songs were changed to better feature specific talents of individual singers, including If I Only Had a Brain, which had a folk music tempo to highlight Jackson Browne and If I Only Had a Heart, which had a rock and roll tempo to highlight Roger Daltrey (Daltrey even swings his microphone, mimicking his Who persona).
Nathan Lane's portrayal of the Lion included a version of If I Were King of the Forest where he adds in addition to the lyrics "not, queen, not duke, not prince...or the Artist Formerly Known as Prince". Phoebe Snow added a stirring "If I Only Had..." medley set to a solo piano, combining all three of the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion's desires. Unlike Jack Haley, Daltrey as the Tin Man hugged Joel Grey as the Wizard toward the end with a sweet "Thank you from the bottom of my heart!".
The performance was originally broadcast November 22 on both TNT and TBS, and issued on CD and VHS video in 1996. The video has not yet been released on DVD. Both the CD and video are currently out-of-print.
- Jewel as Dorothy Gale
- Joel Grey as Professor Marvel/ Doorman to Wizard's Palace/ Coachman with "Horse of a Different Color"/ Gatekeeper of Emerald City/ The Wizard / Narrator
- Jackson Browne as Scarecrow
- Roger Daltrey as Tin Man
- Nathan Lane as Cowardly Lion
- Natalie Cole as Glinda the Good Witch of the North
- Debra Winger as Wicked Witch of the West
- Lucie Arnaz as Aunt Em
- James Waller as Toto
- Boys Choir of Harlem as the Munchkins
- Alfre Woodard as Hostess
- Phoebe Snow performs medley reprise of "If I Only Had a Brain; a Heart; the Nerve". She also performs in the finale.
- Ronnie Spector performs "Hail, Hail the Witch is Dead" with Dr. John Jonathan Osborn