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The ALW Wizard of Oz 
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Post The ALW Wizard of Oz
So what do we think of it?

I must admit I'm really not a great fan of the movie, so I don't care much personally.

But as this is one of the absolutely most prominent Americal iconic stories/films/scores, one would expect that the entire net was buzzing with opinion on ALW improving/destroying the treasure for bringing it to the stage.

Being a long time follower of ALW's, I naturally bought the cast recording. I think I like it. I think the opening song (by ALW and Rice) is awful, and the closing song of the nice witch is extremely sappy. Otherwise I think it's very ok.

What do everyone else think?

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Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:57 pm
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Post Re: The ALW Wizard of Oz
I just bought the cast recording recently as well! My favorite original song was "Wonders of the World" (which is saying a lot because I'm not a fan of Michael Crawford) and I wish that "Red Shoes Blues" was longer. My issues with the songs that Hans mentioned are that they sound like they were written by other composers ("Already Home"= Menken and "Nobody Understands Me"= Loesser).

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Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:15 pm
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Post Re: The ALW Wizard of Oz
I found it to be not as bad as I thought it was gonna be. Yeah I didn't like some of the new stuff and I found the cast mostly to be meh. But I now think all productions need to have Red Shoes Blues. It at least allows us to take the witch more seriously. And as former lion I love how they took King of the Forest out of the score. When I thought about it I now find it to be the most pointless song in the whole show. It already estabishes his character and it really does not advance the plot at all.

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Thu Jul 07, 2011 5:03 pm
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Post Re: The ALW Wizard of Oz
Wait, they took King of the Forest out? If performed well, that can be one of the best moments of the show. Disappointed.


Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:59 pm
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Post Re: The ALW Wizard of Oz
Yakko wrote:
I found the cast mostly to be meh.


I agree. As much as I don't understand it, Over the Rainbow is perhaps the most iconic song in the genre (I don't dislike it, I just don't see how it can be so great that it deserves that position), but here it is sung by some Generella deMeh.

Perhaps it's difficult to decide by the recording alone, but it definately does not come across why this girl was chosen to fill those ruby slippers.

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Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:42 pm
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Post Re: The ALW Wizard of Oz
Questions and comments:

* Why do we need "Nobody Understands Me" when the book scene before that perfectly establishes that Dorothy thinks no one understands her? What happened to "show, not tell"? Plus, it's awful and it undercuts "Over the Rainbow."
* I'm kind of tired of theater stars getting preferential treatment. Michael Crawford's playing what's essentially a cameo, and he needs two new songs to get through it? I'm sorry, but I didn't even care about the quality, because I'm tired of someone serving people a sorbet just because they think it suits them. Piss off. You're clearly lucky to get the job, Mr. Semi-Retired.
* Why are they singing "We're Outta the Woods"? If Glinda needs another solo moment, let her have that, and not some sappy Disney/Menken pastiche at the end of the show. The RSC version got that one right.
* Where the hell is "If I Were King of the Forest"? The show lacks comic moments at that point; it's about to get very serious. But I forgot... Andrew Lloyd Webber wouldn't understand giving the audience one last laugh before they venture off after the Witch. He's too busy writing a song to ensure Michael Crawford signs his contract.
* "Red Shoes Blues" -- God, why? It doesn't fit in. It just... doesn't. The Witch is more imposing because she doesn't sing. She's predictable almost to the point of "vaudevillian baddie," sure, but giving her a song isn't going to fix that. Now she comes across even more like that. And if you're gonna write her new material, the least you could do is make it interesting.
* Okay, now I can understand cutting "The Jitterbug." Sure, it's a lift at a serious moment in the show, but the film's producers cut it for reasons of pacing, and if the general audience aren't buffs of the 1939 film, they're not going to know it's missing, or even that people would consider it missing. But cutting it could have been avoided by giving it to the Witch, as the 1998 national tour with Eartha Kitt did. You want the Witch to sing? There's a ready-made song right there. Let's face it, the role is great for a ham, so let the Witch revel in torturing these people so they can't fight off the flying apes.
* "If We Only Had a Plan"? Really, guys? We need them to sing right now while they're trying to figure out how to get into the castle and rescue her? I think the book handles this just fine. Again, "show, not tell."
* I've already discussed my feelings about "Already Home" above. Suffice to say I don't like it.

The moral of the story? Do not rewrite a piece of 100 year old Americana (shut up, naysayers, I already know the film version's been around for less time than the actual story) and expect us to take it lightly.

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Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:02 am
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Post Re: The ALW Wizard of Oz
Does this thread belong here?

I decided to not put it here on purpose since it's not an ALW show, only an ALW production with some contributions.

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Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:14 pm
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Post The ALW Wizard of Oz
I would say it certainly does belong here, particularly since there are already other threads about the show that exist here. But even if you want to follow the line of argument that it isn't strictly a Lloyd Webber show, though I would certainly argue that this particular production is, it certainly didn't belong in the Social Club Forum at all.

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Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:26 pm
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Post Re: The ALW Wizard of Oz
Hans wrote:
Perhaps it's difficult to decide by the recording alone, but it definately does not come across why this girl was chosen to fill those ruby slippers.

I saw the production and thought she was very good in what was a fairly passive role as written (at least in this version). She was cast for her acting, not her voice.

Also, it was a reality TV show, and with the mass public she had the advantage of being very young (17-18 years old during the TV process) and looking the part. But she did give this performance, although it has nothing to do with Dorothy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HO8Dxsq1puU


Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:25 pm
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Post Re: The ALW Wizard of Oz
Ok.

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Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:50 am
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Post Re: The ALW Wizard of Oz
I saw the reality show Webber did when he was casting for Dorothy online, but know precious little about the actual show. Is Danielle any good?

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Fri Jul 22, 2011 8:54 am
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