A huge and influential hit when it appeared, the show prompted L. Frank Baum to write sequels to his novel. It provided Dorothy with the surname Gale, the Tin Woodman with his original name Nick Chopper, and Oz with a former king named Pastoria. For fans of the MGM movie, the snowstorm that saves Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion from the poppies was borrowed directly from this show. But hardly anyone remembers the show itself.
As organized by Doug Reside, Digital Curator at the NYPL’s Library for the Performing Arts, the website offers four essays on the show:
- Reside with an overview and a downloadable script of the show, based on what was deposited with the Library of Congress for copyright. Shows of the time evolved greatly over their run, so this was probably not what most of the audience enjoyed.
- David Maxine, proprietor of Hungry Tiger Press and producer of a CD of the show’s music, on how it evolved under many hands.
- Reside on Baum’s attempts at follow-up hits, including an adaptation of Ozma of Oz that eventually came to the stage as The Tik-Tok Man of Oz, and thence inspired the novel Tik-Tok of Oz. Once again, there’s a script to download, this time the libretto from an early draft of that show in the NYPL’s collection.
- Prof. William Everett on how The Wizard of Oz pushed along the career of Victor Herbert, whose Babes in Toyland was the next fantasy extravaganza to open in Chicago, and is much better remembered.