Musical (1903)


Musique: Paul Tietjens
Paroles: L. Frank Baum
Livret: L. Frank Baum
Production à la création:

Bien que le film de la Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer de 1939 soit la version la plus connue du Magicien d’Oz, ce n’était pas la première production. En juin 1902, une version montée avec extravagance sur scène a ouvert à Chicago avec beaucoup de succès. La production de New York de 1903 devint l’un des plus grands succès de l’histoire de Broadway à cette époque et se poursuivit pendant une autre décennie.

La pièce raconte l’histoire d’une jeune fille du Kansas nommée Dorothy Gale, et de sa vache Imogene, qui atterrit dans le pays magique d’Oz en raison d’un cyclone. Dorothy doit partir à l’aventure à Emerald City pour rencontrer le Magicien d’Oz et retrouver son chemin. En chemin, elle rencontre un casting de personnages colorés.

Synopsis complet

1 Wizard of Oz (The) (1902 Extravaganza) peut-être considéré comme un Top musical


Conception and script


L. Frank Baum decided to collaborate with his friend, composer Paul Ti-etjens, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz illustrator W. W. Denslow as set and costume designer, to bring the book to the stage. They completed a script, score and designs in 1901, hewing fairly close to the novel. They submitted the package to the manager of the Chicago Grand Opera House, Fred R. Hamlin, who liked it and approached Julian Mitchell to be director.
Mitchell did not like the script, criticizing its lack of spectacle, calling it too subdued and small-scale. However, he sent a wire to Hamlin with the message "Can see possibilities for extravaganza". When Mitchell ac-cepted the project, he brought in new songwriters, cutting some of the original Tietjens numbers. He rewrote the script, together with Glen MacDonough, introducing new characters and incidents, reducing the Cowardly Lion's role, deleting the appearance of the Wicked Witch of the West entirely, and substituting a cow for Toto as Dorothy's com-panion. Baum was anxious about this, but went along. He hoped Mitchell's experience in directing, as well as the casting of comedy team Fred Stone and David C. Montgomery as the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, would make the show a hit. It turned out to be a roaring suc-cess, with 293 performances.

Production and early revivals


In rewriting Baum's 1901 script, Mitchell hired MacDonough to add top-ical humor. Baum described MacDonough as a New York joke writer in a letter to The Chicago Record-Herald, responding to criticism that the show "teemed with wild and woolly western puns and forced gags". In a letter to The Chicago Tribune published June 26, 1904, Baum decried ru-mors that he was "heartbroken and ashamed" with the final product of the musical: "I acknowledge that I was unwise enough to express myself as dissatisfied with the handling of my play on its first production ... few authors of successful books are ever fully satisfied with the dramatiza-tion of their work. They discern great gaps in the original story that are probably never noticed by playgoers." He admitted to protesting sev-eral innovations, but ultimately concluded: "The people will have what pleases them, and not what the author happens to favor, and I believe that one of the reasons why Julian Mitchell is regarded as a great pro-ducer is that he faithfully tries to serve the great mass of playgoers – and usually succeeds."
Most of the original songs were written by Paul Tietjens on Baum's lyrics, except for three: "The Guardian of the Gate" (although it was at-tributed to Tietjens), which was cut after only a few performances, "The Different Ways of Making Love" (wooing) and "It Happens Every Day" were composed by Nathaniel D. Mann. Mann later wrote the score for Baum's 1908 film/theatrical presentation, The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays. Most of Baum's songs related to the story in some way, as in op-eretta, but as performed, the play was more like vaudeville, and new songs by other songwriters were frequently substituted. In fact, the first song interpolated into the musical was "The Traveler and the Pie", a major number for the Scarecrow. Baum and Tietjens had written it for a play called The Octopus; or the Title Trust, which was never produced and possibly never completed. The song stayed in the show. James O'Dea and Edward Hutchinson wrote one of the show's most celebrated songs, "Sammy", in which Tryxie Tryfle sings of a lost love before King Pastoria, though the only surviving recording of the piece was sung by a man (Harry Macdonough).
The witches are largely absent in this version; The Good Witch of the North appears, named Locasta, and The Wicked Witch of the East is a special effect. Toto, Dorothy's dog, was replaced by a cow named Imo-gene. The Wicked Witch of the West does not appear, and Glinda the Good Witch of the South, who had appeared only in Act Three, was writ-ten out by Mitchell in 1903. His re-write of that act was set in the Bor-derland that divides Oz and Glinda's Domain, as Dorothy and her friends try to escape Pastoria.
New characters include King Pastoria II, Oz's true king working as a Kansas motorman and his girlfriend, Trixie Tryfle, a waitress. There is also Cynthia Cynch, the Lady Lunatic, a prototype for Nimmie Amee, Nick (Niccolo) Chopper's girlfriend. Niccolo Chopper is renowned for his ability on the piccolo, the subject of one of her songs, and he is shown playing a piccolo in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the first Oz film made without Baum's input, which was highly influenced by the popular play. The Wizard was presented as various ethnic stock character stereo-types, depending upon who played him. He was assisted by Sir Wiley Gyle and General Riskitt. David L. Greene and Dick Martin erroneously captioned a picture of General Riskitt as "Sir Wiley Gyle" in The Oz Scrapbook, and Donald Abbott carried this mistake over into his illus-trations for How the Wizard Saved Oz.
The animals in the play, including the Cowardly Lion, did not speak, fol-lowing the pantomime tradition. Although the lion costume was realis-tic, far more so than Bert Lahr's in the MGM film, his main purpose was a bit of comic relief and scaring off the villains on occasion. His quest for courage is completely omitted, much as the other characters' quests are deemphasized in favor of various comic routines. Ultimately, though, their desire to seek the Wizard's aid gets them caught on the wrong side of the revolution, jailed and ultimately scheduled for execution. In a deus ex machina, another tornado arrives to sweep Dorothy home from the chopping block.
Many new plot twists are virtually pointless. In addition to a kiss of pro-tection, Dorothy gets three wishes, one of which is wasted on a triviality. The second is used to bring the Scarecrow to life, and the third is used so she can learn the song Sir Dashemoff Daily (a trouser role) has written to his girlfriend, Carrie Barry. This song was written by Baum and Tiet-jens, but some programs credited the song to Glen MacDonough and A. Baldwin Sloane to make their connection to the play look greater.
Probably the biggest influence on the 1939 MGM film, aside from mak-ing the story into a musical (but not using the score created for the stage version), is the field of poppies sequence that ended Act I. In the novel, Baum imaginatively has a legion of field mice pull a cart with the Cow-ardly Lion out of the poppy field. This was deemed unfeasible (though the stage version of The Wiz created a variation, with the mice as an-thropomorphic vice cops), and Baum, though he included it in the 1901 script, replaced the scene with that of the Snow Queen creating a storm that destroys the poppies, much as Glinda does in the 1939 movie. This concluded Act I with an elaborate dance known as "Winter Jubilation", which James Patrick Doyle plays on synthesizers on the album, Before the Rainbow: The Original Music of Oz.
Because there were no cast albums in those days, theatre productions, including this production, often exceeded four hours in length because of multiple demands for encores, since many of the attendees knew they would never get to attend again. The most popular songs were often sung multiple times and this was often used to gauge whether a song should be retained or dropped. Two popular routines that were worked in include a sailing routine and a football routine, the latter parodying the level of violence in the sport, which had recently been lessened due to new regulations.
The original cast included Anna Laughlin as Dorothy Gale, Fred Stone as the Scarecrow, David C. Montgomery as Nick Chopper (the Tin Man), Helen Byron as Cynthia Cynch, Bessie Wynn as Sir Dashemoff Daily, Gilbert Clayton as King Pastoria II, Bobby Gaylor as Oz, Arthur Hill as the Cowardly Lion, Grace Kimball as Tryxie Tryffle, and Edwin J. Stone as Imogene the cow. The second theatre to house the production was the New York Theatre. It ran on Broadway from January to October 1903, and again from March 1904 to October 1905. By 1905, the New York production had moved to the Academy of Music at 14th and Irving Place; Mona Desmond took over the role of Dorothy. Marion Stanley took over the role of Trixie, George B. Field played Sir Wiley Gyle, and Charles E. Mitchell became the Wizard. The Snow Queen was played by Bert Dean en travesti. The show toured from 1903 to 1909, playing as far away as the Opera House in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, in 1904.
The musical was released for stock and regional shows in 1911. It was revived as late as 1934, with Charles H. Pinkham in the role of the Scarecrow.


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Version 1

Wizard of Oz (The) (1902 Extravaganza) (1903-01-Majestic Theatre-Broadway)

Type de série: Original
Théâtre: Majestic Theatre (Broadway - Etats-Unis)
Durée : 8 mois 2 semaines
Nombre : 293 représentations
Première Preview : mardi 20 janvier 1903
Première : mardi 20 janvier 1903
Dernière : samedi 03 octobre 1903
Mise en scène : Julian Mitchell
Chorégraphie :
Producteur :

Version 2

Wizard of Oz (The) (1902 Extravaganza) (1904-03-Majestic Theatre-Broadway)

Type de série: Return Engagement
Théâtre: Majestic Theatre (Broadway - Etats-Unis)
Durée : 1 an 8 mois 1 semaine
Nombre : 171 représentations
Première Preview : lundi 21 mars 1904
Première : lundi 21 mars 1904
Dernière : samedi 25 novembre 1905
Mise en scène : Julian Mitchell
Chorégraphie :
Producteur :
Commentaires : Majestic Theatre (Mar 21, 1904 - May 1904)
New York Theatre (May 02, 1904 - May 21, 1904)
Academy of Music (Nov 07, 1904 - Dec 31, 1904)
Academy of Music (Oct 30, 1905 - Nov 25, 1905)

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