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‘Wicked?’ Not! It’s ‘The WONDERFUL Wizard of OZ’

July 19, 2012
By MICHAEL PULLIAM ( , For The Maui News

I'm sure there's got to be a Shakespearean or Biblical story that's been adapted more frequently than Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," but at the very least "Oz" is a close third or fourth. By my count, which may be slightly off, there are 47 stage, film and made-for-TV versions dating back to 1902. There are currently three new Oz films in production as we speak. A Drew-Barrymore-produced, Dorothy-themed, "Oz" sequel project, a new Disney live-action version directed by Sam Raimi, and an all-new anime feature version as well. If that weren't enough, Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical adaptation (currently running in London) based on the 1939 film, which includes the timeless Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg songs and stars Michael Crawford, will be coming to Broadway this season. In Hawaii "Wicked," the musical prequel to Dorothy's visit, is coming to Honolulu Thanksgiving weekend, Maui OnStage will be presenting a production based on the 1939 film, with adults that exact same weekend and this weekend Theatre Theatre Maui presents a children's production of "The Wizard of Oz." The Westside show includes music and lyrics by Arlen and Harburg, adapted by John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company. This version, first presented in London in 1988, was adapted to follow the famous motion picture even more closely than any other previous adaptations.



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