The Wizard of Oz [1988 London Revival Cast]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was given musical stage adaptations starting as early as 1903, when Baum himself wrote a libretto with music by Paul Tietjens and A. Baldwin Sloane. But the most memorable musical version, of course, is the 1939 movie with songs by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg. The film, in turn, was adapted for the stage as early as 1942, sometimes with a mixture of music by Tietjens/Sloane and Arlen/Harburg. But eventually the movie music won out. On December 12, 1987, the Royal Shakespeare Company staged a version of the show on a limited basis in London, and a year later, on December 17, 1988, that production...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
L. Frank Baum's 1900 children's fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was given musical stage adaptations starting as early as 1903, when Baum himself wrote a libretto with music by Paul Tietjens and A. Baldwin Sloane. But the most memorable musical version, of course, is the 1939 movie with songs by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg. The film, in turn, was adapted for the stage as early as 1942, sometimes with a mixture of music by Tietjens/Sloane and Arlen/Harburg. But eventually the movie music won out. On December 12, 1987, the Royal Shakespeare Company staged a version of the show on a limited basis in London, and a year later, on December 17, 1988, that production was revived for an extended run in London later transferred to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon. Before the transfer occurred, the cast gathered at Abbey Road Studios to record this album. One challenge to using only the Arlen/Harburg score for a stage version is that, keeping with the time constraints of a 101-minute film, it's so short. There are only six real songs "Over the Rainbow"; the "Munchkinland" sequence including "Ding, Dong, the Witch Is Dead"; "We're off to See the Wizard"; the three sets of lyrics to a single tune, "If I Only Had a Brain," "If I Only Had a Heart," and "If I Only Had the Nerve"; "The Merry Old Land of Oz"; and "If I Were King of the Forest", plus some fragments. Famously, it could have been worse. M-G-M executives wanted to cut "Over the Rainbow," but were dissuaded at the last minute. One other song, however, did get the axe, "The Jitterbug." Naturally, that song was restored, and there were also plenty of reprises and replayed orchestral snatches of the familiar tunes to pad things out. The cast, particularly Gillian Bevan in the pivotal role of Dorothy Gale, seems to be attempting to channel the film actors, a task at which they mostly succeed, despite being betrayed here and there by their occasionally faulty attempts at American accents. Bevan in particular is a strong singer, too. The probably inevitable decision to cast children as the Munchkins adds charm and doubtless helped the show play on-stage. The only problem from the point of view of the recording is redundancy. Why do listeners need an album of people imitating Judy Garland and Co. when the real thing is so readily available?
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/18/2000
  • Label: Jay Records
  • UPC: 605288134128
  • Catalog Number: 1341
  • Sales rank: 78,114

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Ben Cruft Violin
John Francis Violin, Leader
Wilfred Gibson Violin
Paul Greenwood Vocals
Tony McVey Percussion
Ann Morfee Violin
Justin Ward Viola
Chris Lacey Flute, Piccolo, Recorder
John Owen Edwards Conductor
Millie Vocals
Sara Alexander Vocals
Caroline Marwood Oboe, Cor anglais
Victor Slaymark Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone
Simon Green Vocals
Victoria Avery Vocals
David Burrowes Cello
Kim Ismay Vocals
Alla Sharova Violin
Roderick Tearle Trumpet
Aline Brewer Harp
Simon Bright Vocals
Michael Hyatt Piano, DX-7
Brian Newman Horn
David Hissey Trombone, Euphonium
Keith Banks Vocals
Alison Kelly Violin
Heather Birks Viola
Gerald Armin Vocals
Fiona Alexanda Vocals
Glen Hanning Vocals
Sarah-Jane Hassell Vocals
Robert Higgs Violin
Jamie Hinde Vocals
Clare Hofman Violin
Andrew Thomas James Dancer
Christian Jaquest Vocals
Louisa Wooff Vocals
Nicholas Ormrod Percussion
Chris Tudor Vocals
Gillian Bevan Vocals
Joyce Grant Vocals
Trevor Peacock Vocals
Kerri Murphy Vocals
Gordon Buchan Violin
Lee Bagdady Vocals
Stephanie Bagshaw Vocals
Andrew Barnwell Clarinet, Flute, Baritone Saxophone
Corinne Barton Vocals
Richard Blewitt Clarinet, Flute, Tenor Saxophone
Angela Bonetti Viola
Matthew Brice Vocals
James Hillier Brook Vocals
Bille Brown Vocals
Timothy Caister Horn
Kathryn Charlton Vocals
Bridget Crouch Viola
Janet Crouch Cello
John Cumberlidge Vocals
Tommy Del-Prete Vocals
Ian Embleton Vocals
Martin Fenn Viola
Katrina Flavell Vocals
Julia Lewis Vocals
Jeremy Metcalfe Violin
Michelle-Anne Musty Vocals
Nicolas Ormrod Percussion
Nicholas Panayiotou Vocals
Richard Pettyfur Vocals
Joanne Redfern Vocals
Cecilia Romero Violin
Roland Saggs Cello
Kezi Salih Vocals
Claire Samson Violin
Rhys Sando Vocals
Sebastian Shaw Vocals
Julia Vohralik Cello
Andrew Vyvyan Vocals
Rebecca Wade Viola
Michelle Wesson Vocals
Jay Westbrook Vocals
Perry Montague-Mason Violin
Stephen Tye Vocals
David Glover Vocals
Peter Chapman Bass
Christopher Tombling Violin
Peter Wright Trumpet
Technical Credits
Irving Berlin Composer
Larry Wilcox Orchestration
Harold Arlen Composer
Richard Brown Vocal Arrangements
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg Composer
Peter Howard Vocal Arrangements, Dance Arrangement
John Kurlander Engineer
Mark Thompson Costume Design, Set Decoration
John Owen Edwards Production Director
John Yap Producer, Executive Producer
Chantal Hauser Stage Manager
Charmian Hoare Dialect Coach
Ian Francis Stage Manager
Simon Dodson Stage Manager
Lindsay Dolan Choreographer
Jackie Goldney Stage Manager
Ian Judge Director
Steff Langley Sound Design
John A Leonard Sound Design
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