Adapting The Wizard of Oz: Musical Versions from Baum to MGM and Beyond

Adapting The Wizard of Oz: Musical Versions from Baum to MGM and Beyond


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One of the most beloved film musicals of all time, The Wizard of Oz represents an enduring family favorite and cultural classic. Yet there is much more to the story than meets the eye, and the MGM movie is just one of many ways in which it has been represented. In this lively and wide-ranging book, editors Danielle Birkett and Dominic McHugh bring together insights from eleven experts into the varied musical forms this great American myth has taken in the past century. Starting with the early adaptations of L. Frank Baum's story, the book also explores the writing, composition and reception of the MGM film, its importance in queer culture, stage adaptations of the movie, cult classic The Wiz, Stephen Schwartz's Broadway blockbuster Wicked, and the cultural afterlife of the iconic Arlen-Harburg songs. What emerges is a vivid overview of how music - on stage and screen - has been an essential part of the story's journey to become a centerpiece of American culture.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780190663186
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 12/07/2018
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 820,110
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Danielle Birkett is Lecturer in Music at Northern Regional College. Her research presents the first full-length study of the 1947 Broadway musical Finian's Rainbow.

Dominic McHugh is Senior Lecturer in Musicology and Director of Performance at the University of Sheffield. His publications include the books Loverly: The Life and Times of My Fair Lady (2012), Alan Jay Lerner: A Lyricist's Letters (2014) and The Complete Lyrics of Alan Jay Lerner (2018). He has appeared on BBC TV and radio numerous times, and has acted as a consultant to the Sydney Opera House's production of My Fair Lady, directed by Julie Andrews, as well as the Lincoln Center Theater production of the same musical.

Table of Contents

Introduction: "Rainbow Reflections": The Wizard of Oz as a Musical
Danielle Birkett and Dominic McHugh

Chapter 1: "Starring Montgomery and Stone!": The Wizard of Oz Musical Extravaganza (1902) and the Birth of a Brand
Jonas Westover

Chapter 2: The Road to Oz: From Book to Movie Musical
Benjamin Sears

Chapter 3: "Arlen and Harburg and More, Oh My!": The Cumulative Creation of the Oz Songs
Laura Lynn Broadhurst

Chapter 4: Sounds Must Stir the Fantasy: Underscore as Special Effect in The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Nathan Platte

Chapter 5: Dancing through Oz: Choreographic context in The Wizard of Oz
Claudia Funder

Chapter 6: "The Merry Old Land of Oz?": MGM's Concerns and the Shifting Reception History
Danielle Birkett

Chapter 7: "Friends of Dorothy": Queerness in and Beyond the Film
Hannah Robbins

Chapter 8: "We're Not in Kansas Any More": Three Stage Adaptations of the MGM Film
Dominic McHugh

Chapter 9: "Ease on Down the Road": Black Routes and the Soul of The Wiz
Ryan Bunch

Chapter 10: The Wizard of Oz and Wicked: Resonances, Legal Issues, and the Appropriation of a Classic
Paul Laird

Chapter 11: "Beyond the Rainbow": Afterlives of the Songs from The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Walter Frisch

Appendix 1: All Things Oz



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