By: Kristen O
The annual Spring Musical is coming up and this year Marymount has picked The Wiz, a modern take of The Wizard of Oz.
Renditions of the Wizard of OZ
|The Wonderful Wizard of Oz||1900||Book|
|The Wizard of Oz||1902||Musical|
|His Majesty, the Scarecrow of Oz||1914||Movie|
|Wizard of Oz||1925||Movie|
|The Wizard of Oz||1939||Movie|
|The Wizard of Mars||1965||Movie|
|The Wonderful Wizard of Oz||1987||Movie|
|The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz||2005||Movie|
|After the Wizard||2011||Movie|
|Oz the Great and Powerful||2013||Movie|
|The Wiz Live!||2015||TV Special|
Over the course of a century, there have been 15 interpretations of the children’s classic. From a traditional movie, to an R&B African American rendition which hit Broadway in 1974; which was turned into a movie in 1978 featuring iconic stars such as Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. Although they are all based on the same classic, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, the producers of each of them made some tweaks when creating these productions, whether it was a Broadway musical or a modern TV special.
The Wiz (movie) and The Wiz (musical), have a few things in common: they are both adaptations of “The Wonderful Wizard of OZ” and they are both based on African American culture. Other than that, their plots are vastly different.
In the movie, Dorothy is an introverted 24 year old teacher who is too scared to start an independent life as an adult. She lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. During a Thanksgiving dinner in her relatives’ Harlem apartment, Dorothy was cleaning up and Toto, her dog, runs out of the kitchen door while there was an awful snow storm. When she gets Toto back, she gets swept away in the storm, which takes her an entirely different realm called Oz, where she is introduced to Glinda, the Good Witch of the South.
On the other hand, in the musical, Dorothy has a desire to leave her Aunt and Uncle, but her family wants her to stay with them. Later on when she is in the farmhouse, a tornado sweeps her away from her world and takes her to Oz, where she meets Addaperle, the Good Witch in the North.
Despite having many differences, these two renditions tell the same story. They tell the story of a girl who is taken away from her own world, and the journey she has to face in order to make her way back home. But most of all these renditions show us that even if something is new and different, it isn’t necessarily scary. It taught us about growing up and how life is a journey. And if some of us are lucky, we may make some life long friends along the way.