The Globe and Mail states:
He’s teamed up with his old writing partner [Tim] Rice to pen a number of new songs to add into this stage version of the 1939 movie, which he admires for having “arguably one of the best songs ever written” but he does not think works as well in the theatre: “It has nothing to set up Dorothy in Kansas; it has nothing for the Wizard; and there’s nothing for either of the witches.”And here I thought Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg’s “Over the Rainbow” did set up Dorothy in Kansas. But the article goes on to quote Lloyd Webber explaining: “There’s nothing for Dorothy – she’s supposed to be this feisty little girl who wants to get out of Kansas and we don’t have anything that suggests [this].”
Indeed, that’s not how the MGM moviemakers dared to depict her. When their Dorothy does try to “get out of Kansas,” she’s punished with the cyclone and her nightmare journey to Oz. She ends up promising Glinda that she’ll never look for her heart’s desire any farther than her yard. MGM didn’t want Dorothy to be “feisty” or to be rewarded for being adventurous.
L. Frank Baum’s original Dorothy got carried off to Oz not because she’d been running away but just by chance. While there she learned about her own strengths. And although she finished that book telling Aunt Em it’s good to be home again, the next time we see her she’s on a ship to Australia during a storm. That’s feisty.
The paper also quotes Lloyd Webber as saying Avril Lavigne “would be good. Very, very good” as Dorothy. It’s a sign of my age that I have no idea what that implies.