03 January 2012

Musical of Last Month: The Wizard of Oz

In December the New York Public Library celebrated the Wizard of Oz stage extravaganza that reached Broadway in 1903 as its “Musical of the Month.”

A huge and influential hit when it appeared, the show prompted L. Frank Baum to write sequels to his novel. It provided Dorothy with the surname Gale, the Tin Woodman with his original name Nick Chopper, and Oz with a former king named Pastoria. For fans of the MGM movie, the snowstorm that saves Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion from the poppies was borrowed directly from this show. But hardly anyone remembers the show itself.

As organized by Doug Reside, Digital Curator at the NYPL’s Library for the Performing Arts, the website offers four essays on the show:
These essays are illustrated with some of the images from the NYPL’s huge archive, including the photo of Fred Stone and David Montgomery as the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman above.

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