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Further Stage Aventures in Oz, Part Forty: Songs of "Wonderful Wizard" Continued

The Royal Army of Oz.
The Royal Army of Oz.

Act Two begins with Chapter Seven: The Wonderful Emerald City of Oz. The first song, begun by the Royal Army of Oz and taken up by the Cast, is "Emerald City," a celebration of the magnificent capitol of Oz. Eventually, Dorothy and her friends are ushered into the presence of "Oz, the Great and Terrible," represented as images of the giant head and two offstage voices.

(Joe tells me that in the original version of the show they did in fact try to evoke the four different guises Oz used in the book, but decided to simplify it when they remounted the show.)

Horrified by the news that in order to get their wishes they must destroy the Wicked Witch of the West, the team encourages each other in the inspirational "Come Along with Me."

Chapter Eight: The Search for the Wicked Witch, begins with that evil personage finding them first and using the "Golden Cap" to summon the Winged Monkeys to destroy the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, imprison the Lion, and bring Dorothy to her. As Dorothy despondently scrubs the floor of the Witch's castle, she sings the tear-jerking "Nothing Special," in which she now finds herself realizing just how much she misses her life back home. The Lion sneaks in, having escaped from his cage. The Witch appears and asks how he got out.

"I ate the guard," he answers matter-of-factly.

The Witch casts a spell to immobilize the Lion and illustrates for her captives just how mean she can be in her theme song "Wicked is What I Do," which ends with the inevitable bucket of water. The Winkies, not surprisingly, sing a reprise of "Free!" during which the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman are fixed.

Chapter Nine: The Discovery of Oz, includes a reprise of "Oz, the Great and Terrible" which ends with the Wizard revealed as humbug Oscar Diggs. Nevertheless, he provides the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Lion with their literary placebos and promises to carry Dorothy home in his balloon. Haranguing his loyal subjects with a reprise of "Just a Touch of Humbug," Diggs takes off accidentally, leaving Dorothy behind.

Chapter Ten: Away to the South finds the Royal Army advising Dorothy and company to see Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, so through another series of adventures even "Further Along the Way," they finally reach Glinda's palace.

Chapter Eleven: The Country of the Quadlings brings the gracious Glinda on to the scene to sing a reprise of "Dream for Me" in which she assures Dorothy that all her dreams can become reality. Then, after truly tearful farewells with her loving friends (whose parting words were inspired by the movie version of The Wiz), Dorothy is serenaded by the people and creatures of Oz, led by Glinda in the gorgeous "This Land of Oz."

She clicks her heels and spins around. The stage darkens with Dorothy in the spotlight as she sinks to her knees to greet Toto, brought to her by Baum.

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