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Further Stage Adventures in Oz, Part Thirty-nine: Songs of "Wonderful Wizard."

Dorothy bemoans her "Gray" surroundings and dreams about colorful flowers.
Dorothy bemoans her "Gray" surroundings and dreams about colorful flowers.

In this article and the next I would like to outline the sequence of events in the 2002 edition of Doyle and Cascone's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz according to the program.

The synopsis (and indeed the script) made use of some of the actual chapter titles in Baum's book, though where the book had twenty-four chapters, the show was divided into eleven. Act one began with a Prologue and the song "Just a Touch of Humbug," in which Baum introduced himself and his immortal creation, backed up by the Company.

Chapter One: The Cyclone features two songs. The first, "Gray," is Dorothy's plaintive lament about the drabness of her dismal Kansas surroundings and her wish for some color in her life. Then comes "'Round and Around," an intense number sung during the cyclone itself. (In one of several nods to the Baum - Tietjens musical, Dorothy at one point announces that she has safely tied up Imogene the cow.)

Chapter Two: The Council with the Munchkins includes the little people's elated anthem "Free!" and moves on to Locasta's encouraging admonition to Dorothy to seek out "The Wizard Who Lives in Oz."

Chapter Three: How Dorothy Saved the Scarecrow sees our little heroine do just that, releasing him from his pole, but not from his lack of a brain. "Rags and Hay," an actual Ragtime-style number, is how the Scarecrow, backed up by four Crows, describes his woes.

Chapter Four: The Rescue of the Tin Woodman introduces that stalwart to the tale. He pours out what would be his heart if he had one in the beautiful ballad "Love Doesn't Count (A Tin Man's Tale)."

Chapter Five: The Cowardly Lion finds Dorothy and company beset by a beast who is really a pussycat at heart. In an incongruously bold-sounding march called "'Fraid Not," the Lion outlines his problem.

Each of the previous three chapters ends with a reprise of "The Wizard Who Lives in Oz."

Chapter Six: The Journey to the Great Oz is the last segment of Act One and is also the most eventful, though its first song is a lullaby sung to Dorothy by her friends, all of whom ask her to "Dream for Me." Baum and the Four Friends (remember, Toto stays back in Kansas for this version of the story) describe the dangers faced in the journey in the cheerful "Further Along the Way" (which, in another tribute to the 1902 Wizard, briefly evoked "Hurrah for Baffin's Bay!" as the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman cast off the raft) When the Lion is overpowered by the Poppies, the Queen of the Field Mice and her subjects, along with the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman, all "Pull Together" to get the Lion out of the field of deadly flowers.

The Act One Finale finds our friends within sight of the Emerald City!

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