The Wizard of Oz

Danielle Wade shines in Andrew Lloyd Webber's sparkling new production

Presented by Mirvish Productions
Adapted by Andrew Lloyd Webber & Jeremy Sams
Music by Harold Arlen, lyrics by E.Y. Harburg
Additional music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, additional lyrics by Tim Rice
Directed by Jeremy Sams

The Wizard of Oz Canadian cast 2013. Photo Credit: Cylla von Tiedemann.

When L. Frank Baum penned his children’s novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, in 1900, he could never have imagined its lasting power. Unfortunately, Baum did not live to see MGM’s 1939 cinematic adaptation, which brought the fairytale to life through the use of both music and Technicolor, becoming a one of the most popular films of all time. Over 100 years later, the enchantment of The Wizard of Oz has been brought to life once again by Andrew Lloyd Webber in his new production, straight from London’s West End and now on stage at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. Featuring several new songs and an all-Canadian cast, this production is saturated with dazzling colours and sets, a delight for all ages.

Developed from the 1939 MGM screenplay, the production opens with the ever-familiar strains of the film’s overture, composed by Harold Arlen. Dorothy Gale is played by Danielle Wade, the winner of CBC’s Over the Rainbow, and the audience gets to know her character against the dull backdrop of her Kansas farm, where she is misunderstood by both Auntie Em (Charlotte Moore) and Uncle Henry (Larry Mannell). Dorothy’s frustrations come to a head when Miss Gulch (Lisa Horner) threatens to take away her dog Toto (played by Tilley, Neddy and Winny). Wade performs a touching rendition of “Over the Rainbow," which leads her to run away from home, and she soon meets Professor Marvel (Cedric Smith). Andrew Lloyd Webber has incorporated the charming new song, “Wonders of the World” into the production, performed by Smith, and the ensuing tornado is exuecuted so brilliantly that the audience fears for Dorothy as she tries to navigate her way back to the farm amid flying debris, ultimately ending up inside the cyclone that drops her into a colourful, magical land.

Upon arriving in Oz, the set is awash with colour, and the glittering Glinda (Robin Evan Willis) introduces Dorothy to the Munchkins and, to the girl’s horror, The Wicked Witch of the West (Horner in a deliciously evil dual role). Dorothy is advised to visit the great and powerful Wizard of Oz in order to return home to Kansas, and on her journey meets a scarecrow without a brain (Jamie McKnight), a tin woodsman without a heart (Mike Jackson) and a cowardly lion (Lee MacDougall) who become her travel companions on the road to the Emerald City.

The Wizard of Oz may be one of the most well-known stories in popular culture, but this production with beautiful sets and costumes by designer Robert Jones, brings it alive so spectacularly that it feels as though the audience is seeing and experiencing it all for the first time. The four primary characters are incredibly lovable and sincere, Wade’s Dorothy in particular. The 20-year-old from LaSalle, Ontario, displays outstanding talent as the little farm girl from Kansas who realizes that home is a place in her heart.

The Wizard of Oz is currently playing at the Ed Mirvish Theatre. Visit for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Wed, 2013-01-16 - Sun, 2013-08-18
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