What are the Different Adaptations of the Wizard of Oz in Theater

The Wizard of Oz is a children’s novel that became an international success during the early 20th century. It was a masterpiece of the great American author: L. Frank Baum,  which is known to have released several copies during the early 1900s. It was widely known as an outstanding children’s novel that has several adaptations on various platforms. 

Some of the novel’s adaptation was on the theatre, wherein numerous screenplays of the Wizard of Oz gained popularity over the years. Interestingly, musical versions of the great story do attract not only young audiences but also adults. With this said, it is no surprise why many people consider The Wizard of Oz one of the most beautiful stories in the world. 

In addition to its unique storyline, the multiple reworks also add to its greatness. In this article, we are going to look into the various adaptations of the Wizard of Oz in the theater. 

  • The Wizard of Oz  – is first on the list of adaptations of the Wizard of Oz. It is a musical version of the famous novel written by L. Frank Baum. Interestingly, Baum was also the person responsible for producing its first-ever musical play, along with W.W. Denslow. It was initially made in Chicago in 1902, then, later on, moved to New York in 1903. This play quickly became an icon on the theatrical stage, which also helped in boosting the Wizard of Oz’s popularity. 
  • The Wizard of Oz – is an adaptation of the Wizard of Oz film in 1939. This screenplay used the songs from the said film, which was reworked by Frank Gabrielson in 1942.
  • Holiday on Ice – from the name itself, this is an ice skating show in 1959, which featured the storyline of the Wizard of Oz.
  • The Wiz – was a musical play in 1975. The play’s soundtracks were the masterpiece of Charlie Smalls, which were played by excellent actors: including Stephanie Mills as Dorothy. Interestingly, the musical production won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1975. 
  • The Marvelous Land of Oz – is a musical created years later after The Wiz. This play was produced in 1981 by Thomas W. Olson, Gary Briggle, and Richard Dworsky.  
  • The Wizard of Oz – is a classic theater adaption of the famous novel – featuring the work of John Kane for the Royal Shakespeare Company. It was created in 1987, which continues to be revived until today. 
  • The Wizard of A.I.D.S. – is probably one of the unique theatrical adaptation of the novel. It features the Oz story, which also includes an educational concept about AIDS. 
  • The Wizard of Oz Live – is a production in 1989 which features the celebration of the 1939 film’s 50th anniversary. 
  • The Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True – was one of the most exclusive musical adaptations of the novel. It was created in 1995 as a concert performance, which showcased several great artists, such as Jewel as Dorothy, Jackson Brown as the Scarecrow, Roger Daltrey as the Tin Man, Nathan Lane as the Lion, and Joel Grey as the Wizard. The production took place at Lincoln Center in New York. 
  • The Wizard of Oz on Tour – is another touring production of the Royal Shakespeare Company, which includes the 1987 adaptation. 
  • Wicked – is a musical adaptation of the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. It was premiered in October 2003. 
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (musical) – is an excellent musical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz, which was originally played in 2000 in Toronto, Canada. Interestingly, the production was revived over the years. 
  • The Wizard of Oz – is a musical production of the 1939 film. It was previewed in 2011, showcasing the soundtracks of the classic 1939 film adaptation of the novel, along with various tweaks by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
  • The Royal New Zealand Ballet – is a ballet production in May 2016 at the St. James Theatre, Wellington. The event featured a Wizard of Oz ballet, which used the composition of Francis Poulenc. Because of the ballet performance’s success, the production toured New Zealand for months.