One of the most beloved musicals of all time, The Wizard of Oz, is coming to the Orpheum Stage in Omaha, December 8-13, 2015. Before you take the family to see this beloved masterpiece, here is some interesting information about the show/movie.
The Wizard of Oz was a 1939 American musical comedy-drama fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It is the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation of the story, based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. The film stars Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale, a young farm girl who is desperately seeking a more exciting life “somewhere, over the rainbow.”
Notable for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score and unusual characters, over the years this story has become an icon of American popular culture. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but lost out to another big classic, Gone With the Wind. It did win Best Original Song for “Somewhere, Over the Rainbow”. However, the film was a box office disappointment on its initial release, despite receiving largely positive reviews. It was MGM’s most expensive production at that time, and did not completely recoup the studio’s investment and turn a profit until theatrical re-releases starting in 1949.
The 1956 broadcast television premiere of the film on CBS re-introduced the film to the wider public and eventually made the presentation an annual tradition, making it one of the most known films in cinema history. The film was named the most-viewed motion picture on television syndication by the Library of Congress who also included the film in its National Film Registry in its inaugural year in 1989. Designation on the registry calls for efforts to preserve it for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.”
The stage musical version of this show was first performed in 1902 in Chicago, and was a big hit on Broadway the following year. Since then, it has been re-written and reproduced many times all over the world.