The Wizard of Oz is on TV tonight. There was a time when the annual running of this timeless classic was a big occasion in my childhood. Back in the dark ages, before DVDs, Blu-Ray, TiVo or even VCRs, we had to wait until October to see The Wizard of Oz on TV. It would run on Channel 4 every fall. My brother and I would sit in front of the old RCA Victor and watch in wonder. We didn’t know that the movie was made in 1939 and that Judy Garland was an adult now. All we knew was that those flying monkeys were SCARY.
” Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more.”
“I’ll get you my pretty. And your little dog too”
“My, people come and go so quickly.”
“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain“
I bet every one of you has a similar memory of watching The Wizard of Oz and you have your favorite parts, like when the Dorothy opens the door of her boring, drab black & white Kansas world to see the Technicolor wonderfulness of Oz…or when they throw the bucket of water on the Wicked Witch of the West and she’s melts…”I’m melting, I’m melting“. That was amazing to us! And of course, when Judy Garland sings “Over the Rainbow”.
Since then the movie has become an icon that has inspired other movies and two Broadway shows. The Wizard of Oz: 70th Anniversary Two-Disc Special Edition has recently been released, so now I don’t have to wait for October to see this wonderful movie.
The Wiz is a funky, urban version of The Wizard of Oz that started on Broadway and features some incredible songs like Be A Lion and Ease on Down the Road. But the movie version of The Wiz is marred by a much too old Diana Ross in the role as Dorothy. But you will forget Miss Ross when you see a young Micheal Jackson as the Scarecrow. I often wonder why he didn’t do more acting. The Wiz also stars veteran comedian Nipsey Russell and Richard Pryor as The Wiz himself.
You have to take a trip to The Big Apple to see Wicked . It is full of wonderful songs and tells the untold story about the witches of The Wizard of Oz. Wicked answers questions like: why is the cowardly lion so frightened, why the tin man is heartless, why does the witch have green skin and is she really as wicked as we think she? I hope you have a chance to see it when a touring company comes to your town. Love the song-Defying Gravity.