The Wizard of Oz (1902 musical)

The Wizard of Oz was a 1902 musical extravaganza based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Much of the original music was by Paul Tietjens and has been mostly forgotten, although it was still well-remembered and in discussion at MGM in 1939 when the classic film version of the story was made.[1] Although Baum is the credited bookwriter, Glen MacDonough was hired on as jokewriter after Baum had finished the script.

The Wizard of Oz
Fred R. Hamlin's Musical Extravaganza
Fred R. Hamlin's musical extravaganza, The wizard of Oz LCCN2014636750.jpg
One of many promotional posters for the show, featuring The Scarecrow, Dorothy, the Tin Woodman (in a Scottish kilt and minus his funnel hat), and some Poppies
MusicPaul Tietjens
Charles Zimmerman
Gus Edwards
Leo Edwards
and others
LyricsL. Frank Baum
Vincent Bryan
Will D. Cobb
William Jerome
and others
BookL. Frank Baum
Glen MacDonough
BasisThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Productions1902 Chicago
1903 Broadway

The show premiered at the Chicago Grand Opera House[2] on June 16, 1902 and later moved to the Majestic Theatre on Broadway on January 21, 1903, where it ran for 293 performances until December 31, 1904, followed by traveling tours of the original cast.[3] It starred Anna Laughlin as Dorothy Gale, Fred Stone as the Scarecrow, and David C. Montgomery as the Tin Woodman (who is called Niccolo Chopper in the musical; he had no name in the original book, but would be called Nick Chopper in the sequels). Arthur Hill played the Cowardly Lion, but in this version his role was reduced to a bit part. The Wicked Witch of the West is mentioned but does not appear in this version, and Toto is replaced by a cow named Imogene. An element from the show – the snowfall caused by the Good Witch of the North, which defeats the spell of the poppies that had put Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion to sleep – was later used in the classic 1939 movie. Other new characters in the piece are King Pastoria II and his girlfriend, Trixie Tryfle (a waitress), Cynthia Cynch (a lady lunatic), Sir Dashemoff Daily (the poet laureate), Sir Wiley Gyle, and General Riskitt. Dorothy Gale's surname was introduced in this version. It was not mentioned in the original novel, though it is mentioned in Ozma of Oz (1907).

The main plot of the show, as recounted in newspapers of the time, is Pastoria's attempts to regain the throne from the Wizard of Oz. The original protagonists' search for the Wizard puts them on the wrong side of the law.


Cover of production announcement showing an 'Inland Gnome', drawn by W.W. Denslow in 1894

Act One: The StormEdit

A young girl named Dorothy Gale lives on the great Kansas prairie with her Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and cow, Imogene. One day, while she is playing with her pet cow, Imogene, a fierce whirlwind appears. Dorothy and Imogene take shelter in the farmhouse, which is carried far away into the clouds.

Meanwhile, in the hamlet of Center Munch, the little Munchkins dance around their maypole, not noticing that Dorothy's house has fallen to Earth and killed the Wicked Witch of the East. Dorothy opens the front door and marvels at the strange Land of Oz. The Good Witch of the North awards her with a magic ring that grants her three wishes and can summon Glinda the Good Witch of the South at any time. The Good Witch then waves her wand and a pair of beautiful shoes appear on Dorothy's feet. She tells Dorothy that if she wants to get home, she must ask the Wizard of Oz to help her.

After a while everyone exits, and Dorothy is left alone with a Scarecrow hung on a pole. She wishes she had someone to talk to, and he comes to life. He gets down from the pole and complains that he has no brain. Dorothy suggests that he join her on the road to the Emerald City, and he sings "Alas for the Man Without Brains." They come upon the Tin Woodman, who has rusted playing his piccolo. As it turns out, his real name is Niccolo Chopper. He explains that the Wicked Witch of the West took his heart, so he cannot love his girlfriend, Cynthia. He joins them in the hope of receiving a heart from the Wizard, so that he can return to Cynthia.

Act Two: The Emerald CityEdit

The Keeper of the Gates patrols outside the Emerald City. Sir Wiley Gyle enters, a mad old inventor who has scorned magic since his mother died. He is sent to prison for murdering his wife. The travelers enter the Emerald City.

The Wizard gives the Scarecrow a brain and the Tin Woodman a heart. He declares this the greatest of all his achievements and calls for a celebration. The Ball of All Nations is thrown, in which up to twelve songs are sung by various characters. The Wizard performs a basket trick in which King Pastoria is the mark. In the middle of it Pastoria claims his right to the throne and overthrows the Wizard. A great commotion breaks out, with the Wizard escaping in a hot air balloon. Dorothy, still longing to get home, sets off with her companions to the castle of Glinda, the Good Witch of the South.

Act Three: Glinda's PalaceEdit

Dorothy and her friends arrive at Glinda's palace and are welcomed. There are great celebrations, with Glinda promising to send Dorothy home. The whole cast rushes out from the wings and sings the finale.

Conception and scriptEdit

Arthur Hill as the Lion and Anna Laughlin as Dorothy

L. Frank Baum decided to collaborate with his friend, composer Paul Tietjens, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz illustrator W. W. Denslow as set and costume designer, to bring the book to the stage. They completed a script, score and designs in 1901, hewing fairly close to the novel.[4] They submitted the package to the manager of the Chicago Grand Opera House, Fred R. Hamlin, who liked it and approached Julian Mitchell to be director.[citation needed]

Mitchell did not like the script, criticizing its lack of spectacle, calling it too subdued and small-scale. However, he sent a wire to Hamlin with the message "Can see possibilities for extravaganza". When Mitchell accepted the project, he brought in new songwriters, cutting some of the original Tietjens numbers. He rewrote the script, together with Glen MacDonough, introducing new characters and incidents, reducing the Cowardly Lion's role, deleting the appearance of the Wicked Witch of the West entirely, and substituting a cow for Toto as Dorothy's companion. Baum was anxious about this, but went along. He hoped Mitchell's experience in directing, as well as the casting of comedy team Fred Stone and David C. Montgomery as the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, would make the show a hit. It turned out to be a roaring success, with 293 performances.[citation needed]

Production and early revivalsEdit

In rewriting Baum's 1901 script, Mitchell hired MacDonough to add topical humor. Baum described MacDonough as a New York joke writer in a letter to The Chicago Record-Herald, responding to criticism that the show "teemed with wild and woolly western puns and forced gags".[5] In a letter to The Chicago Tribune published June 26, 1904, Baum decried rumors that he was "heartbroken and ashamed" with the final product of the musical: "I acknowledge that I was unwise enough to express myself as dissatisfied with the handling of my play on its first production ... few authors of successful books are ever fully satisfied with the dramatization of their work. They discern great gaps in the original story that are probably never noticed by playgoers." He admitted to protesting several innovations, but ultimately concluded: "The people will have what pleases them, and not what the author happens to favor, and I believe that one of the reasons why Julian Mitchell is regarded as a great producer is that he faithfully tries to serve the great mass of playgoers – and usually succeeds."[6]

Fred Stone as the Scarecrow and David C. Montgomery as the Tin Woodman (1902)

Most of the original songs were written by Paul Tietjens on Baum's lyrics, except for three: "The Guardian of the Gate" (although it was attributed to Tietjens), which was cut after only a few performances, "The Different Ways of Making Love" (wooing) and "It Happens Every Day" were composed by Nathaniel D. Mann. Mann later wrote the score for Baum's 1908 film/theatrical presentation, The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays. Most of Baum's songs related to the story in some way, as in operetta, but as performed, the play was more like vaudeville, and new songs by other songwriters were frequently substituted. In fact, the first song interpolated into the musical was "The Traveler and the Pie", a major number for the Scarecrow. Baum and Tietjens had written it for a play called The Octopus; or the Title Trust, which was never produced and possibly never completed. The song stayed in the show. James O'Dea and Edward Hutchinson wrote one of the show's most celebrated songs, "Sammy", in which Tryxie Tryfle sings of a lost love before King Pastoria, though the only surviving recording of the piece was sung by a man (Harry Macdonough).[citation needed]

The witches are largely absent in this version; The Good Witch of the North appears, named Locasta, and The Wicked Witch of the East is a special effect. Toto, Dorothy's dog, was replaced by a cow named Imogene. The Wicked Witch of the West does not appear, and Glinda the Good Witch of the South, who had appeared only in Act Three, was written out by Mitchell in 1903. His re-write of that act was set in the Borderland that divides Oz and Glinda's Domain, as Dorothy and her friends try to escape Pastoria.[citation needed]

New characters include King Pastoria II, Oz's true king working as a Kansas motorman and his girlfriend, Trixie Tryfle, a waitress. There is also Cynthia Cynch, the Lady Lunatic, a prototype for Nimmie Amee, Nick (Niccolo) Chopper's girlfriend. Niccolo Chopper is renowned for his ability on the piccolo, the subject of one of her songs, and he is shown playing a piccolo in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the first Oz film made without Baum's input, which was highly influenced by the popular play. The Wizard was presented as various ethnic stock character stereotypes, depending upon who played him. He was assisted by Sir Wiley Gyle and General Riskitt. David L. Greene and Dick Martin erroneously captioned a picture of General Riskitt as "Sir Wiley Gyle" in The Oz Scrapbook, and Donald Abbott carried this mistake over into his illustrations for How the Wizard Saved Oz.[citation needed]

The animals in the play, including the Cowardly Lion, did not speak, based on pantomime tradition. Although the lion costume was realistic, far more so than Bert Lahr's in the MGM film, his main purpose was a bit of comic relief and scaring off the villains on occasion. His quest for courage is completely omitted, much as the other characters' quests are deemphasized in favor of various comic routines. Ultimately, though, their desire to seek the Wizard's aid gets them caught on the wrong side of the revolution, jailed and ultimately scheduled for execution. In a deus ex machina, another tornado arrives to sweep Dorothy home from the chopping block.[citation needed]

Many new plot twists are virtually pointless. In addition to a kiss of protection, Dorothy gets three wishes, one of which is wasted on a triviality. The second is used to bring the Scarecrow to life, and the third is used so she can learn the song Sir Dashemoff Daily (a trouser role) has written to his girlfriend, Carrie Barry. This song was written by Baum and Tietjens, but some programs credited the song to Glen MacDonough and A. Baldwin Sloane to make their connection to the play look greater.[citation needed]

Probably the biggest influence on the 1939 MGM film, aside from making the story into a musical (but not using the score created for the stage version), is the field of poppies sequence that ended Act I. In the novel, Baum imaginatively has a legion of field mice pull a cart with the Cowardly Lion out of the poppy field. This was deemed unfeasible (though the stage version of The Wiz created a variation, with the mice as anthropomorphic vice cops), and Baum, though he included it in the 1901 script, replaced the scene with that of the Snow Queen creating a storm that destroys the poppies, much as Glinda does in the 1939 movie.[citation needed] This concluded Act I with an elaborate dance known as "Winter Jubilation", which James Patrick Doyle plays on synthesizers on the album, Before the Rainbow: The Original Music of Oz.

Cast of the production at East Texas State Normal College in 1921

Because there were no cast albums in those days, theatre productions, including this production, often exceeded four hours in length because of multiple demands for encores, since many of the attendees knew they would never get to attend again. The most popular songs were often sung multiple times and this was often used to gauge whether a song should be retained or dropped. Two popular routines that were worked in include a sailing routine and a football routine, the latter parodying the level of violence in the sport, which had recently been lessened due to new regulations.[citation needed]

The original cast included Anna Laughlin as Dorothy Gale, Fred Stone as the Scarecrow, David C. Montgomery as Nick Chopper (the Tin Man), Helen Byron as Cynthia Cynch, Bessie Wynn as Sir Dashemoff Daily, Gilbert Clayton as King Pastoria II, Bobby Gaylor as Oz, Arthur Hill as the Cowardly Lion, Grace Kimball as Tryxie Tryffle, and Edwin J. Stone as Imogene the cow. The second theatre to house the production was the New York Theatre. It went on the road playing as far away as the Opera House in Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas in 1904. By 1905, the New York production had been moved to the Academy of Music at 14th and Irving Place. Montgomery and Stone remained in the cast, but Dorothy was now played by Mona Desmond.[7] Marion Stanley took over the role of Trixie Tryfle, George B. Field played Sir Wiley Gyle, and Charles E. Mitchell became the Wizard. The Snow Queen was played by Bert Dean en travesti.

The musical was revived as late as 1934, with Charles H. Pinkham in the role of the Scarecrow.


The New York Times' critic described the show as "the Darling of Mr. Belasco's Gods".[8] Leone Langdon-Key loved the scenery, but found Baum's script commonplace, commenting that many lines start with, "Well, wouldn't that..." and deplored Tietjens's "fondness for a lack of contrast and rhythms. She also claims that the story of Pastoria trying to regain the lost throne from the Wizard was "as readers of the story remember".[9][full citation needed]

Grand Duke Boris Vladimirovich of Russia gained considerable notoriety by drinking champagne from the satin slipper of one of the chorus girls during a 1902 trip to Chicago.[10]


The success of the play led Baum to write The Marvelous Land of Oz after four years of demand for a sequel to the novel. He dedicated the book to Montgomery and Stone, and made the roles of the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman prominent, with the roles of Dorothy and the Cowardly Lion reduced to a reminiscence. After the team balked at leaving Wizard for a sequel, Baum wrote the stage musical, The Woggle-Bug, eliminating the Tin Woodman, replacing the Scarecrow with Regent Sir Richard Spud, replacing Glinda with Maetta from The Magical Monarch of Mo and renaming the Emerald City the "City of Jewels," though Oz is mentioned several times. The first appearance of the title character was moved from halfway through the novel to the opening scene, and his mentor, Professor Knowitall, name shortened to Professor Knowitt, was raised to the level of romantic lead with a girlfriend named Prissy Pring, a Captain in General Jinjur's Army of Revolt. Jack Pumpkinhead and The Woggle-Bug became a comic team analogous to the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman. The play was performed at the Garrick Theater in Chicago and opened to reviews panning Baum's script and praising the score by Frederic Chapin. No songs were interpolated (although two were derived from an earlier source and erroneously credited to Baum), but the general consensus was that the play was a cash-in or rip-off of The Wizard of Oz rather than a sequel.

Post-World War II revivalsEdit

The musical was performed in a concert version in New York City in May 1982 by the New Amsterdam Theatre Company.[citation needed] It was revived in Tarpon Springs, Florida by the New Century Opera Company in 1998 and 2006, and the company recorded the Baum/Tietjens music on CD with piano accompaniment.[citation needed] Hungry Tiger Press published a two-CD set of vintage recordings related to the musical in 2003.[11]

The Canton Comic Opera Company, a community theatre company in Canton, Ohio, performed a "restored" version in 2010. They believe that their production was the first in over 80 years with full orchestra.[12]


Some of the music was known even beyond the United States. During the Baums' 1907 stay at the Shepherd's Hotel in Cairo, Egypt, a Hungarian Gypsy Band played songs from the musical in their honor.[13]

  • She Didn't Really Mind the Thing at All (Wizard), by John Slavin and Nathaniel D. Mann
  • Mr. Dooley (Wizard) [written for A Chinese Honeymoon (1902)], by William Jerome and Jean Schwartz
  • The Witch Behind the Moon (Cynthia) [replaced by There's a Lot of Things You Never Learn at School c. 1903], by Weslyn and Albert
  • I'll Be Your Honey in the Springtime (Dorothy and Chorus), by Harry Freeman
  • Bloomin' Lize (Scarecrow and Nick), by Matt C. Woodward and Benjamin Jerome
  • Meet Me Down at the Corner (Wizard) [another Irish-themed song added c. 1907], by Will D. Cobb and Harry Hoyt
  • The Lobster Song (I Was Walking 'Round the Ocean) (Scarecrow and Nick), by Hugh Morton and Gustave Kerker
  • That's Where She Sits All Day (Scarecrow and Nick in "cockney Negro"), by Frank Leo
  • Nautical Nonsense (Hurrah for Baffin's Bay!) (Scarecrow and Nick), by Vincent Bryan and Theodore F. Morse
  • Pocahontas (Cynthia) [added c. 1907-08], by Bryan and Gus Edwards
  • Honey, My Sweet (Dorothy), by Henry M. Blossom, Jr. and George A. Spink
  • Must You? (Nick, with Scarecrow), by Harry Boden, David C. Montgomery, and Bert Brantford
  • There's a Lot of Things You Never Learn at School (Cynthia) [replaced "The Witch Behind the Moon" c. 1903], by Ed Gardenier and Edwin S. Brill
  • Mary Canary (Sir Dashemoff), by Edward P. Moran and Seymour Furth
  • Johnnie Morgan, by Harry H. Williams and Vanalstyne
  • Good Bye Fedora (Scarecrow) [added c. 1904-05], by Williams and Robert J. Adams
  • Only You (Sir Dashemoff), by Charles Zimmerman and Frank Keesee
  • When the Heart is Sad (Sir Dashemoff), by Zimmerman and Hollister
  • Budweiser's a Friend of Mine (Wizard) [added c. 1908 after its success in Ziegfeld Follies of 1907], by Bryan and Furth
  • Julie Dooley (Wizard) (originally from The Horse and his Boy (1904)), by Frank R. Adams, Will M. Hough, and Joseph E. Howard
  • The Tale of a Stroll (Tryxie) (originally from The Swedish Chef (1904)) [briefly substituted for "Sammy" when Marion Stanley took over the role of Tryxie in 1905], by George Totten Smith, Byrd Dougherty, and Benjamin M. Jerome
  • Can't You See I'm Lonely (Tryxie) [briefly replaced "Sammy" in 1905, when Isabelle D'Armond, who had played Dorothy in the second touring company, took over the role of Trixie c. 1905-6], by Felix F. Feist and Harry Armstrong
  • Are You Sincere? (Tryxie) [added c. 1908 as another "Sammy" substitute, by Alfred Bryan and Albert Gumble. It was parodied by Nat M. Wills as "Are Youse in Here?" on Victor 5613.]
  • The Moon Has His Eyes on You (Sir Dashemoff) [replacing "Love Is Love" c. 1905], by Billy Johnson and Albert von Tilzer
  • Come Take a Skate with Me (Dorothy) [added c. 1907; written for His Honor, the Mayor (1906)], by R.A. Browne and Gus Edwards

Show tourEdit

The show toured from 1903 to 1909. It ran on Broadway from January to October 1903, and again from March 1904 to October 1905. It was released for stock and regional shows in 1911.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Fricke, Stillman, Scarfone. The Wizard of Oz: The 50th Anniversary Pictorial History
  2. ^ "Chicago Theater Collection – Historic Programs: Grand Opera House, Wizard of Oz". July 27, 1902. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  3. ^ "A Production History of the 1903 Oz". December 15, 2011. Retrieved January 19, 2015.
  4. ^ The script was to be an appendix to Frank Joslyn Baum's biography of his father, To Please a Child, but it was not published due to copyright concerns.
  5. ^ Baum, L. Frank. "Music and the Drama", Letter to the editor, The Chicago Record-Herald, February 3, 1903
  6. ^ "Mr. Baum to the Public", The Chicago Tribune, June 26, 1904
  7. ^ program dated November 13, 1905.
  8. ^ "The Wizard of Oz: A Warm Welcome at the North Pole of Broadway; Brilliant Scenic Effects and Good Comic Acting by Anna Laughlin, Fred A. Stone, and D. C. Montgomery", the New York Times, published January 21, 1903
  9. ^ Langdon-Key, Leone. "Wizard of Oz Is a Flare of Color."
  10. ^ Obituary, New York Herald-Tribune, November 1943.
  11. ^ The Wizard of Oz - Vintage Recordings from the 1903 Broadway Musical (Media notes). San Diego, California: Hungry Tiger Press. 2003.
  12. ^ "The Wizard of Oz", Canton Comic Opera Company, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2013
  13. ^ Gage-Baum, Maud (1907). In Other Lands Than Ours. p. 22.


External linksEdit