|Danielle Hope & Michael Crawford|
Michael Crawford Returns to Stage as Wizard
Date: 24 September 2010
Michael Crawford will play the Wizard in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of The Wizard of Oz, co-starring opposite Over the Rainbow winner Danielle Hope. The production opens at the West End’s London Palladium on 1 March 2011 (previews from 7 February).
In 1986, Crawford famously originated the role of the titular masked man in the premiere of Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera, making him an international star. After that, he concentrated his career efforts on concerts, recordings and other solo projects until 2003 when he starred, briefly, in the critically panned Broadway musical The Dance of the Vampires.
In 2004, Lloyd Webber lured Crawford back to the West End stage to star as Count Fosco in his musical based on Wilkie Collins’ gothic novel The Woman in White, which premiered at the Palace Theatre and earned him a Whatsonstage.com Award. This will be the actor’s first West End appearance since then.
Crawford told today’s Daily Telegraph: “I’ve been fortunate working with Andrew before so I thought there was no harm in trying again.” Lloyd Webber added that he was “delighted” that such a “legend of musical theatre” would take on the role of the Wizard, who also makes other cameo appearances in the story.
The Wizard of Oz, best known from the 1939 Hollywood film starring Judy Garland as Dorothy, is, as previously reported, being “totally reconceived” and will include new songs written by Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice especially for it to add “extra colour to the story as it moves from film to stage”.
The production is helmed by the same creative team behind Lloyd Webber’s Whatsonstage.com Award-winning revival of The Sound of Music starring his first reality TV winner Connie Fisher – director Jeremy Sams, designer Robert Jones and choreographer Arlene Phillips.
L Frank Baum wrote the first 1903 stage version of his 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The stage musical version, adapted by John Kane from the Warner Bros movie, was premiered by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican in 1987, with a young Imelda Staunton as Dorothy. It has music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and EY Harburg and last had a major London outing at the Royal Festival Hall in summer 2008.
Danielle Hope’s alternate in role of Dorothy, with Over the Rainbow runner-up Sophie Evans, who will perform on Tuesday evenings and during Hope’s holidays.
- by Terri Paddock
|Crawford Returns to West End for Woman in White - 24th Feb 2004 News|
|Woman in White - 10th Oct 2005 Reviews|
|Des O'Connor confirmed as Wizard of Oz, show finishes in September - 9th May 2012 news|
|O'Connor last wizard? Kenwright's Love Never Dies tours Jan? - 2nd May 2012 gossip|
|Tim Rice to be honoured with Special Award at Oliviers - 16th Mar 2012 news|
|Danielle Hope is new Les Mis Eponine, Tam Mutu plays Javert - 9th Mar 2012 news|
|Russell Grant takes over from Michael Crawford as Wizard of Oz - 23rd Jan 2012 news|
|Sophie Evans takes over from Danielle Hope in Wizard of Oz from 7 Feb - 20th Jan 2012 news|
|Photos: Andrew Lloyd Webber's reality casting recruits - 18th Jan 2012 photos|
|Musicals Extend: Wizard, Mamma Mia! & Thriller Live - 4th Oct 2011 news|
|Cast: Tucker & Crawford Extend, Full CFT Sweeney - 2nd Aug 2011 news|
|Cats Prowls Back to West End in 2013, Oz Tour??? - 28th Jun 2011 gossip|
|WOS TV: Up Close With ... The Wizard of Oz's Danielle Hope - 6th Jun 2011 interviews|
|Photos: Evans Wears Ruby Slippers, Oz Extends - 4th May 2011 photos|
|Galas: Toto Winner in Wizard, Caird's Challenge - 19th Apr 2011 news|
|Review Round-up: Are Critics Friends of Dorothy? - 2nd Mar 2011 roundup|
|The Wizard of Oz - 2nd Mar 2011 reviews|
|1st Night Photos: Caine & Co Off to Meet Wizard - 2nd Mar 2011 photos|
|Show Pics: Hope & Crawford in the Emerald City - 1st Mar 2011 photos|
|Opening: Million Dollar, Wizard of Oz & Sapphires - 28th Feb 2011 news|
|Waddingham Heads for Oz, Evans Wicked Fiyero - 25th Nov 2010 news|
|Palladium Marks Centenary, Renovations & Tours - 12th Oct 2010 news|
|Hannah Waddingham Casts Another Spell in Oz??? - 27th Sep 2010 gossip|
|Vote in WOS Poll: Next Musical for TV Casting? - 17th Jun 2010 news|
|Tim Rice Follows Yellow Brick Road to Oz??? - 25th May 2010 gossip|
|End of the Rainbow for Lloyd Webber & BBC??? - 25th May 2010 gossip|
|Danielle Wins Ruby Slippers in Rainbow Finale - 24th May 2010 news|
|Top Ten TV Contestants & Where to Find Them - 18th May 2010 features|
|Ex-Dorothy Steph Set Sights on Sister Act??? - 18th May 2010 gossip|
|Final Three Dorothys Named in Rainbow Contest - 17th May 2010 news|
|Public Booking Opens for Wizard with New Songs - 7th May 2010 news|
|TV-cast Wizard of Oz Moves into Palladium, 1 Mar - 28th Apr 2010 news|
|Ten Dorothys & Wild Card Battle Over the Rainbow - 29th Mar 2010 news|
|Lloyd Webber Searches for TV Dorothy from 26 Mar - 12th Mar 2010 news|
|Church & Hancock Improve BBC Rainbow Expertise??? - 19th Feb 2010 gossip|
|Can Lloyd Webber Find a Dorothy with 'Attitude'??? - 14th Jan 2010 gossip|
|Want to Go Over the Rainbow with the BBC??? - 17th Nov 2009 gossip|
|BBC & Lloyd Webber Cast West End Wizard of Oz - 11th Sep 2009 news|
|Lloyd Webber Cancels Oz TV Casting Show??? - 20th Jul 2009 gossip|
|Lloyd Webber & Slater Pen New Songs for Oz??? - 3rd Apr 2009 gossip|
|Daily Telegraph article|
|Brilliant to know that Michael crawford will be back on stage--been away far too long and who can forget his memorable stage roles in Phantom,Barnum and Woman In White. - Joe Spiteri||24 Sep 10|
|Crawford has his fans..I'm not one... but this looks like a Box Office neccesity. - Mrs Spratt||24 Sep 10|
|Worth noting that the lyrics for ALW's new songs are by Tim Rice. That's a far bigger incentive for me than the prospect of seeing Mr Crawford. - Job||24 Sep 10|
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