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We’re Off to See Wizard Again … Care of BBC???

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If Jude Kelly’s Southbank Centre production of The Wizard of Oz wasn’t quite your cup of tea, don’t worry; another one may be along soon – with a big new musical theatre star! In an interview with Closer magazine this week (See Today’s Other Goss), Andrew Lloyd Webber confirmed that he’s agreed to take part in the next BBC One musical theatre casting programme, to cast a new West End production of The Wizard of Oz.

“I will do the search in 2010 to find Dorothy and possibly Toto the dog,” Lloyd Webber told the magazine. (We can’t wait to see the doggie auditions!) The composer has declined a 2009 series in order to work on his much-anticipated sequel to The Phantom of the Opera.

L Frank Baum wrote the first 1903 stage version of his 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The story is best known from the 1939 Hollywood film starring a 16-year-old Judy Garland. This musical version - adapted by John Kane from the Warner Bros movie and featuring the film music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and EY Harburg - was premiered in 1987 by the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Barbican (where it was revived in 1988 before transferring to Stratford in 1989), with a young Imelda Staunton as Dorothy. Sian Brooke took the role this summer at the Royal Festival Hall (See 1st Night Photos, 30 Jul 2008).


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