Saturday, August 1, 2009

Where the Rainbow Begins

Like something from DC Comics' Bizarro World, the story of the 1902 stage musical of The Wizard of Oz sounds like an impossible parallel universe.

Dorothy's pet is not Toto the Dog, but Imogene the Cow - both of whom are upstaged throughout the show by a waitress named Trixie. The Tin Man has a mentally deranged girlfriend. There is no Wicked Witch of the West. There are no Ruby Slippers. Up is down. Black is white. And that's just the tip of the iceberg of strangeness about the show. But for 40 years, this was the real Wizard of Oz, in canon, written by L. Frank Baum himself.

This week's installment of JSH's Suspension of Disbelief column delves into the lost kookiness of this almost-forgotten Broadway musical. Read it here.