Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Souvenirs of 1903

Here are a couple more pieces related to the 1903 Wizard of Oz stage production. When You Love, Love, Love is a song with a lyric by L. Frank Baum, which was sung in the show by Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman. It was felt by critics to be one of the hits of the show, and is shown on the right. I think the sheet music cover is surprisingly plain, in spite of the ornate lettering. After all, this was a glittering production with plenty of memorable images!

The program on the left is from the week of February 23rd, 1903 - about a month after the show opened in New York. Theater programs of the period were not the splashy things they are today - the program cover advertises the theater rather than the performance. A synopsis of the show is included inside, together with the cast listings, etc. The synopsis does a good job of condensing the somewhat convoluted plot of the show.

Without the hit Broadway production of The Wizard of Oz in 1903, there might never have been an Oz series. That same year the original book was published in a new edition with a new title, shown at the right, and in 1904 The Marvelous Land of Oz was released. The show had been such a success, it inspired L. Frank Baum to write the sequel, with an eye towards another stage adaptation. The stage version of this second book did not succeed, but the book helped pave the way for future titles.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, the main Witmark sheet music for the 1903 WIZARD OF OZ was quite drab. It DID come in multiple colors: dark tan, orange, yellow,and a dark jade green. A very few pieces (all later printings) came in a bright emerald green which I think is the prettiest of them all - still, considering THE WIZARD OF OZ - it is drab, drab, drab.