This touring production, launched in the fall by Florida's Broadway Across America theatrical organization, will play in nearly 40 cities before its run is completed in the spring. Based on the Royal Shakespeare Company's celebration of the 1939 MGM movie and under the direction of Nigel West and choreographed by Leigh Constantine, the Technicolorful presentation attempts to recapture the beloved film's SFX magic and certainly its familiar music, including the reinstatement of "The Jitterbug," a number that was infamously cut from the Hollywood original. Doubtless, Oz junkies will be curious about such an ambitious stage mounting of what is likely cinema's most revered icon. The idea here is to re-create, not mimic, the classic performances, but whoever's playing Dorothy--or Scarecrow, or Tin Man, or just about anyone else--has a pretty tough act to follow. This might be a case of caveat emptor, but maybe the nostalgia and the reportedly stunning visuals will help carry the day.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Jan. 13. Continues through Jan. 18, 2009