Our World-premiere original musical stage
adaptation of
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,
first staged by us in 2000, and then again in
2002, with music and lyrics by James P.
Doyle, and book by Joe Cascone, was based
faithfully upon the original novel by L. Frank
Baum and fascinated sell-out audiences
during its two brief engagements. Acclaimed
by audiences and critics alike (see critic
review below), The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
continues to be the most asked-for show in
our history.

We were also fortunate enough to record a
much-praised original cast CD of the songs
from this production (CD cover pictured
beside).  You can own one of these
collectible CD's for the low price of $15
(includes taxes, shipping & handling) by
simply filling in the online order form below:
WIZARD OF OZ ORIGINAL CAST RECORDING - Online Order Form
This Wizard worth going off to see

North York Mirror, December 18, 2002

By Clarie Martin
Special to the Mirror

The Civic Light Opera Company is marvelously inventive in bringing about
musical version of L. Frank Baum’s “
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” to the
Fairview Library Theatre.

Director Joe Cascone and cast give us a group of delightfully pint-sized
Munchkins, a nest of very helpful mice (who might be expected to live in the
field behind Auntie En’s farm, but were never, ever seen) and all the old
familiar characters.

Cascone worked on this “new musical” with composer and fellow Oz-fancier
James P. Doyle (now deceased) and first presented it in December 2000.
Unless you saw that show, you will not recognize the songs and music.

Unless you read Baum’s first book on Oz, even parts of the story (what are “Kalidahs” and “Hammerheads?”) are unfamiliar.

Cascone has been loyal to Baum in writing the script for this production and Doyle has been wonderfully disloyal to the MGM movie musical (starring
Judy Garland as Dorothy) in composing a collection of very different songs.  The sentiments, however, remain the same” a young girl, tossed about by the
elements, takes the yellow brick road to wisdom – mind, body and soul.

Cascone represents Baum on stage as narrator (and often as prop man) and also operates as the Wizard himself.  This is a nice effect since Baum is the
wizard behind the many productions and offshoot performances of this uncanny tale, which has amazed and informed young and old for more than 100
years.  Doyle’s lyrics never mention “rainbows.”  They don’t’ seem to be as memorable or hummable, but that may possibly be because they are unfamiliar
in the Land of Oz..  I did, however, find myself rehearsing lines like “just a touch of humbug” from the song of the same name.

The sentiments of “Pull Together,” sung by the Mouse Queen (Carol Kugler) and her field mice friends, tickle the heartstrings.  A rather vampish Wicked
Witch of the West, played by Julie Lennick, belts out “Wicked is What I Do” and I applaud her for it.

“Further Along the Way,” a tune that Baum and “the four friends” sing together at each juncture of their later travels made me wish the way was not quite
as long.  It takes a little more brainwork (even for scarecrows in the audience) to assimilate a rafting trip down a raging river or an assortment of newfangled
alien to our concept of Oz.

Twelve year-old Kelly Sanders, who could make a career of The Wizard of Oz (at least until she grows up) plays Dorothy and hers is a role amply carried
out.

Cameron McKinnon’s Scarecrow is as gangly as Ray Bolger’s in the MGM musical, Bryan Chamberlain’s Tin Woodman as stalwart as Jack Haley’s and

David Haines’ Cowardly Lion as comic as Bert Lahr’s /  Joanne Kennedy’s Glinda sparkles like a movie gem.  Storks, crows, monkeys and tigers flutter and
prowl without incident.

Even Jesse, as Toto the dog, does not mess up.
Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Wonderful Wizard of Oz - December 2002
Wonderful Wizard of Oz - December 2002
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