Act I (Scene 3 and 4)
So, to review from last time, there were new characters introduced into the play as well as familiar characters and they are all headed to the Emerald City. As Scene 3 opens up, we are introduced to another new character, Sir Riley Gyle, a revolution expert (but more appropriately seen as comic relief). His lines are super funny as he seems to be obsessed with explosions. His catchphrase is “Revolutions to order. Kings dethroned while you wait.” (Scene 3). Now, it may better be understood at this point to see two parallel pathways evolving in the story.
- Pastoria’s storyline
- Dorothy’s storyline
In Pastoria’s storyline, we see him, Trixie, and Riskitt walking down the yellow brick road and they meet the lion and Sir Gyle along the way. In Dorothy’s storyline, we meet the Tin man along the way (we all know that storyline as the script matches the story), as pictured in these advertising cards.
However, in my opinion, the more interesting storyline appears to be Pastoria’s storyline, so let’s start with his storyline for now. At the start, Gyle and Dash are talking along the road (remember: Dash was supposed to find a rhyme for sarsaparilla) and in walks Cynthia, who was in search of her long-lost love. She thinks Gyle is her betrothed and asks him to play. He doesn’t and convinces her instead that her betrothed is the Wizard sent by Gyle to overthrow him. As Cynthia departs, Dash reflects on his love for Dorothy with the next song in the story, “I Love You All The Time”. You can listen to the song here.
Continuing through Pastoria’s storyline, we get to experience a funny side to both the lion and King Pastoria with scene that focuses on the lion taking a photoshoot with the king. It truly was hilarious to read. Now, interestingly enough, Pastoria is the one who meets the lion and becomes friends with him, not Dorothy in this one. Its definitely a good change of pace. I know a lot of people will have problems with all these changes to the Oz storyline but its a story that is over 110 years old and it may need some updating to keep up with the upcoming generations. I think any take I can get on Oz is a great one. I know that there are over hundreds of different written stories of Oz and each one has its own take on Oz. Not many other stories written around that time can say that, not even Alice in Wonderland or Peter Pan.
–> Next, we move over to Dorothy’s storyline, where she is talking with the Scarecrow as they come upon the Tin man, who is rusted and holding a fife. Now, what’s intriguing at this point is that when the Tin man tells his story, it matches almost to the letter with Cynthia’s story, but Dorothy and Scarecrow do not know this as Cynthia was out of the picture when Dorothy entered. Also, Imogen is still in the picture, but her loyalties change by the next scene. Furthermore, an gay comment is made about the Scarecrow by the Tin man and Dorothy (savior to the LGBT community) stands up and defends the Scarecrow, who in this scene we discover might be related to someone called Secretary Hay, who was secretary to Lincoln’s administration, pictured below:
As the Tin man is reflecting on his love, he breaks out into song called, “When You Love, Love, Love.” The entire song can be found on the vintage CD created by Hungry Tiger Press. They do have a sample of the song at the following link, click here. This song ends Scene 3.
In the next scene, we get to see the poppy field and all the chaos that happens in that scene. The new characters in this scene do not really have any lines but they are relevant to the Oz universe. The Snow Queen and King Frost are introduced as being powerful entities in the Oz realm. Who would have guessed that the Snow Queen was in Oz. Scene 4 opens up with the Poppy Chorus song, which can be heard here (instrumental version). What I find interesting is that this is not the only version of the Poppy field where the poppies actually sung. In The Wiz film and The Wiz Live!, we see the poppies both singing.
Now, finally after the two stories have been separated, they finally come together. Everyone is introduced but they are informed that the Wizard is after Pastoria, which is why they are dressed like a traveling circus. So, as everyone enters the poppy field, they all get incredibly sleepy except for Tin man and Scarecrow.
To save the day, Locusta comes in and calls upon the Snow Queen and King Frost to neutralize the power of the poppies. Now, we all know this scene, of course, as it was in the MGM classic and Glinda made it snow. Below is the snow scene at the end of Scene 4 and Act 1. So, we have just witnessed that Locusta, the Good Witch of the North, is the most powerful witch in Oz. In the last act, Locusta is the one that summons Glinda to help Dorothy get back home.
As Act 1 closes out, we are left with a couple tidbits. Locusta is a powerful witch. The Snow Queen lives in Oz. Dorothy is traveling with King Pastoria down the yellow brick road. The Wizard is definitely not a good person in this play, which is how he was portrayed in the Wicked play as well. So, until next time, when we find ourselves in Emerald City, we’ll be seeing somewhere over the vinkus.
- Try to play the songs in the play with the music sheets provided at the Hungry Tiger Press website.
- Create your own set for the poppy field or the photo shoot scene with Pastoria and the Lion.