Act II (Emerald City)
Opening up in Act II (as seen in the picture above), the Wizard is introduced as well as some other minor characters such as Bardo, one of the Wizard’s guards. The Act opens with the Wizard talking to one of his guards first, then he has a conversation with Sir Gyle and Cynthia, which doesn’t go well for either one. Sir Gyle gets taken away and Cynthia tries to shoot the wizard and exits in frustration, realizing that the Wizard is not actually her love. Then, the heroes walk in with the royal guard and explain why they have come to see the Wizard. What is intriguing about the story thus far is that the heroes did not have to work that hard to get into the Wizard’s presence. They just walked into the throne room.
Another aspect that I found quite interesting is that spell book that the Wizard uses to make the brain concoction for the Scarecrow. This is not the only Oz reference to use a spell book. There is a one used in Wicked by Elphaba. Even more so, is when the Scarecrow actually gets a brain as this is exactly how the book describes the process. It is graphic and detailed.
The next piece is that the tin man has to purchase his heart and it appears to be used. Oh man, that is even more gross. Once the heart is in place, the Wizard puts absinthe on it, as if to make the heart more drunk with emotions. I don’t get it, but its what happens. Then, when Dorothy tells what she wants, she doesn’t actually get it, which is how it happened in the book, but at least fly off in a balloon so it doesn’t seem like you’re being a jerk (even though the other thing is being a double jerk).
Jumping forward, the act concludes with Pastoria basically overthrowing the Wizard with his entourage/circus to back him up.
Notable Songs in this Act:
- “Rejoice! The Wizard is No Longer King”, Wizard of Oz Vintage Recording
- “When We Get What’s A-Coming to Us”, Wizard of Oz Vintage Recording
“Sammy”, Wizard of Oz Vintage Recording (seen below from the theatre company in Ohio)
ACT III (The Borderlands)
Now, what is interesting about this act is that is just says it takes place at the border of the domain of Oz, which could be a lot of things. It could mean the Quadling Country. It could mean the edge of the Emerald City, which seems to be called the Land of Oz a lot. It is also referred to as The Dreamlands, but for the sake of argument, I will refer to it as the Borderlands. Act III opens up with Tin man and Scarecrow having escaped prison, because apparently they were arrested, which was not explicitly stated in the previous act.
The characters now introduced are minor characters such as the mob that is looking for our heroes and then there is the Sentry, a toll-bridge worker, at the edge of Emerald City and the Borderlands.
Tin man and Scarecrow are captured after trying to “be too suspicious” and are thrown in a cage. The Wizard and Sir Gyle are sent to the sewers to work. Trixie decides she doesn’t want to be with Pastoria anymore because he makes her too sad and he’s too self-involved. Dorothy and Dash arrive at The Borderlands insisting that Glinda will keep them safe. Cynthia finally discovers that the Tin man is her long lost love. Everyone is captured and to be executed. Locusta comes in to save the day and Dorothy is sent home at last.
Notable Songs in this Act:
“The Traveller and the Pie”, Wizard of Oz Vintage Recording (seen below from the Canton Comic Opera Company)
“Must You”, Wizard of Oz Vintage Recording, available in full here:
As I close off this play, I realize what a great sense of humor Baum had in creating this play. It really was fun to re-live and connect to the essence of the play. Also, be sure to check out the 1910 Wizard of Oz, 1925 Wizard of Oz, and 1933 Wizard of Oz (animated) as they all have different takes on the story as well. Next, we will find ourselves exploring another region of the Land of Oz in Baum’s second book, we’ll be seeing you somewhere over the vinkus.