Andrew Lloyd Webber's New Production of The Wizard of Oz, With New Songs, Opens March 1 in London

By Mark Shenton
March 1, 2011

Andrew Lloyd Webber's new stage production of The Wizard of Oz, based on the story by L Frank Baum as immortalized in the 1939 M-G-M film musical featuring music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg, opens at the London Palladium March 1, following previews that began Feb. 7. Lloyd Webber has reunited with his former writing partner Tim Rice to write four additional songs to supplement the original score.

Read's interview with Lloyd Webber, who talks about Wizard and other topics.

The show, directed by Jeremy Sams, choreographed by Arlene Phillips and designed by Robert Jones, reunites the principal creative team behind Lloyd Webber's 2006 London Palladium production of The Sound of Music, and like that production, the young actress playing Dorothy has been chosen by public vote on a reality TV casting show, "Over the Rainbow," for which Lloyd Webber was the lead judge. The winner was Danielle Hope, who will duly play Dorothy at most performances, with Sophie Evans — runner-up to Hope — taking over on Tuesday evenings and during Hope's holiday weeks in May and September.

Also starring is Michael Crawford, who plays the title role of The Wizard, who was last seen on the London sage in Lloyd Webber's original production of The Woman in White, and is best known for originating the title role in Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera in both the West End and on Broadway. He has previously appeared at the London Palladium in the title role of Barnum. On film, he starred in "Hello, Dolly!" On TV, he is best known for playing Frank Spencer in the sitcom "Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em."

The cast also features Edward Baker-Duly as the Tin Man, David Ganly as Lion, Paul Keating as Scarecrow, Emily Tierney as Glinda and Hannah Waddingham as the Wicked Witch of the West. The show is produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Bill Kenwright.

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 412 2957, or visit