Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Trollkarlen av Oz - the Swedish Production

In my previous post, I discussed the only British production of the 1903 Wizard of Oz extravaganza presented in London over the 1942-'43 holiday pantomime season. That was the only foreign production until 2016, when producer Dick Lundberg presented a Swedish version of the Baum and Tietjens extravaganza.

Trollkarlen av Oz premiered on February 6, 2016. A second performance was given the following evening. I have seen a video of the production, but am not at liberty to share it. Baum's script and lyrics are performed in Swedish. The amateur production features a cast largely made up of young adults and a few younger children—exceptions being a middle-aged woman wearing a tuxedo as the Wizard, producer/director Lundberg playing both the Scarecrow and Sir Wiley Gyle, the latter played against type as a tall and attractive young man. Lundberg says, "I had to blow up Gyle in the end of the Emerald City part to make [my playing the two roles] work."

The show begins with a computer-animated Kansas scene and tornado, utilizing the "Poppy Song" as underscoring. The show features digitally-created musical accompaniment.

The score for Act I includes "Niccolo's Piccolo," "In Michigan" (Lundberg wrote new music; the original music is not known to survive), "Carrie Barrie," "The Scarecrow," "Love is Love," and "When You Love, Love, Love."

Dick Lundberg wrote two additional numbers, including a song for the Good Witch of the North, "Vindarna i kalla nord" [Winds in Cold North], at the end of Act I, omitting the "Poppy Song" and all of Tietjens's Act I "Winter" finale. He also wrote a new Act II finale "Trollkarlen är inte längre kung" [The Wizard is No Longer King] with different lyrics from the Baum/Tietjens version.

The show's second act (merging Acts II and III) begins with an instrumental version of "Guardian of the Gates." An instrumental version of "Tale of a Monkey" is used as underscoring. The pun-filled "Hurrah for Baffin's Bay" becomes "Hurra för Trollkarlen" with new verses sung by the Wizard and choruses by Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and Tinman as they get help with at least some of their requests. "Sammy" is included, as are "Traveler and the Pie," "Must You?,"  "The Sweetest Girl in Dixie," and "I Love You All the Time," the last with new lyrics by Lundberg. The show ends with a tiny bonus scene where the Lion and Imogene get a moment and run off together.

Lundberg, the director of this production, has shared a few promotional videos of himself singing a handful of songs from the show. It's rather fun to listen to these songs in Swedish. Enjoy!


"Alas for the Wan Without Brains" or "The Scarecrow"

"Love is Love"
 "When You Love, Love, Love"
 "The Sweetest Girl in Dixie"

Copyright © 2021 David Maxine. All rights reserved.

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