Anthony Warlow will star as The Wizard in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s London Palladium production of The Wizard of Oz, when this enchanting revision of the all-time classic has its Australian premiere in Brisbane in November, before travelling to Sydney in December.
Developed from the ever-popular MGM screenplay, it contains the beloved Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg songs from the Oscar-winning movie score, all the favorite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
“It’s been 16 years since the last Australian tour of The Wizard of Oz,” said John Frost, on behalf of his co-producers. “It’s time to travel the yellow brick road and return to Oz, and the classic story that’s universally loved. This beautiful, sumptuous production was a huge hit in London and the US, and audiences adored the new songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.”
Leading the cast as The Wizard and Professor Marvel will be Australia’s leading star of musical theatre, Anthony Warlow. Blessed with a thrilling voice, Anthony’s versatility has enthralled Australian audiences ever since his 1981 debut with the Australian Opera at the age of 19 in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
His lengthy stage credits include creating the role of Dr Yurii Zhivago in the Australian premiere production of Doctor Zhivago: The Musical (2011), the Australian tours of Annie (2000 and 2012), performing the title role of The Phantom of the Opera (1990 and 2007-2008), creating the role of Enjolras in the original Australian production of Les Miserables (1988), and most recently as Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof.
Warlow made his musical theatre debut in 1985, playing the role of Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls at the National Theatre in London, and made his Broadway debut as Oliver ‘Daddy’ Warbucks in Annie in 2013. He has since divided his time between Australia and the US.
“It’s very exciting to welcome Anthony Warlow back to Australia to star in the title role, and I can’t wait to discover a talented young actress to wear Dorothy’s ruby red slippers and sing one of the most-beloved songs of all time, Over The Rainbow.”
This new production of The Wizard of Oz had its world premiere at The London Palladium Theatre in March 2011. After a successful West End run, the production had its North American premiere in Toronto in December 2012, and then embarked on a US tour from September 2013.
The production boasts a stellar creative team: Jeremy Sams (direction), Robert Jones (set and costume design), Arlene Phillips (choreography), Hugh Vanstone (lighting design), Mick Potter (sound design), Jon Driscoll & Daniel Brodie (video/projection design), David Cullen (orchestrations) and Guy Simpson (musical supervision).
Click your heels together and join Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Dorothy and her little dog Toto, as they journey through the magical land of Oz to meet the Wizard and obtain their hearts’ desires. Watch out for the Wicked Witch of the West and her winged monkeys as you rediscover the real story of Oz in this fantastic musical treat for the whole family.
Tickets for The Wizard of Oz go on sale from Monday 29 May in Sydney and Monday 5 June in Brisbane. For more information, and to join the waitlist, visit: www.wizardofozthemusical.com for details.
Image: The Wizard of Oz – photo by Daniel A Swalec