MGM’S 1939 adaption of The Wizard of Oz is one of the all time classics. A film that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike, is as well received now as it was seventy five years ago. It’s astonishing that Dorothy walking into Munchkin land gives the same response, of excitement and thrill from the audience, as when Harry walks into the magical Great Hall at Hogwarts, and Oz was made a long time before anybody ever uttered the letters “CGI”.
From all my research into the making of The Wizard of Oz, I’ve never been able the find the answer I’ve been looking for, and that is why in the film was Oz changed to part of a dream Dorothy had after getting knocked out, unlike in the books by L. Frank Baum, where Oz is a real place that Dorothy eventually returns to.
Last week I had the pleasure of going to see a brilliant performance by the 2014 Australian cast of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show. While the shows cast was marvelous, with Tim Maddren and Christie Whelan Brown as Brad and Janet, and Kristian Lavercombe the stand outs, the show is put in a make or break situation in regard to Rocky Horror’s lead, Frank N. Furter. Luckily for me and 1,000 others in attendance at the Comedy Theater, we were given one hell of a show, thanks to Craig McLachlan.
Giving what I would call one of the best performances I have ever witnessed, McLachlan played the part perfectly. While some may have found his constant crowd interaction annoying, I felt it showed just how comfortable he was in the role. And so he should be. Back in 1992, McLachlan shook the “soapie star tag”, after previously appearing in Neighbors and Home & Away, and made his stage debut as Frank. Joining him on stage was a star studded cast featuring Gina Riley as Janet, Peter Rowsthorn as Riff-Raff, Wilbur Wilde as Eddie/Dr. Scott, and Red Symonds as the Narrator. Since then he has gone on to star in Grease, Chicago, and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. At the intermission, I overheard a conversation where someone asked if McLachlan was gay, which to the best of my knowledge he isn’t, but that isn’t important, is it? The only thing that’s important is that he, as Frank N Furter, was willing to take the role everywhere and anywhere.