Entertainment

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s ‘The Wizard of Oz’ comes to Tampa

The new production of “The Wizard of Oz” is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally re-conceived for the stage.
The new production of “The Wizard of Oz” is an enchanting adaptation of the all-time classic, totally re-conceived for the stage. Daniel A Swalec

The 1939 film version of “The Wizard of Oz” is probably the most universally beloved musical of all time. Almost everybody knows almost every song and every plot twist.

It’s pretty close to perfect. So Andrew Lloyd Webber figured he could improve upon it. You can see the results starting Tuesday when the non-Equity national tour of “The Wizard of Oz” comes to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa.

Lloyd Webber and lyricist Tim Rice (who collaborated with Webber on “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Evita” and with Elton John on “Aida” and “The Lion King”) have kept a lot of the songs from the classic film. Among the best-loved songs that they though were decent enough to remain in the show are “Over the Rainbow,” “Ding! Dong! The Witch Is Dead” and “Follow the Yellow Brick Road,” but they’ve added six of their own.

The show premiered in 2011 in London to mixed reviews and ran for a year-and-a-half. A Canadian production lasted eight months. The show has never made it to Broadway.

Details: July 12-16, Morsani Hall at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $32.50-$75.59 plus service charge. 813-229-7827, strazcenter.org.

Marty Clear: 941-708-7919, @martinclear

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