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Arts Alive! podcast: The creators of freeFall’s ‘OZ’

Bill DeYoung

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Eric Davis, left, and Michael Raabe. Photo by Bill DeYoung.

Today’s Arts Alive! podcast is a conversation with Eric Davis and Michael Raabe, who wrote the book and the music, respectively, for the freeFall Theatre production of OZ: A New Musical.

It’s a world premiere, in that Davis is freeFall’s producing artistic director, and Raabe is the company’s music director … so this show has not been previously-produced anywhere in the known universe. It runs at freeFall through July 9.

The creators talk about the (yellow brick) road that led them to the story of American author L. Frank Baum and his on-again, off-again relationship with the characters he dreamed up for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (published in 1900) and its 13 sequels.

Their play focuses on Baum and the members of his immediate family, who work overtime to convince the fretful scribe that his children’s work is, indeed, important. And timeless.

“Frank Baum is a great example of an artist who would never have seen how he is seen by us now, within his lifetime,” Davis says. “He very much wanted to be respected as a serious literary figure, and never really achieved that during his lifetime.

“But his work, especially the Wizard of Oz books, is much more appreciated as literature now.”

Click on the arrow below to listen to the interview.


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    Deb C

    July 7, 2023at9:04 pm

    I’m glad you mentioned, Bill, that you didn’t know Roxanne could sing! I was thinking the same thing. And she was wonderful! As they all were. I’m also glad you interviewed these guys since the Playbill really had nothing about the play… other than the title and the songs. But now I know more. Good job, everyone. I think this SHOULD be on Broadway!

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