Michael Crawford Signs on as Wizard in West End’s Oz Revival

The UK Daily Telegraph has reported that Michael Crawford is returning to West End Stage to star in the role of The Wizard in the new production by Andrew Lloyd Webber of “The Wizard Of Oz.”

Previews for the new Andrew Lloyd Webber production will begin in February 2011 at London Palladium, home currently to the “Sister Act” London production.

Crawford said in his interview with UK Daily Telegraph, I’ve had the good fortune to previously work with Andrew. I didn’t think there would be any harm to try this again. We are all extremely excited about this show. In terms of the story it has a different interpretation. We our developing our own Wizard character. He’s a very crafty character. In the film Frank Morgan played him very successfully. We have lots of living up to do.

In December I will be starting rehearsals. That’s when I will find out how I will look with the costumes and make up. It’s not like with a movie where there’s time to change. You have to use your imagination more so the characters are able to evolve very quickly from one to the other to deceive the audience.

At London Palladium, London’s family musical home, audiences will be able to follow this yellow brick road and see Danielle Hope, BBC TV winner of Over the Rainbow, play Dorothy.

The new “Wizard of Oz” production by Andrew Lloyd Webber is an enchanting and creative adaption of this all time classic. The same award winning group that delighted audiences recently with their “The Sound of Music” revival at London Palladium has totally reconceived “The Wizard Of Oz” for the stage.

The new production has been developed from MGM’s popular screen play. It contains all the well loved songs from the movie’s Oscar winning score, along with all the iconic moments and favorite characters, with a few surprises added in along the way, which includes new Tim Rice and Andre Lloyd Webber songs.

Just click your heels to join Dorothy, Toto, Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow as they make their journey to Oz to receive their heart’s desires and meet the Wizard. Watch out as the Wicked Witch of the West along with her winged monkeys descend as you are rediscovering the story of Oz during this incredible musical treat suitable for the entire family.

Michael Crawford, judging from his stage and film careers, had established himself to be one of the finest leading men in London well before opening “The Phantom Of The Opera” by Andrew Lloyd Webber in the role of “the Phantom” to kick off one of theater history’s most memorable performances. Very few stars are as connected to one role as Crawford is with “the Phantom.” His Broadway and Los Angeles performances earned Crawford a long string of critical recognition, which included the Drama Critics Award, Dramalogue Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk and Tony Award.

Since Crawford left Phantom, after starring in the role for almost four years in Los Angeles, New York and London, he has become a recording artist with multi-platinum status. He is one of the most sought after stage and concert performers in the world and plays in front of sold out venues all over the world. In addition to Crawford’s recent concert performances, his Broadway and London stage credits include “Barnum,” “The Woman in White,” “Dance of the Vampires,” “Black Comedy,” “Flowers for Algernon” and “Billy.”