What, When, and Where
The Tik-Tok Man of Oz is a one-hundred-year-old stage musical written by children's author L. Frank Baum as a sequel to his classic story The Wizard of Oz. The curtain first went up on The Tik-Tok Man of Oz on March 31, 1913, at the Majestic Theater in Los Angeles, California. After a successful Los Angeles run, the show toured the USA and Canada, then closed in 1914. There hasn't been a fully-staged revival since.
My task is to produce The Tik-Tok Man of Oz on August 9, 2014, for the Saturday evening program of the 50th annual Winkie Convention, the world's longest-running Oz event. For one night the Regency Ballroom of the Town and Country Hotel in San Diego, California, will turn into a theater to present The Tik-Tok Man of Oz.
All the surviving vintage music from the original production will be performed to keyboard accompaniment--including fourteen songs with lyrics by L. Frank Baum and music by Louis F. Gottschalk, additional songs from the original run, Gottschalk's dance music, overture, entr'acte, reprises, etc. There will be twenty-five musical numbers in total. That's a lot of music, so I've slightly abridged Baum's script to fit within a running time of two and a half hours.
What's the Show Like?
The Tik-Tok Man of Oz includes such favorite Oz characters as the Shaggy Man, Polychrome the Rainbow's Daughter, Ruggedo the Metal Monarch, Ozma the Rose Princess, and of course the star of the show--Tik-Tok the copper clockwork man, who must be wound up with a key in order to think, speak, and act. There's young Betsy and her pet mule Hank. And Queen Ann of Oogaboo with her army. Imagine them all springing from the pages of the Oz books, singing and cavorting across the stage, visiting the Rose Kingdom with its sentient roses, and challenging the magical might of Ruggedo the Metal Monarch and his marching Metal Imps in the magnificent underground Metal Forest.
The Tik-Tok Man of Oz features plenty of comedy, action, magic, and romance. The romance is mostly provided by the Love Magnet, since everyone falls immediately in love with whomever holds this magical talisman. It even inspires one of the most beautiful melodies in the show, "The Magnet of Love."
Reviving this vintage hit musical for a single powerful performance will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I want it to be the best it can possibly be.
Who's on Board?
I've assembled a great creative team to help bring The Tik-Tok Man of Oz to life:
Chrissy Burns, Director: Chrissy has directed such productions as 42nd Street, Sweet Charity, Nunsense, and Chicago. She has acted on many San Diego stages, including Lambs Players, Diversionary Theatre, Starlight Theatre, and more. She was recently seen in miXtape, the hit 1980's musical at the Horton Grand Theater. She teaches Musical Theater and Voice at Infinity Dance Arts in El Cajon, California.
Joseph Grienenberger, Musical Director: Joseph has been Musical Director for productions that include Man of La Mancha, Pacific Overtures, Blood Wedding, and The Wizard of Oz. His credits include stage direction, singing, acting, and orchestrating for the Old Globe Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego Repertory, and more. Joseph is a voice and acting coach and is a core chorister at San Diego Opera .
Jennifer Solomon-Rubio, Choreographer: Teaming with director Chrissy Burns, Jenn has choreographed such stage musicals as 42nd Street, Ruthless! the Musical, and Chicago. Her stage experience includes fashion shows, trade shows, and choreographic work throughout the San Diego region. She is studio director and an instructor at Infinity Dance Arts in El Cajon, California.
Christopher Boltz, Lighting Design: Chris worked on the television shows Third Rock from the Sun and That 70's Show. He coordinated lighting and sound for the pre-Broadway workshop of The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. He has designed lighting for productions including Mirror Mirror, Epic of Gil, and The Rocky Horror Show. He teaches in the Theatre Arts department of Fresno City College.
David Maxine and Eric Shanower, Set and Costume Design: David has designed productions including Sweeney Todd, Oklahoma!, and The Baltimore Waltz for theaters such as Skylight Opera, Yale Rep, Trenton State College, and Bard College. He was Associate Designer for ABC News, Production Designer for the film Ready? OK!, and Scenic Artist at San Diego Opera and La Jolla Playhouse. Eric (that's me!) is a cartoonist whose comics projects include the ongoing series Age of Bronze, the story of the Trojan War, and scripts for New York Times best-selling comics adaptations of L. Frank Baum's Oz books with art by Skottie Young. He has illustrated numerous other comics and books.
We'll have about twenty cast members, consisting of nine principals, half a dozen minor speaking roles, and dancers. Auditions and an Open Dance Call will be held in early April, so if you're in the San Diego area and interested in auditioning, see the audition notice on The Tik-Tok Man of Oz website.
Be Part of The Tik-Tok Man of Oz
The Winkie Convention is generously providing the facility, but I need to pay for many other things, including sets, costumes, lights, sound, and a host of more mundane costs. This is where you come in by pledging to The Tik-Tok Man of Oz.
The list on the upper right shows twelve pledge levels. Which one's right for you? Take a look at the rewards. There's some pretty swell stuff there, including an exclusive DVD of the show, an exclusive paperback book that reprints all the surviving Tik-Tok Man of Oz sheet music (some of which is extremely rare), two different Tik-Tok Man of Oz posters, original art by Eric Shanower (that's me), and you can even BE IN THE SHOW! How cool is that?
If you pledge to The Tik-Tok Man of Oz and we reach our goal, you'll not only get some cool swag and have my gratitude, you'll be part of theater history by helping to revive this vintage show--and a part of Oz history by showing today's world that L. Frank Baum wrote fantastic Oz theater as well as fantastic Oz stories.
In the Meantime
If you're a contributor to The Tik-Tok Man of Oz Kickstarter campaign, you'll be receiving e-mail updates from me approximately once a week during the campaign, and then every two weeks after that until the performance. I'll keep you up-to-date on the progress of the show. If you've shelled out hard-earned bucks to help us make this fascinating project a reality, I want you to feel like you're a part of it. I want to you to see what you're helping to create. Rehearsals for The Tik-Tok Man of Oz begin in late April. Sets and costumes will be designed and built. I'll be sending out exclusive photos of what it all looks like, so that you can see The Tik-Tok Man of Oz coming together.
You can also keep up with The Tik-Tok Man of Oz on the official website: http://www.tiktokman.blogspot.com
This wouldn't be a real Kickstarter campaign if it didn't have a few stretch goals. With $7500 and a lot of hard work, we're expecting to put on a spectacular show. But extra money will go a long way to making the show even more spectacular. So if we surpass our goal of $7500, here's what we'll do with the money:
If we reach $9000, the extra money will be added to the lighting and costume budgets. My present budget in these areas meets the basic needs of the show, but both areas would be greatly enhanced by a little more money, including more lights of better quality.
If we reach $10,200, the extra money will go toward music rehearsal space. Space for staging and dance rehearsals is being donated, but I'm having a difficult time finding music rehearsal space for free.
If we reach $11,000, the extra money will be used for quality masking for the wings of the stage. My present budget meets the cost of renting inexpensive pipe-and-drape masking to give the actors wings to exit from the stage, but I would love to rent higher quality masking without any light show-through.
If we reach $12,000, the extra money will be added to the music budget. I'd love to add another musician--most likely a percussionist--to the show.
If we reach $13,500 the extra money will go to augment the sets and props. I'd love to add even more shine and sparkle to the Metal Forest. I want to arm the Army of Oogaboo!
If we reach $15,000, the extra money will go to augment sound and amplification. My present budget covers the cost of renting basic equipment to meet the show's needs, but the show would be enhanced by more equipment of higher quality.
If we reach $17,000, I will put the extra money toward a gala after-party the night of the show. This party will be open to the audience. I'll be there along with members of the cast and creative team. And I'd like to buy everyone a drink. Let's celebrate!
Beyond $17,000? That seems like too much to even dream about at this point. But if this campaign brings in that much, I will distribute the extra money among the budgets for costumes, lighting, sets, props, and the gala after-party.
However much this campaign brings in, every penny will go to making The Tik-Tok Man of Oz the most magnificent production it can be.
And so . . .
I hope you'll consider joining us in this venture--this adventure--to the Land of Oz. As Tik-Tok himself would say in his clockwork monotone, "Ma-ny thanks."
The TIk-Tok Man of Oz website: http://www.tiktokman.blogspot.com
Winkie Con 50 website: http://ozconinternational.com/
Risks and challenges
My number one challenge? I've never produced a stage show before. But I've participated in dozens of plays, musicals, and stage presentations throughout my life. I know what it takes to put on a show. And if I run up against a problem I can't solve, I can turn to the strong creative team listed above.
I have connections to the local dance and opera communities of San Diego, California. I know people in the local theatre community. I'm confident of finding ways to deal with any and all challenges of producing this one-hundred-year-old stage musical.
The biggest risk is that this Kickstarter campaign won't reach its goal of $7500. If we don't reach that goal we get nothing. That's why I'm asking you to join me in this project by pledging any amount you can.
Progress has been good so far. I've assembled the vintage materials for the project, I have the theater, and the creative team is in place.
The show must go on.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)