Winter Arts Preview: "Oz with Orchestra"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The Tin Man, Dorothy and Toto will appear brighter and better than ever as they adventure down the yellow brick road to the tune of the Columbus Symphony for a one-night presentation of "Oz with Orchestra."

The special event at the Ohio Theatre will feature a screening of a newly restored Wizard of Oz projected above the full orchestra, which will provide the musical score. The original dialogue will play over it all.

"Back in the '20s, when there were silent movies, you had an orchestra providing the score," said Sue Rosenstock, general manager of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. "This is a throwback to the golden age of the movies."

And even the music will be different from what Oz fans are used to, as the orchestra - with the addition of saxophones and under the direction of conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos - will be following Harold Arlen's original score, which isn't what's used for the movie these days.

"This is a lot of fun, because this is one that everybody knows and loves, but there's going to be just enough - with a newly restored print and a new score - [that] it won't be the same old, same old," Rosenstock said.

The orchestra's members always enjoy the chance to get out of the pit and onto the stage, Rosenstock said. The symphony has presented several other movies in this format in the past, including The Lost World: Jurassic Park and The Phantom of the Opera.

Given the universal appeal of The Wizard of Oz, Rosenstock expects everyone out for nostalgia to be interested in the performance. The show starts a little earlier than usual to accommodate families.

"It is geared toward children of all ages, as we say," Rosenstock added.