Page #13

Twins of OZ
2001 saw the release of two different versions of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The Children's Museum of Los Angeles released a 4 cd set, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - A Centennial Celebration, produced by Otherwold Media Productions and aired on PRI.


Executive Producer Mark Vander Berg, Direcor Jerry Robbins and Composer Jeffrey Gage and The Colonial Radio Players completed a 10 cassette release of The Wonderful World of Oz.

Produced and directed by David Ossman and Judith Walcutt, this production was produced to benefit the Children's Museum of Los Angeles and broadcast over Public Radio International, exactly 100 years after the publication of the original book.
Its all star cast includes Harry Anderson (The Wizard), Phyllis Diller (the Wicked Witch), Mark Hamill (King of the Munchkins), Annette Benning (Glinda the Good), Rene Auberjonois (the Scarecrow), Robert Guillaume (the Cowardly Lion), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dorothy), Phil Proctor (Toto), Norman Corwin (the Old Crow), John Goodman (the Gatekeeper), Michael Learned (Auntie Em), and many more. The audio adaptation was by David Ossman.

This version was the winner of the 2001 Gold Ogle

Otherworld Media is also known for the 50th Anniversary edition of The War of The Worlds.

"The Wonderful World Of Oz" is a spectacular 11 1/2 hour production (10 cassette tapes) based on the first 5 "OZ" books by L. Frank Baum. The land of OZ is much more than the famous movie we all know and love - here, you will not only journey to the Emerald City, but also to the underground worlds of the Mangaboos and the Knome King, the Gargoyles on Pyramid Mountain, the Invisable Valley of Voe, and many more incredible adventures!
This set includes "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", "The Marvelous Land of Oz", "Ozma Of Oz", "Dorothy and the Wizard In Oz", and "The Road To Oz". This is Oz as it was meant to be! Running time: 11 hours 30 mins

The 10 Cassette Package can be ordered from The Colonial Radio Theatre.

So which one do you order? Comparing the two productions is an interesting excercise of how different producers approach the same body of work. Both are very good.

The Colonial RT version uses a narrator to pull together the scenes of the story. The production is straight forward and solid.

Rochelle O'Gorman in the Boston Globe 200One says The Colonial Radio Players have produced an absolutely magical recording... Their adaptation is a lively, full-cast recording enhanced with music and sound effects. These well-written adaptations are packaged in a sturdy and colorful hard-plastic case.

Otherworld's version, using the words of the included booklet, "attemped, as much as possible, to reproduce in sound the bold colors and unique graphic style of W. W. Denslow's ground-breaking illustrations for the original book."
So how does this translate in audio? A bright bouncy high energy production with the feel of a film. If you look at the cast list there is no question where the energy comes from.

Let's just say I glad I got to hear them both.

Not new is the BBC version produced in 1996.
The Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum adapted for radio by Marcy Kahan ISBN 0 563 38816 1




As used on this site, the terms audio drama and radio drama refer to content that contains acting, sound effects and music presented as a dramatic audio performance. Audiobooks or Books on Tape ™ are usually an audio book that is read with or without music and sound effects. For a further explanation see this page.

Producers who wish to have their material reviewed should contact
It is the intent of these reviews to give the potential listener an idea of the type of presentation and the quality of the listening experience. We do not review audio books.