Great works of art and literature have a way of standing the test of time, serving as an inspiration and education to future generations. Consider what a high school dance team was able to get out of a movie made in 1939 based on a novel published in 1900: The Wizard of Oz.
L. Frank Baum’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” has been called “America’s greatest and best-loved homegrown fairytale” by no less an authority than the Library of Congress. It sold millions of copies and became a classic of children’s literature. As the review that ran in the New York Times in 1900 put it: “The book has a bright and joyous atmosphere and does not dwell upon killing and deeds of violence. Enough stirring adventure enters into it, however, to flavor it with zest, and it will indeed be strange if there be a normal child who will not enjoy the story.”
Influential though the book was, the 1939 movie adaptation has probably left an even bigger mark on American culture. In 1996, film critic Roger Ebert said, “The Wizard of Oz has a wonderful surface of comedy and music, special effects, and excitement, but we still watch it six decades later because its underlying story penetrates straight to the deepest insecurities of childhood, stirs them and then reassures them.”
So perhaps it was appropriate that a high school dance team chose to present an extravaganza based on “The Wizard of Oz” for the homecoming assembly. The kids at Walden Grove High School in Sahuarita, Arizona came up with a highly creative homage to the classic tale. Among the highlights: Judy Garland singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” some intense dancing for the Scarecrow’s benefit, a bit of Katy Perry’s “Roar” to buck up the Cowardly Lion, and “Ease on Down the Road” from “The Wiz.”
Check out the video posted below and let us know what you think about these super-talented students’ production. Don’t forget to like and share!