"My! People come and go so quickly here!" - Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland), "The Wizard of Oz"
Our designated tour guide is leading us through the massive soundstages at a hurried pace, dipping us in and out of several fantastically intricate worlds that I'm detailing in my notepad as fast as my fingers will allow.
Stage 5 [Oz exterior]: "Riverside set on risen platform...enormous tree stump...first time wizard sees Land of Oz...dirt bank, shrubs, smaller trees, grass..."
Stage 6 [Glinda's library]: "Room in Glinda's castle...Glinda and Oz come together here...stone fireplace...plastic sheeting covering walls..."
Stage 7 [Emerald City throne room]: "Gold front doors...Mila Kunis crashes through window on broom...Gold window frames...split staircase...red runner carpet...high windows...Evanora - we meet her standing at top of staircase..."
Stage 2 [Whimsy Woods]: "Gnarled trees, crew everywhere setting up...blue walls...red lights in trees...bumpy yellow brick road, roots grown underneath...wagon w/ wood inside..."
And the costumes, oh the costumes. Designed by industry vet Gary Jones (whose first job was working for Oscar winner Ann Roth on the 1979 hippie-era musical "Hair"), there are a multitude of shapes and colors and designs in every size positively shimmering with creative inspiration from rack after rack after rack. I'm feeling light-headed.
"Black feathered headdress...black stretch leather witch hats...Theodora dress, claws on shoulder...Oz magician robe, purple w/ orange accents...winkie boots, platforms..."
Our tour of Russell Bobbitt's props department, too, has my head spinning. The pen in my hand scratches and blurs. It's much too much, all of it, and yet I can't stop writing. I just can't.
"Mirror...tiny butcher knife....gold coins...'The World Is Filled With Wonders'...'Baum Bros.' circus masks...Land of Oz map...stuffed bunny rabbit...Glinda light-up wand...ruby red ring, hands grasping each side...ticket stub to Baum Bros. circus...brightly-colored scarves...Rube Goldberg-esque firework maker, colored powder on top, 'Acme firework rocket,' gold, copper, pulley, wheel...gold goblet, sword...music box, man and woman dancing, beautiful carved landscape under lid, crescent moon, stars, framed by tree branches, tree branches framed by red curtain scroll - 'With little more than pluck and belief, we made the impossible happen. As your Wizard I hereby decree that henceforth and hereafter the Land of Oz will forever be free!'...brown leather satchel - for Oz...two brooms w/ gnarled handles...compass...green flag w/ gold lion herald/insignia...tiny China Girl dagger..."