Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Oz songs on Canadian television

One of the nice things about living in the Pacific Northwest is that we're close to Canada, and we get the Vancouver CBC affiliate on our cable system. When I heard they were going to put on a Canadian version of the British show How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? I was intrigued, and set it up on the TiVo. Good thing, as there have been two Oz-related numbers so far.

Let me set things up first. It's a reality competition show, and the winner will play Maria in a new production of The Sound of Music that opens this fall in Toronto. The competition proper started with ten potential Marias, and it keeps getting whittled down each week. Of course each Maria is trying to sing a song to wow the judges and the Canadian public that's voting for them.

So a couple of weeks ago, Tamara sang "Over the Rainbow," and frankly, she did not do a good job (it got cut off in this clip, but the judges agreed with me). But here it is:

Despite that performance, she's still on the show, but after seeing this week's episode, I have a feeling she's not staying much longer. One of the best performances this past week, however, belonged to Janna, who did this version of "Defying Gravity" from Wicked:

Wow! The judges called it one of the two performances of the night. I've liked Janna from the start, and now I'm even happier that she's still in it. I suspect she could win the whole thing, but the fewer contenders there are, the harder it gets, doesn't it?

Rumor has it, by the way, that next year, the British show will morph into a search for Dorothy for a new London stage production of The Wizard of Oz. They've already done Any Dream Will Do (to find a Joseph for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) and I'll Do Anything (to find both a Nancy and a platoon of kids to play Oliver in Oliver!). I'll keep you posted.

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