A new London production of the Wizard of Oz has four West Highland Terriers playing the part of Toto. And according to a Daily Mail review, the Westies are great:
You could, unkindly, call The Wizard of Oz a dog of a show.
The most appealing star of Lord Lloyd Webber’s latest telly-marketing musical is not veteran hoofer Michael Crawford or even Danielle Hope, the dark-haired song thrush who warbled her way to stardom via a BBC talent show. It is Toto the West Highland terrier.
Four Westies have been cast in the role and Toto is rarely offstage as he follows mistress Dorothy high into the heavens in a Kansas tornado, to crashland in lurid Oz.
In the preview performance which I saw, numerous doggy entrances and exits were performed without straying, scratching or so much as a hint of cocked leg. Some very creditable barking was done bang on cue, too.
Sometimes the real dog is supplemented by a stuffed toy whose acting abilities are not entirely distinguishable from those of the Munchkins.
Read more at the Daily Mail. Meanwhile here are Bobby, Razzamatazz, Dazzle and Topper, but don’t ask the Scottie News who’s who.
And here’s some video of the stars of the stage rehearsing. Terrier stubbornness is in evidence:
TOTO should NEVER be played by a WHITE dog!!!!
Even if Westies are really only white CAIRNS. Some of the earlier illustrations of the books did show a Scottie. HOWEVER, later ones show a smaller DARK dog (ok black ink)… and most DECIDEDLY CAIRN!!!
Also in looking at the visuals, a white or even a wheaten Cairn would indeed draw eyes away from the human actors. This is in London and they mean to tell the world that they can’t find a CAIRN in the HOMELAND of Cairns (UK – Scotland) to play a better Toto???? DUMB!!! Try Conundrum Kennels up in Leistershire…. mot excellent and smart Cairns are from that kennes (Crufts winner) as well as Border terriers… even a BORDER would be better than a Westie… good grief! Brits really ARE losing their smarts.
Well, with hindsight, it does indeed seem that the white dogs are drawing attention from the humans.
And finally, here are the original Dorothy and Toto.