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"Left of Oz" Takes to the Stage

With L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz novels being in public domain, anyone can put their own unique take on them, and that's certainly what playwright Stephanie Reif has down with "Left of Oz," which has made every character a lesbian.
Writes, "Dorothy is a lesbian. She comes out to Aunt Emma early in the play, then embarks on her journey down a yellow brick road that leads, naturally, to San Francisco. Specifically, this road ends at a corner of Market Street that's wedged between Castro and Octavia, close to the LGBT Community Center. There, Dorothy (played by Sarah Mosby) encounters a whole taxonomy of lesbian characters, including a hippie scarecrow, a leather-butch lion, and a samba teacher with a big heart."

It's noted that the characters are not only lesbians, but the subculture is specific to San Francisco. Concedes Reif, "A person from the middle of the country wouldn't know what we were talking about. So the leather butch is talking about something like 'strapping on.' And Dorothy's like, 'What's 'strapping on?' And Jazmin says, 'I'll tell ya later.'"

Continues the site, "...With its insider jokes and fervent identity politics, Left of Oz is definitely tailored to a niche audience. But it's also a fun musical send-up, packed with enough song-and-dance numbers to placate the uninitiated, said Reif... In many ways, this Oz harks back to old-school musical revues. It's just a little to the left. Left of Oz runs July 2-18 at the Ashby Stage (1901 Ashby Ave., Berkeley)."
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