The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays

Photograph of characters from the Fairylogue Plays

The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays was an early attempt to bring L. Frank Baum's Oz books to the screen. It was a mixture of live-actors and hand-tinted slides and film. Baum himself would appear as if he was giving a lecture, while he interacted with the characters (both on stage and on screen). Due to financial problems--the show cost more to make than sold-out houses could bring in--as a result the show folded after two months of performances. It opened in Grand Rapids, Michigan on September 24, 1908. It later moved to New York City, where it reportedly closed December 16, 1908. It was scheduled to run through December 31, and ads for it continued to run in The New York Times until then.

It was based on Baum's books The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Marvelous Land of Oz, Ozma of Oz and John Dough and the Cherub, with intermission slides showing previews of Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz which was not sold in stores until near the end of the run. Francis Boggs directed the Oz material and Otis Turner directed the remainder. Baum, in a white suit, would step behind the screen and into the film, pulling his actors off to appear on stage with him. Surviving production stills depict a very large cast of Oz characters.