The BIFF Silent Film Showcase sponsored by BMO Harris Bank has been the centerpiece of the Beloit International Film Festival since its inception, and this year’s production will be a “Wiz of a Wiz” according to Rock River Philharmonic Music Director Robert Tomaro.
Following on the success of last year’s sold-out production of the silent “The Phantom of the Opera,” Tomaro and his friends are back, this time with an original music score and a new production of “The Wizard of Oz.” The program is built around the first silent film version of the story, but it may not be the Wiz you know.
Fourteen years before Judy Garland skipped down the yellow brick road, Hollywood came out with a very wild, very crazy silent film of The Wizard of Oz. Lost since then, Dr. Tomaro will revive it for BIFF with one performance at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 27 at Beloit College’s Eaton Chapel.
Tomaro’s original score will be complemented by songs such as If I Only Had a Brain and We’re Off to See the Wizard, selections from the Broadway musicals The Wiz and Wicked, and a memorable closing tribute to Judy Garland with Over the Rainbow. “This new moshed-up romp will have you rolling in the aisles,” the Maestro promises.
The film will be presented without intermission and will be preceded by a silent cartoon and period newsreel with musical support from the ensemble.