New York | 1h 15m | Already closed

The Elements of Oz

From 7 critic and 13 member reviews
Members say: Clever, Edgy, Quirky, Entertaining, Ambitious

About the show

The Builders Association presents an interactive, multimedia exploration and deconstruction of the 1939 classic 'The Wizard of Oz.' More…

Experience L. Frank Baum’s story live with augmented reality enhancing the experience. By holding a smartphone or tablet up to the stage, new layers of the show emerge and converge (like the tornado that whips Dorothy’s house away) in an augmented-reality app designed by the company specifically for the show. 'Elements of Oz' recreates the iconic film while dissecting its legacy. From 'Dark Side of the Moon' and 'Friends of Dorothy' to a virtual YouTube chorus singing Oz classics, 'Elements of Oz' digs into the legends behind the famous film, its longstanding greatness, and its many interpretations and tributes.

Theatre is Easy

"An ultra-creative downtown theatrical experience...The cast of three performers is truly outstanding...The final star of the show is the technical crew, who has created real magic on the stage...'Elements of Oz' is a magical, intellectual theatrical event that is perfect for anyone who is a fan of 'The Wizard of Oz,' history, movie-making magic, or being transported to a better place for a short time to forget about reality and glimpse a better place that might only exist in our dreams." Full Review

New York Theatre Review

"Wildly unique...masterfully created by The Builders Association. Part theatre, part history lecture, and part lesson in filmmaking, this is a brilliant exploration of the beloved 1939 film 'The Wizard of Oz'...The cast is full of energy, hopping from role to role at the drop of a hat. All three of them play Dorothy at some point, illustrating literally the way so many people relate to the iconic character...This nostalgic trip behind the scenes of Oz is an absolute treat." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"The Builders Association’s modern, wildly inventive tribute to the film, 'Elements of Oz,' works similarly to show off a whole new suite of 21st century technologies...Most of that action is a live, abridged re-enactment of the film, carried out briskly and seamlessly. It’s an impressive theatrical feat...Combine all these elements and the result is part 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' and part Ted Talk, one that’s frequently as funny as it is educational...'Elements of Oz' is a welcome escape." Full Review

Time Out New York

"This production, impressively coordinated by director Weems, taps into a modern feeling of technological wonder while demystifying an earlier one…The behind-the-scenes 'Oz' material is punctuated with monologues by Angelos—seminar-style history lessons, full of tasty trivia—and a few tangential reenactments…The connections are sometimes oblique, but the show provides a lively and diverting look at the gears of artistic wizardry and the ways in which we get caught up in them." Full Review

Village Voice

"This digital wizardry could have propelled a striking performance…The company spends its energy assembling information: historical context, allegorical interpretations, film-set trivia…What's hard to locate, among all the trivia and tech, is a theatrical destination — a reason for the research...These enticing tidbits never converge into a central event. The longer you sit, the more you might feel the urge to turn off your phone, head home, and cue up the Technicolor instead." Full Review


for a previous production "The show looks gorgeous...It's fascinating, but ‘Elements’ omits the movie's powerful message that home is where family is, sepia-toned or not. The Builders Association may disagree, but ignoring the sentiment doesn't really work. The phone app didn't work perfectly, either…But while all the ideas don't quite pan out yet, what wonderful ideas they are. 'Elements of Oz' may have a few more turns on its YouTube bricked road to bring us home, but the journey's well worth it." Full Review

The New York Times

for a previous production "The live re-creations of scenes from the movie are technically marvelous; the digital video is dazzlingly pristine, and it’s fun, at least for a while, to watch the wry comic impersonations of the performances in the movie...But ultimately these sequences don’t provide enough comic stimulation to justify their length. It begins to feel a bit too much like a draggy day on the back lot, and you might find yourself tempted to escape the app and fire up the real movie on your phone." Full Review

Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Quirky

See it if You're a Wizard of Oz fan, you're interested in the intersection of culture and politics, and you like immersive experiences

Don't see it if You're afraid to use technology or you prefer to see an old-school musical

Great staging, Great acting, Edgy, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if you are a Wizard of Oz fan, if you enjoy shows that incorporate latest technology, want to learn little known facts about the MGM film.

Don't see it if you're not interested in Judy Garland or the MGM film of The Wizard of Oz, if you like traditionally staged shows, are not into technology.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Ambitious, Edgy, Thought-provoking

See it if you love the Wizard of Oz, technology or a good time. More a silly techno boosted documentary than a play. Enjoyable, fun, interesting event

Don't see it if technology fluxes you. You are expected to use your cell phone to add to the performance although you do not have to. There is a lot to see.

Entertaining, Clever, Edgy, Quirky

See it if 👠👠Such a fun Exposé on the making of the Wizard Of Oz . Part film making class, part insiderOz facts , Part multi media interactive.

Don't see it if If you don't like the Wizard of Oz, or are a film maker. Great for teens and urban tweens.

Also Don't forget your cell phone the interactive app is so much fun!🌈

Experimental, New, Creative, Quirky, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy experimental theatre that combines multimedia elements and new AR technology, Wizard of Oz, seeing something new & innovative

Don't see it if You want a traditional type of play

Clever, Entertaining, Refreshing, Great staging, Edgy

See it if you love seeing technology used in a clever and entertaining way.

Don't see it if you find stuff happening on multiple screens confusing.

Clever, Great staging, Entertaining, Risk-taking, Funny

See it if You're a lover of all things "Wizard of Oz" and game to learn more, and see it from a different POV (and through your phone.)

Don't see it if You don't like deconstructions; prefer your Wizard of Oz without any commentary.

Clever, Fluffy, Technologically-advanced

See it if You like modern or unique theater experiences. You are a Wizard of Oz fanatic. You don't mind seeing something very light. Great actors.

Don't see it if You're looking for a thought-provoking night at the theater. Technology confuses you.

Interesting, Clever, Fun

See it if you know and love the Wizard of OZ. Interesting movie facts pepper the show. Cleaver use of sound stage and video throughout. Worthwhile.

Don't see it if you are not a Wiz fan. Some political bias may be a turnoff for some. App usage, while well meaning and harmless, does not add much.

Clever, Delightful, Disappointing

See it if you are big fan of the film OR Builders Association and are interested in the backstage details of the filming of The Wizard of Oz.

Don't see it if you are expecting anything more than some fun insights into WOZ. The show never really overcomes "homage" and becomes predictable.

Also Additionally, I found that the added hassle of having to download the ... Read more Read less

Interesting, Informative, Long, Tedious, Disappointing

See it if you are a crazy about the movie the Wizard of Oz are interested in information about it and how it was made.

Don't see it if you like a show with a plot and a story rather than an informative recreation of the making of a beloved movie.

An interesting half hour turned into a boring hour and a half

See it if You love all things Oz, have never used a phone app or have a friend in the production you are willing to lie to and say it was great

Don't see it if Seeing a man with a moustache dressed up as Dorothy in 10 scenes is not as funny to you as in 1 scene or you know the value of editing

Also The snippets of Oz history are much more interesting than the unimpres... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Confusing

See it if you're a Wizard of Oz fan. This high-tech experience is both a tribute to and deconstruction of its mythos and the magic of making movies.

Don't see it if you don't know the Wizard of Oz very well. You need a tablet or smartphone to enjoy the augmented reality app otherwise you miss too much.

Cast & Creatives (13)