Top dog for The Wizard of Oz
Andrew Lloyd Webber is looking for a dog with star like qualities to play Dorothyâ€™s loyal canine friend Toto for his latest production of the Wizard of Oz.
The auditions took place at the Kennel Club in Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire and it was a competitive audition for the 400 dogs that competed.Â The Toto selection panel explained that, â€œWeâ€™re looking for dogs with a spring in their step and in tip top condition. â€œ They went on to say, â€œOur winning Toto will need to be confident as they will be around lots of people and dogs in new environments. Finally, the Toto panel are looking for a true star. The winning doggy will have bags of personality and not be afraid to show off.â€
Contestants were divided into 17 groups and were asked to perform a set of tasks whilst having to remain calm and composed amidst the noise.Â If a dog jumped, barked or stopped they were instantly eliminated. By the end of the day 40 were given rosettes and invited back. The judges will shortlist down to 10 dogs who will appear on Saturday nightâ€™s BBC1 talent show Over the Rainbow. After that the 10 will then be cut down to 5 before Toto is announced.
In the 1939 movie version of the film Toto was played by a black Cairn Terrier called Terry who was paid a weekly salary of $125 earning more than the muchkins who were on $50 a week. After the film, his name was then changed permanently to Toto and he went on to star in another 12 films.
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