03 July 2012
Masuda Yuka as Dorothy in new Wizard of Oz musical
On July 2nd, Masuda Yuka of AKB48 was cast to play Dorothy in Miyamoto Amon's version of "The Wizard of Oz", which starts on September 28th, 2012.
The announcement came at the end of audition on July 2nd, and she was chosen from a total of 186 members.
She swore to "give her best shot", after Miyamoto told her the rehearsals will not be easy.
The play is about the adventure of Dorothy, who was whisked to the Land of Oz by a cyclone, and the friends she met in the strange land. It was first performed on Broadway in 1974, and was made into a movie in 1978 with Diana Ross as Dorothy and Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow.
Miyamoto had the idea that he wanted to pick someone from AKB and related group to play Dorothy. 186 members signed up for the audition, which started in April. 6 members, including Umeda Ayaka (AKB48 Team K) and Yamamoto Sayaka (NMB48 Team N), made it to the final audition.
Masuda cried when Miyamoto called her name. He commented, "I was deeply moved by your singing. Your majestic view of the world was conveyed by your song." She is also an active member of DiVA, one of the various sister groups of AKB48. She won the role with her voice, which is also very highly rated among members of the AKB group.
Her determination to win the role was also exceptional. To her this was an "audition of a lifetime", and she cut her hair one week before the audition to look like a 14-year-old. She also studied the DVD of the original musical.
Rehearsal will start in August. AKB's vocal diva will now try to become a diva of the musicals.