Today in History: L. Frank Baum play opens at the Grand Opera House in Syracuse

Grand Opera House, Syracuse where Baum's first play was shown

On Monday, May 15, 1882, his 26th birthday, L. Frank Baum’s play, “The Maid of Arran,” opened at the Grand Opera House in Syracuse. Tickets cost $5.50 (roughly $120 today). The play was based on William Black’s novel, “A Princess of Thule.” The play then went on tour around the country, including Broadway, before returning to Syracuse.

It was also around this time of year that Baum married Maud Gage, daughter of famed suffragist Matilda Joslyn Gage. The Chittenango native went on to become renowned for writing “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” When adapted for film, the title was slightly changed to “The Wizard of Oz” and was produced by MGM studios, which has its own ties to Syracuse.

Learn more about Baum.