The show, staged in the autumn of 1908, consisted of filmed segments, magic-lantern slides, live actors, and a narration spoken by Baum himself. Baum dressed in a white suit when he presented the show; at the end he invited the children in the audience to meet Romola Remus, the eight-year-old actress who played Dorothy in the films. He also signed autographs and books in the lobbies of the theaters.
The films were produced by the Selig Polyscope Company in Chicago, then were hand-colored in Paris by Duval Freres. (Baum stated that he had purchased the American rights to a film-coloring process developed by French artist Michel Radio. The "Radio" in the title refers to the man, not the broadcast medium that would follow later. Modern scholars have had trouble tracing Radio the man, and have questioned Baum's account — though they cannot provide an alternative explanation for the "Radio" in the show's title.) Baum's eldest son Frank Joslyn Baum served as the projectionist during Fairylogue performances.
The first portion of the show, titled "The Land of Oz," was dominated by the silent-movie scenes from the first three Oz books; it ran through 14 scenes in an hour and ten minutes. During the intermission, slides from the current Oz book, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, were projected. The second half of the program delivered an abridged version of John Dough and the Cherub (7 scenes in about forty minutes).
The show opened in Grand Rapids on 24 September 1908 to a warm reception, and proved a popular success. It toured through a dozen cities in the Midwest and New York State, including Chicago, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and Syracuse. The effects were widely praised, especially the scenes of Dorothy at sea in the chicken coop and John Dough's rocket flight. Many viewers and commentators erroneously believed that child actress Remus had been endangered while "filming" the shipwreck scene — not realizing that the scene was a trick of double exposure.
Income from ticket sales, though, never matched the expenses of production and transport. Baum was forced to close the show in New York City on 6 December 1908. Baum financed the show himself, paying for 114 slides to be made from John R. Neill drawings, and for 27 musical numbers by Nathaniel D. Mann (performed by a live orchestra), among other costs. The debts that resulted would be the main cause of his bankruptcy in 1911.
In lieu of payment of thousands of dollars owed them by Baum, Selig acquired the rights to the films they had made for him, and released them as four separate one-reelers in 1910. These Selig Fairylogue movies were the earliest filmed versions of Oz stories seen by the public; unfortunately no surviving prints are known to exist. The last recorded re-release of the footage was in 1925 through the company First National Pictures which later merged with Warner Brothers. The script and the slides for the show however have been preserved.
Francis Boggs and Otis Turner are credited as the directors of the Selig films (Boggs the Oz segments, and Turner the John Dough materials). Turner is also credited as providing help to Baum on the scenarios for the films, and two years later directed the 1910 Selig movie version of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
The earliest map of Oz ever created was a slide from the Fairylogue show.
(listed in the order credited in the program)
- L. Frank Baum: The Wizard of Oz Man, who will present his very merry, whimsical and really wonderful Fairylogue and Radio-Plays
- Frank Burns: His Majesty the Scarecrow
- George E. Wilson: Nick Chopper, the Tin Woodman
- Wallace Illington: Tik-Tok, the Machine Man
- Bronson Ward, Jr.: Jack Pumpkinhead, whose Brains are Seeds
- Paul de Dupont: The Nome King, a Master of Enchantments
- Will Morrison: Tip, a transformation, but a real boy
- Clarence Nearing: Prince Evring of Ev
- Sam 'Smiling' Jones: The Wizard (only a Humbug)
- Joseph Schrode: The Cowardly Lion
- Burns Wantling: The Hungry Tiger
- A yellow hen: Billina
- A dog: Toto, Dorothy's Dog
- D.W. Clapperton: Sir Rooster, Visitor at the Emerald City
- Charles W. Smith: The Khoikhoi Hottentot, Visitor at the Emerald City
- Daniel Heath: The Buccaneer, Visitor at the Emerald City
- Joe Finley: Hans Hoch, Visitor at the Emerald City
- Dudley Burton: A Courtier, Visitor at the Emerald City
- Samuel Woods: Madame Toussaud, Visitor at the Emerald City
- Romola Remus: Dorothy Gale of Kansas
- Maud Harrington: Princess Ozma of Oz
- Evelyn Judson: Glinda the Good, a Sorceress
- Josephine Brewster: Mombi the Witch
- Joseph Schrode: John Dough, the Gingerbread Man
- Geo. Weatherbee: Mons. Grogande, the Baker who made him
- Frank Burns: The Rubber Bear, a Good Natured Thing
- George E. Wilson: The White Rabbit, Diffident, but not Shy
- Tommy Dean: Obo, Mifket who likes Gingerbread
- Lillian Swartz: Hogo, Mifket who likes Gingerbread
- Minnie Brown: Joko, Mifket who likes Gingerbread
- Daniel Heath: Tertius, an Islander
- Tom Persons: Hopkins, of the Village Fireworks Committee
- Grace Elder: Chick the Cherub, an Incubator Baby
- Annabel Jephson: The Island Princess
- Mrs. Bostwick: Mme. Grogand, the Baker's Wife
- L. Frank Baum. The Annotated Wizard of Oz. Michael Patrick Hearn, ed. New York, W. W. Norton, 2000.
- Angelica Shirley Carpenter and Jean Shirley. L. Frank Baum: Royal Historian of Oz. Minneapolis, Lerner Publications, 1992.
- David L. Greene and Dick Martin. The Oz Scrapbook. New York, Random House, 1977.
- Katharine M. Rogers. L. Frank Baum, Creator of Oz: A Biography. New York, St. Martin's Press, 2002.