Oz in the News 9.22.22

Kenya Barris Says ‘Wizard of Oz’ Remake Will Include LGBTQ Representation to ‘Reflect the World’ Somewhere over the rainbow, indeed! Kenya Barris tells me that LGBTQ representation will be featured in his “Wizard of Oz” remake. “The original was an allegory and a reflection of the way the world was at the time with things like the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl,” says Barris, who will write and direct the reimagining for Warner Bros. “Now we’re going to turn a mirror on where we’re at right now and take disparate characters from the LGBTQ community, from different cultural communities and socioeconomic communities, and tell a story that reflects the world. I think this is the best time to do that.” He understands a “Wizard of Oz” remake comes with tremendous pressure. “I’m nervous,” Barris tells me. “Hopefully, my movie can last as long as the original does.” He adds with a laugh: “Hopefully my movie comes out.”

‘Bridgerton’ star Jonathan Bailey to play Fiyero in ‘Wicked’ films On Sept. 21, director Jon M. Chu confirmed his casting through a tweet saying, “He’s perfect, they’re perfect. They’d be perfect together. Born to be forever….. I am too excited to pretend this hasn’t been happening. We have a Fiyero!!!!” While Jonathan is known for playing Viscount Anthony Bridgerton in the Netflix series “Bridgerton,” the 34-year-old English actor has also graced the stage with his works in West End productions of “Les Miserables,” “The York Realist,” and “Cock,” to name a few. In 2019, he took home the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical for his performance in Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” musical.

THE WITCHES OF OZ Opens at The Vaults Theatre The Witches of Oz is a brand-new immersive experience combining comedy, cabaret, dining, and a sprinkle of political rivalry. One of the most well-respected creatives on the East London drag and queer scene, ShayShay has directed a technicolour marvel inspired by L. Frank Baum‘s iconic world of witches, rainbows, and magical slippers. As a mixed race, Japanese-American/Irish queer person, ShayShay’s original work celebrates themes of identity, gender diversity and Asian experiences as well as wider social issues. The Emerald City is in a state of glittering turmoil, it’s the classic Good vs. Wicked, blending theatre, dining and drag. In an ‘Emerald Glam’ attire, guests are invited to dine at The Wonderful Feast of Oz, a three-course meal fit for the all-powerful Oz, including Broccolollipops, Yellow Brick Rocky Road and Black Magic cocktails. With a chance to forever change the future of Emerald City, the audience will be invited to cast their vote for who will be the next Witch of Oz.

Oz in the News 9.21.22

How Ti West’s Pearl Remakes The Wizard Of Oz As A Horror Movie Ti West tells Filmmaker Magazine that he used the same dazzling Technicolor palette as “The Wizard of Oz.” These striking colors are a visual expression of Pearl’s romantic fantasies yet they feel uncanny as if something sinister lurks beneath. Mia Goth watched “The Wizard of Oz” as a “palate cleanser” to get into the mindset of a young Pearl. The classic film’s dreamy innocence and sense of wonder helped her shift from the vengeful, elder Pearl to the sheltered girl who aspires to be a dancer in moving pictures. “Pearl” refracts the beloved fantasy of “The Wizard of Oz” through numerous visual and thematic references.

Oz in the News 9.17.22

New Circus Show Acrobatically Meld’s Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ Into ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Many a late-night, two-bong-rip argument has been waged over whether the 1973 Pink Floyd album “Dark Side of the Moon” is somehow a corresponding work to the 1939 Judy Garland film The Wizard of Oz.  But a new, live circus production premiering at Dance Mission Theater this weekend throws a technicolor sheet of acid over that whole debate by mixing the two into one. Bow & Arrow Circus’s “The Dark Side of the Circus” is a circus variety show where Dorothy is a contortionist, and Oz is a land bristling with juggling, acrobatics, pole dancing, and unicycles. “We demanded a lot of the performers,” the show’s director and Bow & Arrow Circus co-founder Genie Cartier tells SFist. “They all have to have a lot of different skills in order to do this show, because it’s extremely involved.” “Acting, dancing, acrobatics, aerists, object manipulation, we’ve got a little bit of everything,” adds another Bow & Arrow Circus co-founder Marie Cartier.

Oz in the News 9.12.22

Bringing a Dream to Life: Austin Scarlett redesigns Land of Oz costumes in rural Piedmont Acclaimed bridal designer Austin Scarlett says the past few months have been a “whirlwind of activity”. A lot of gingham was included in the 12 copies of the updated costume he made for Dorothy, the main character of Oz. He has outfitted other Oz characters starring in the popular annual Land of Oz theme park event with new looks and four copies of each of their fantastical goodies. A lifelong Wizard of Oz fan, Scarlett had heard about the North Carolina theme park before moving to the state from New York four years ago.

Oz in the News 9.9.22

New Mural Honors Sidney Poitier and Judy Garland The glittering legacy and cultural importance of Sidney Poitier, as well as the distinctive personality and huge influence of Judy Garland, are now celebrated in a new six story Hollywood mural. Pop artist Tristan Eaton was commissioned to create the spray paint work on the new Aster hotel and club. The mural made its debut Aug. 25. It adorns the south-facing side of the Aster club and hotel, The mural was created with spray paint and executed in Eaton’s signature collage style, which mixes pop art and traditional techniques. It’s a salute to Hollywood groundbreakers Garland and Poitier, whose likenesses are the largest figurative elements of the work. Eaton received two certificates of recognition, one from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, and another from Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell of Los Angeles’ 13th district. The Aster, which opened earlier this month, the same week Eaton’s mural was completed, also received a certificate. Before heading up to the club level of the Aster to celebrate, Eaton told the LA Times “I’ve been trying to get this wall for six years,” and commented on the irony of being in Hollywood “in a suit and a tie, talking about spray paint.” 1717 Vine St., Hollywood

Oz in the News 9.1.22

Rainbow trailer: Paco Leone directs a modern and reckless version of The Wonderful Wizard of Ozu Netflix released the first trailer for rainbow, new movie paco leone what Modernizes the literary classic of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with a casual tone and artistic multidisciplinary flag, movie starring doraSinger and daughter of Bimba Bose, to debut in San Sebastian Film Festival next September 18 And, after the competition, It will release in theaters on 23rd and streaming platforms on 30th of the same month. “I’m looking for my mother”, in the preview, personifies Dora, a teenager who has an extraordinary talent for music and an inner energy that is hard to contain. After a heated argument with his father on his birthday, Peculiar young redhead runs away from home in the company of his dog Toto and starts An exciting journey in search of the woman who mysteriously disappeared soon after giving her life. However, the road to the capital city will be full of adventure where She’ll meet new allies, but she’ll also have to deal with terrifying enemies that will prevent Dora from discovering her past. “I’m going to make you the richest and most powerful girl in this country”he’s a little friendly Carmen Macchio In the preview the hero with two-colored hair, which promises Don’t be “a movie”, but “a journey”.

Ariana Grande Offers a Fond Look at ‘The Wizard of Oz’ It’s been relatively quiet on the music front for Ariana Grande, but that’s because the Grammy-winning superstar is gearing up for the role of a lifetime. On Tuesday (Aug. 30), the “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” singer took to Instagram to share a whimsical new photoset that concluded with a tease of her upcoming role in Wicked.

Oz in the News 8.29.22

Il Mago di Oz Overall, Valtinoni’s rich and rhythmical score, with its mercurial shifts and balance of opera and musical styling, sets the framework for imaginative theatrical storytelling. Via conductor Chad Kelly’s interpretation, a thoughtfully paced account was served and the 20-strong VO Chamber Orchestra teamed tightly with some affective playing. Many evocative chorus numbers are Incorporated and were especially strongly handled, beginning with auspicious humming over the Kansas tornado, reminiscent of Verdi’s sensational Storm Scene from Rigoletto. Throughout, the dozens of young voices of the VO Emerging Artists and Children’s Chorus fell into line outstandingly, sculpturing a soundscape of great expression and force as a white-dressed chorus of munchkins, mice and citizens of the Emerald City. Solos and pairings combined neatly, including a radiant quartet as the four friends were about to reach the Emerald City to have their wishes heard. It seemed the perfect place to call interval. Instead, the first act came to an anticlimactic close. 

Operatic reimagining of beloved story shows there’s no place like Oz The production leans into the surreal nature of the book that inspired it. The orchestra is centre stage for the entire performance, the action whirling around them like a breeze – or at times a tornado. Chorus members – dressed entirely in white – are deployed to great effect. They are the swelling winds that brought Dorothy to Oz. Projections turn them into sunflowers dotting a field; they become field mice, munchkins, the cult-like citizens of the Emerald City. Throughout the Saturday night performance, the vocals and dialogue suffered from volume issues, but the quality and evenly matched skill of the main cast was readily apparent. Georgia Wilkinson is a sweet and powerful Dorothy, and baritone Stephen Marsh as The Tin Man is a particular highlight. The production is laced with humour – and the surtitles translating the Italian lyrics and dialogue to include the occasional “mate” was well received by the audience.

Oz in the News 8.27.22

Interview: Sean Barrett of THE LAND OF OZ at Autumn At Oz Festival

I hope everyone can forget their troubles (come on, get happy!), and allow themselves to be immersed in the Land of Oz – enjoy seeing the vignette shows along the way, meeting the characters, and seeing the incredible views. The mountain views and natural landscape make it seem as though you really did fly over the rainbow – the park sits 5,506 on the tip top of Beech Mountain. It’s surreal. And skipping on the yellow brick road is a MUST. Our hope and goal is to help continue the legacy of the Wizard of Oz and this very special (former) theme park for future generations while creating memories for those who currently visit the festival each year. The festival has grown so much over the years, and we are so grateful for the continual outpour of love and support. There is a lot of brains, heart, and courage that goes into this event each year, and we are all happy to share this very special place with everyone each season.

Oz in the News 8.26.22

Why “A League of Their Own” goes over the rainbow Why does “A League of Their Own” devote so much of the episode titled “Stealing Home” to the film? The star of the team, Carson (Abbi Jacobson) is from Kansas, has a penchant for gingham, and a running joke on the show is that she’s not actually from a farm. She does show up to tryouts in coveralls that read “Jensen’s Seed” on the back. But the story of the show is a story of Middle America; the teams of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League were all located in the Midwest. I think we have a clear Wizard in this Oz though, and that’s Vi. The owner of the gay bar Carson stumbles into, Vi, as played by Rosie O’Donnell (after her heartbreaking turn as Carrie in “The L Word: Gen Q”) is classy, cool and kind. Pay all attention to this “man behind the curtain” who makes the magic happen for her customers. While she is part of what makes life Technicolor for Carson/Dorothy, like the great and powerful Oz, she brings them home.

Wizard of Oz Exhibit at Bacchus House The exhibit is running through the end of the month. You have 7 days. You’ve been warned. The Bacchus House is located at 1004 E Bidwell St b200, Folsom, CA.  Great food and drinks, excellent service, scary flying monkeys. What more could you ask for? Go check it out.

Oz in the News 8.24.22

Kenya Barris On Who’s Getting Cast For His Upcoming ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Re-Make Online fan-casting has already pegged either Yara Shahidi or Marsai Martin, each of Barris’ young Black-ish starlets, as the new Dorothy. But just who does the production mogul have his eye on to fill the famed ruby slippers? “No one that you would think,” he told ESSENCE exclusively. “I know people feel like they know what we’re going to do, so I want to do something totally different.” However, Barris clarified that he isn’t interested in veering away from audience expectations simply to be contrarian. “Not different for the sake of being different, but for really telling the story in a new, different way.” No release date has yet been announced for Barris’ new Oz, but we can’t wait to see how and with whom this classic story will be told.