Oz in the News 11.19.21

Rico Nasty and Flo Milli Are All About Their “Money” In the Wizard of Oz-inspired “Money” music video, directed by Roxana Baldovin of “Tia Tamera,” they’re traveling down the yellow brick road, robbing old, white businessmen who’d be better off writing them into their wills and passing away. Jumping from set to set, they look like models as they rap, perched on fluffy clouds and drenched in gold jewelry. “Money” was produced by German EDM DJ Boys Noize, upgrading the old-school jam for a genre-bender like Rico Nasty. 

Oz in the News 11.11.21

Theater Review: ‘My Witch’ is ‘robustly theatrical, sublimely warm and richly satisfying’ The setting for “My Witch” is a small cottage on an island in an inlet off the coast of Brunswick, Maine, which was Hamilton’s retreat from the world at large. A storm is raging outside the cottage. Lightning flashes behind a shadowy figure standing in the doorway as the play begins; a ghostly figure wearing cone-shaped headgear. As the lights begin to come up, the figure, Margaret Hamilton (Jean Tafler) screams, shrieks at the sight of us, the audience. As the door slams shut behind her on its own, the confused Hamilton realizes the reality of where she is; a place she feels most at home. “Oh,” she says. “I’m onstage. Hello dears … Yes… I’m talking to you. This is the theater, not the movies, we are all together in one big room. I can see you and hear you.” And so, for the next 90 minutes or so, this down-to-earth woman — a kindergarten teacher who wound up scaring thousands, millions, of children over the years in her signature role, the green-faced, cackling, ruby-slippers-coveting Wicked Witch of the West, opens the door to a life lived “without scandal” since her birth in 1902 in Cleveland, Ohio; no skeletons in the family closet, she notes.

Oz in the News 11.10.21

Kids pictured getting first COVID-19 vaccines calmed by Wizard of Oz characters The display has all of the characters of the beloved 1939 classic movie musical – with the exception of the Wicked Witch of the West. Cooper University Health Care and county officials hope Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow will help to turn the experience of administering the vaccine into a fun ride to cut down on the anxiety some kids may feel before they get their shot and distract them from dwelling on the injection.

Oz in the News 11.9.21

Petition to bar James Corden from Wicked film passes 50,000 signatures The actor and TV host, an accomplished stage star who had widely panned roles in film adaptations of Cats and The Prom, is the target of an online petition calling for him to be barred from Wicked. It states: “James Corden in no way shape or form should be in or near the production of Wicked the movie. that’s pretty much it.” Signatories cited reasons for adding their names including “we’ve suffered enough” and “he must be stopped”. Corden, a household name in the US thanks to his The Late Late Show, is yet to publicly respond to the petition.

Oz in the News 11.6.21

Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo cast as leads in ‘Wicked’ movie adaptation Grande will play Galinda, aka Glinda the Good Witch, the role originated by Kristin Chenoweth on Broadway; Erivo will take on Elphaba, the green-skinned future Wicked Witch of the West, and thus also the musical’s iconic Act One finale number, “Defying Gravity”. Idina Menzel, who played Elphaba in the original run, joked (we think?) to Variety in 2019 that she should be digitally de-aged to continue the role in the film: “I mean I love you, Ariana, but I still am relevant here.”

Woman revamps Wizard of Oz art tribute Known for its yellow brick road and as the home of Dorothy, the town of Liberal has paid tribute to the Wizard of Oz with statues of Dorothy placed around town. However, the time has taken its toll on the statues. Julie Parsons is cleaning up her equipment to get ready for the next time she paints. With help from Kelsey Flowers, Parsons is re-painting these Dorothy statues with different themes to give the town of Liberal a revamped look because there is no place like home. Julie hopes to have all the statues done by next spring.

Oz in the News 11.4.21

On Eve Of Judy Garland’s 100th Birthday, Grand Rapids Museum Showcases Star’s Memorabilia A northern Minnesota town is the childhood home of a movie star legend. Judy Garland would have turned 100 years old next year. In this week’s Finding Minnesota, John Lauritsen followed the Yellow Brick Road to the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids. The Grand Rapids house Garland lived in still has the original hardwood floors and staircase, and the basement below holds a treasure trove of Garland artifacts. Much of what you find downstairs are donations that curator Kelsch does his best to keep up with. That includes 200 of Garland’s personal audio tapes, many of which have never been listened to. “We have 10, 20 years of work to do here with this collection,” said Kelsch, adding it doesn’t feel like work. “That’s the fun part.”

Oz in the News 11.3.21

L. Frank Baum’s Cautionary Tale About the Gifts of Electricity The book plays up both the promise and the perils of what was still a very new technology. The protagonist is a young boy named Rob Joslyn, who was loosely based on Baum’s 15-year-old son, Robert. Both boys, real and fictional, were enthusiastic electrical experimenters. And Baum himself, who was 45 years old when the book was published, had witnessed the dawn of the great electrification of America. Born in 1856, Baum was raised in upstate New York, in homes lit by candles and gaslight. As an adult, he and his wife, Maud, and their young children lived briefly in the drought-stricken Dakota Territory, in Aberdeen, before they settled in Chicago in 1891. It was an exciting time to be in America’s second largest city, a place seemingly fueled by ambition and audacious dreams. Twenty years after the Great Chicago Fire destroyed most of the city, it was preparing to host the World’s Columbian Exposition. On 1 May 1893, U.S. president Grover Cleveland officially opened the extravaganza by pressing a golden telegraph key that symbolically switched on 100,000 incandescent lights. Among the other electrical inventions on display were hot plates, fans, bells, bed warmers, radiators, and a complete model electrical kitchen, according to Hubert Howe Bancroft’s 1893 Book of the Fair.

‘Wicked’ Movie: Production Delayed Again as Filming Moves to the U.K. for 2022 Fans of the hit Broadway show Wicked who have been awaiting the long-anticipated film adaptation will need to wait even longer, as Universal has pushed back production yet again on this beloved tale. Filming was to begin in Atlanta in March 2022, but now the start of production has been pushed back even farther to June and even further away from Atlanta, now being filmed in the U.K. The delay is thought to be brought on in order to allow filmmakers more time to get the newly-built Sky Studios in Elstree up and running. Wicked, in fact, will be the very first production to use the new stages at the studio.

The Daily Ozmapolitan Spotlight: “OZ”, the new CD by GIORGIO COSLOVICH

“Oz” is the second CD by Giorgio Coslovich after his first “Winter Tales” which was released in 2017.

There are two projects on the new CD: The symphonic poem “Oz” and the triptych “Joyce Suite”, two different musical languages, the first in a classical style, the second predominantly contemporary, almost jazzy. To bring together both musical moments creates an inner, psychological journey to the roots of one’s conscience, by the two protagonists, respectively Dorothy in the “Wizard of Oz” and Leopold Bloom in Joyce’s “Ulysses”.

Musically, the symphonic poem “Oz” tries to describe the story and characters, first in the long piece “Oz”, the Lion (in the brilliant and charming “Lion Waltz”), the Tin Man (the apparently joyful but tormented and still heartless “Tin Woodman”), the Munchkins (in the “Little Blue People”), up to Dorothy’s heart-wrenching song (“Upthere Or Elsewhere”) with the poignant performance by the soprano and cello soloist Cristina Nadal). And in the end the return to reality (through “Dreamover” or, literally, the dream persistence during awakening from a dream. The orchestra conducted by Maestro Jacopo Brusa includes musicians who perform with the Filarmonica Della Scala, the Fenice of Venice, the Regio of Parma, the Arena of Verona, the Philharmonic of Ljubljana (Slovenia) and many other renowned orchestras. The result is an excellent performance by all the people that joined this project.

The Joycian “Suite” has guests of international prestige such as the saxophonist David Jackson (ex Van Der Graaf Generator) and the multi-instrumentalist John Hackett (brother of Steve Hackett, formerly of prog-rock band Genesis).

The project is available on many digital platforms as well as a physical copy with a 12page booklet.

Contact Giorgio Coslovich at giocos.press@alice.it for more information.

A shorter and different version of “Oz” (without wind instruments) was performed in London in 2018. Below is the performance on YouTube:

Oz in the News 10.25.21

What really happened to Dorothy’s ruby slippers that went missing in Grand Rapids? Actor Melissa McCarthy freaked out over them in a recent TV special promoting the opening of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. During his concert at Treasure Island Casino in Red Wing earlier this month, singer Christopher Cross joked that he contemplated stealing them from Liza Minnelli’s house. But few have been as obsessed with the ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” as the two journalists behind a new podcast. “There’s No Place Like Home,” an eight-part series from C13 Originals, focuses on the pair that went missing from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn., in August 2005. The shoes then mysteriously reappeared 13 years later during an FBI sting operation. Seyward Darby, editor-in-chief of the Atavist Magazine, was mesmerized when she heard about the recovery and wanted to dive deeper. “I was looking for a true crime story that didn’t involve murder and dead girls,” Darby said a few weeks ago from her Brooklyn home. “There’s nothing really salacious in the slipper story and yet, it still has the cat-and-mouse qualities that lend itself to storytelling.” She quickly reached out to freelancer Ariel Ramchandani. Three weeks later, the reporter was making her maiden voyage to Minnesota.