Oz in the News 1.14.17

woozyDorothy in a leisure suit? KC’s Toys and Miniatures museum explores the world of Oz The folks at Kansas City’s National Museum of Toys and Miniatures want you to ease on down the road to their renovated digs and get to know “Oz” in a new way. “Wizard of Oz” collectors from around the country have donated costumes, replica ruby slippers, soaps, party masks, valentines, clothing hangers — an entire exhibit’s worth of eye candy for “Oz” fans. And of course there are “Oz” dolls and hand puppets and play sets and other toys because — well, it’s a toy museum.“ Because our focus is on toys or miniatures, we decided that we wanted to look at the way that this novel influenced toy production,” said Laura Taylor, the museum’s curator of interpretation. “And so, although not everything we have in the exhibit is toy-related, we wanted to include things that kind of fleshed it out and gave people a bigger story.” “Over the Rainbow: Toys From the Land of Oz,” opening Saturday, is a kid-in-a-candy-store treat for fans of the “Oz” story in all its iterations. Halloween costumes based on “The Wiz,” for instance, were rare because of the red tape involved with anything having to do with Michael Jackson, who played the Scarecrow in the 1978 movie musical. But one of those “Wiz” Halloween costumes has found its way here. We hear that one museum staff member, a fan of the 1985 Disney fantasy-adventure “Return to Oz,” nearly fainted when the stunning Princess Mombi costume from the movie arrived. Most of the items displayed belong to Kansas City’s own “Oz” superfan, Jane Albright, who asked about 20 fellow members of the International Oz Club to loan one-of-a-kind pieces from their private collections. (By “superfan,” we mean a woman who moved into a bigger home two doors away so she could pull her overflow memorabilia out from closets and under beds and display everything properly — on the entire third floor.)

New Lucas Museum to Feature ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Wizard of Oz’ Memorabilia George Lucas has finally found a home for the planned $1 billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. The museum board of directors recently announced that Los Angeles was selected — over San Francisco — to house the planned museum. The Lucas museum will be built in Exposition Park, near downtown Los Angeles. It will feature memorabilia from “Star Wars” and “The Wizard of Oz,” as well as fine art and popular art. It will include narrative paintings, comic art, illustration, photography and other media. Lucas’ own personal art collection — including works from Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Norman Rockwell — will also be featured. Lucas is financing the museum himself. He’s been working on the museum project for nearly a decade.

Oz in the News 1.13.17


Wonderful, Marvelous, Hungry: 7 characters from the Oz books we want in Emerald City There is a great wealth of marvelous characters from L. Frank Baum’s Oz books (all 14 of them!) that would fit right in on Emerald City, many of which may be too outlandish, but at least a couple of which have already been cast, or hinted at. Although this list may end up making me look very wise or very foolish, it’s with great pleasure that I pull back the curtain and let you in on these seven great Oz characters that will hopefully make their way to the small screen this season on Emerald City.

Oz in the News 1.9.17


Russian sequel of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ to be turned into animated film Alexander Melentyevich Volkov, a Russian mathematician and novelist, published a loose translation of L. Frank Baum’sThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” in 1939, titled, “The Wizard of Emerald City.” While more or less presented as his own story, Volkov wrote a dedication in most early prints of the book that admitted his story was inspired by an earlier American book series, even mentioning Baum by name. While the American book was still under copyright at the time of publication of the Russian variation, Volkov did not break the law as the Soviet Union had not been part of international copyright laws until 1973. While Baum had already written sequels featuring his Oz characters, Volkov instead wrote his own sequels to the story, starting in 1963, with the publication of “Urfin Jus and the Wooden Soldiers.” As mentioned, the titular villain, Urfin Jus, was said to be a former Munchkin servant of the deceased Gingema, and he tries to take over the Magic Land with the aid of wooden soldiers after finding a magic powder that can bring things to life. Unlike the witches, however, Urfin Jus survives the story and becomes a recurring figure in later books, with five sequel books in total. In a press release, the film appears to portray Urfin Jus as something of an ant-hero, mentioning that Ellie and her friends (which include incarnations on the familiar Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion), “must find out who he really is… before they can defeat him.” The film will be released in #Russia on April 20, 2017. It is unknown at this time if the film will have an international release.


First look inside city’s new movie-themed hotel Step inside Signature Living’s new movie-themed hotel, The Arthouse. Featuring plush champagne interiors, stylish kitchenette and a double Jacuzzi bath, the Wizard of Oz suite has everything you’d ever need for a fabulous night in Liverpool. Sleeping up to six people in two luxury doubles and two single beds, this room has been designed with a fabulous adventure in mind and guarantee you’ll never want your Arthouse adventure to end.

NBC’s ‘Emerald City’ is a beautiful journey through Oz The series takes the story to a lot of ambitious places: It’s extremely sexy, explores violence, the aforementioned drug use, and even a gender-bending supporting character. That said, it should be noted that this Oz probably isn’t suitable for young children. The challenge for audiences here is whether they’ll be able to clear their minds of Judy Garland’s musical, suspenseful journey or L. Frank Baum’s novels and let “Emerald City” tell its own story over 10 hours. But after all, that’s the challenge NBC took on when it decided to go to Oz in the first place.

Why is it so difficult to update The Wizard of Oz? The story of Emerald City is much too busy, without any characters nearly as memorable as those in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Even Vincent D’Onofrio’s take on the Wizard — which is truly, gloriously off the wall — wears thin after a while, and many of the other actors seem to be coping by competing to see who can pout the most ripely. There are many, many worse takes on Oz out there, but Emerald City only underlines why the seemingly natural impulse to make a dark, gritty Oz reboot only undercuts what allowed the story to endure in the first place.

Emerald City: Season One Ratings The ratings are typically the best indication of a show’s likelihood of staying on the air. The higher the ratings (particularly the 18-49 demo), the better the chances for survival. This chart will be updated as new ratings data becomes available — usually the next day, around 11:30am EST/8:30am PST. Refresh to see the latest.

Fri 01/06/2017 Episode: 01-01 – 4.698 million viewers
Fri 01/06/2017 Episode: 01-02 – 4.251 million viewers





Oz in the News 1.6.17

b5d99c16d131c5d7888c4ffad8d851c5‘Wizard of Oz’ Superfan’s Memorabilia Collection Worth Nearly Half a Million Dollars When NBC’s Emerald City premieres on Jan. 6, Walter Krueger knows he’ll be watching. The 30-year-old is a die-hard Wizard of Oz superfan. Over the past 27 years, Krueger estimates, he’s spent more than $400,000 on a collection that he’s been building since he first fell in love with a Wizard of Oz coloring book when he was 3 years old. He’s currently working with partners to open a museum in the coming year that will house his entire collection and help him fulfill his dream of sharing Oz’s message of hope with the world. With that mission of spreading the message of Oz, Krueger is looking forward to NBC’s Emerald City, which he describes as “our greatest Oz venture that is yet to come.” Krueger says he loves all the iterations of Oz and is not a purist who likes only the original books or movie. He’s excited that the show will bring in new fans. “Emerald City‘s venture will probably bring in more people,” he says. “It keeps the story alive and fresh and new.”

EMERALD CITY: SEASON 1 REVIEW (Note: This is a review of the entire 10-episode season of Emerald City, but will not delve into major story spoilers beyond the initial set-up). I’ve seen some say Emerald City is Oz meets Game of Thrones, and I’m guessing that description did probably come up in some network meetings. And there is that vibe, in some regards, with the gritty feel, warring factions and various “Who can truly lead us?” plot threads. But it feels very hollow, especially compared to a show like The 100 that is also obviously trying for somewhat of a Game of Thrones vibe on network TV – but creating much stronger characters and world building, and truly delivering on the consequences in a way Emerald City fails to. There are some moments in Emerald City that work in the moment as surprises, but too often, they feel like they’re either undone immediately or don’t have enough follow-up to warrant that initial shock.

Emerald City’s cast and creators talk feminism, the Wizard, and their take on Oz “The movie is iconic,” Schulner says. “We are doing the books.” Besides the fact that MGM has an iron grip on the rights to anything and everything that was seen in Victor Fleming’s 1939 musical, the producers wanted to give Emerald City a more modern feel. “L. Frank Baum’s mother was one of the very first suffragists,” Schulner says of the book’s author. “Baum’s books are infused with feminism and anti-patriarchal [ideas]. In the second [Oz] book, an army of young women march on Emerald City because they are tired of being ruled by men. It is a matriarchal society of witches who ran Oz for thousands of years.”

10 Important Wizard of Oz Adaptations of the Last Century As Emerald City premieres, we’re taking some time to look back at some of the on-screen Oz incarnations that have defined the story’s legacy and the legacy of film and television. What is so timeless about this story? What do the quirks of each of these on-screen adaptations say about the respective eras they were made in? And what does Emerald City tell us about right now?

Oz in the News 1.4.17

407a946a9cd8ff9197827a7d9d186913This ‘Wizard of Oz’ Experience Beams Dorothy to Your Smartphone Theater, that seemingly-traditional artform, gets a modern twist with the introduction of augmented reality technology, which turns the passive audience experience into an interactive one. Elements of Oz, a tech-driven celebration of the classic escapist film The Wizard of Oz, uses smartphones to deconstruct and revel in the enduring popularity of the iconic story. Created by New York-based intermedia ensemble The Builders Association, Elements of Oz reenacts Dorothy’s journey through a mixture of IRL and digital tools, like live performance, a custom-designed app enabling engaging visual overlays, and a virtual YouTube chorus that sings Wizard of Oz classics. Directed by Builders Association Artistic Director Marianne Weems and co-created and written by James Gibbs and Moe Angelos, Elements of Oz dazzled audiences at 3LD Art & Technology Center, a hub for tech-driven live performance. The Elements of Oz online experience begins the moment audience members decide to attend. “We asked ticket buyers to download [the Elements of Oz app] when they first purchased a ticket, and then they got a follow-up reminder closer to the date of the performance,” Weems says. The show app is available on iPhone and Android.

Vincent D’Onofrio on His “Complicated” Wizard in ‘Emerald City’ and the Return of Wilson Fisk “It was terrible! It was like some seagulls found my head and while I was asleep, they made a nest. Some dirty seagulls from Venice Beach. I kept thinking about these British actors in the ‘70s. I watched tapes of them on YouTube doing Shakespeare and they all had these ridiculous wigs that looked like helmets. I thought this guy really just needs to be someone he’s not, and it’s not like they have a wig guy in Oz. He wouldn’t be able to bring the best wig guy to Emerald City to fit The Wizard, so it had to look like a bad wig that fell out of a window and hit him in the head. There were a couple of days where I actually wore a bald cap, a wig on top of the bald cap that was supposed to be The Wizard’s real hair, and then a wig on top of that.”

Director Tarsem Singh, Star Vincent D’onofrio Map The Winding Road To Magical Emerald City’s Premiere The series adds emphasis to the technological prowess of the great and powerful Oz, here played by Vincent D’Onofrio as “The Wizard” — he is a modern man who tames a magical realm with science. But, like the humbug Wizard of the original novel and actor Frank Morgan’s Wizard in the famous film, he has secrets, too — secrets that Singh said he could only entrust to D’Onofrio to reveal. “Truly, when I went in and they asked me, I just said that there is only one person that can do opera, theatrical, big grandness, and become pathetic whining person at the same time. There’s only one guy, and it had to be him,” Singh said. “When I looked at this, I just said, ‘This is by definition, it’s a fraud. It’s a security guard who thinks, ‘How would Orson Welles play this?’”

Emerald City Review: NBC’s Oz Reboot Has Courage, Short on Heart and Brains Since it has 10 hours to fill, Emerald City pads the original Oz story with side characters from other L. Frank Baum Oz books like the young boy Tip (Jordan Loughran). But with too many plotlines to tend to, the narrative ends up feeling sluggish, dragging its feet on the way to the titular city. The Dorothy/Lucas coupling is meant to set off sparks a la Once Upon a Time‘s Emma/Hook, but their romance is more dutiful than convincing. And intriguing characters like the Wicked Witch of the West — here, a sultry opium addict played by Ana Ularu — are left frustratingly undeveloped.

Oz in the News 1.3.17

EMERALD CITY -- "The Beast Forever" Episode 101-- Pictured: (l-r) Oliver Jackson Cohen as Lucas, Adria Arjona as Dorothy -- (Photo by: Rico Torres/NBC)

EMERALD CITY — “The Beast Forever” Episode 101– Pictured: (l-r) Oliver Jackson Cohen as Lucas, Adria Arjona as Dorothy — (Photo by: Rico Torres/NBC)

Emerald City: Everything You Need to Know About NBC’s Take on The Wizard of Oz Calling Emerald City ambitious is a bit like calling a tornado a rain storm; Singh aimed to use as little CGI as possible to capture the “original magic” in part through the use of soaring, fanciful scenery. That meant shooting on locations that required going to half of Europe — including a remote national park in Croatia, 15th Century castles in Hungary and the Park Güell in Barcelona. It looks as grand and cinematic as it sounds. Singh is known for his elaborate, gorgeous visuals and Emerald City continues that reputation. Landscape shots make the series feel otherworldly; interior shots inside castles and temples sing with vibrancy and ruthless attention to detail.

Oz in the News 1.2.17


Jorge Diaz, Amazon Prime Video Original Kids Special “Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure”  Film & TV star Jorge Diaz lends his voice to Ojo, a half-munchkin who helps Dorothy on her adventures. Jorge recently starred in Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, the first studio film ever released with an all Latino lead cast. He also stars in the groundbreaking new drama East Los High. Called a “Latino Degrassi” by the LA Times, the series became an instant hit winning several awards making headlines as the first English-Language show with an all Latino cast. Yet another first — Jorge voices the character of “Gabe” in Elena of Avalor, the animated series featuring Disney’s first Latina Princess. Jorge has also been featured in popular series such as The Good Place with Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, Jane the Virgin, True Blood and Family Guy, as well as films including The 33 with Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche, and Gabriel Byrne; and Filly Brown, the Sundance smash starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Edward James Olmos.