Oz in the News 6.27.15

It’s A Twister! Brilliant Avengers: Age Of Ultron & Wizard Of Oz Mash-Up  Australian visual effects artist Darren Wallace has been making a name for himself with his magical mash-ups, but he may have out done himself this time around. Today, he dropped the house on a new parody trailer that combines Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron with the 1939 masterpiece The Wizard of Oz. In the video, Ultron is the Tin Man, Captain America is the Scarecrow, Thor is the Cowardly Lion, Scarlet Witch is the Wicked Witch, Quicksilver is a flying monkey and Black Widow is Dorothy. M*A*S*H fans be on the look for a clever Hawkeye Pierce cameo. Even Toto drops in – literally out of the quinjet.

Oz in the News 6.25.15

061315_oz_2Grapevine’s yellow brick road to learning Blow through to the Land of Munchkins with its message of tolerance. Play dress up with Munchkin clothes in a Munchkin house. Hand puppets in the Land of Oz Puppet Theater help children embrace differences among people as they meet those who live in this fantastic world. Drop by and help put the scarecrow together. “Pick Your Brain” gives visitors a chance to figure out which brain corresponds with which animal. Team up and help solve the task of building the “road of yellow brick” to Emerald City. The special Oz spectacles let you see the city in its entire green splendor.

Oz in the News 6.21.15

The Magic of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Continues with Lasting Legacy  This week, we’re continuing our discussion about the lasting impact The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a children’s book from 1900, has made on American popular culture. It’s been 115 years since the book was first released, and the movie adaptation starring Judy Garland will be 76 years old this August! Author Rebecca Loncraine’s book about the creator– or “inventor” as he called it– of Oz, L. Frank Baum, details his experiences that influenced the beloved story.  “He didn’t really appreciate his own creativity and his own imagination,” Rebecca says. “I think he definitely had a bit of a low opinion of himself, and seeing Oz as something he discovered rather than invented meant he could disown his imagination to some degree.”

Oz in the News 6.19.15

web1_DEALBA_061115bh_006Entertainer shares his love of Judy Garland in show  If David de Alba isn’t Judy Garland’s biggest fan, he’s certainly on the short list. De Alba’s devotion to the late and legendary singer/actress can be seen, first, in the Garland memorabilia he has collected over the years, ranging from original music scores to a pair of shoes Garland wore in one of her movies to an entire collection related to her memorable turn in the 1939 classic film “The Wizard of Oz.” But beyond all that are the decades that de Alba has devoted to portraying Garland in musical presentations aimed, he says, at introducing Garland and her talent to younger fans and rekindling a passion for Garland in older fans who remember her but, perhaps, may have forgotten how good she was.

Authors, munchkin by marriage visit highlight Ionia’s Wizard of Oz Festival  Oz author Ron Baxley Jr. is a special guest author at the Wizard of Oz Festival in Ionia on Friday and Saturday, June 19-20. He will be in front of the Ionia Theatre in downtown Ionia with an author table, signing and selling his Oz books and discussing his travels to various Oz festivals and the Oz celebrities he has met. He will be available from approximately 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.  James C. Wallace II and his wife Amanda will also be available as special guests to discuss, sign, and sell their Oz books and to discuss their Oz travels and memories each day during approximately the same times Baxley Jr. will be.  “Munchkin by marriage,” Mary Ellen St. Aubin, will be available at times on these days in the theatre lobby as well and will be discussing memories and perhaps selling autographs. Karen Armstrong Owens will be a special guest at the Oz festival to discuss her Oz memories, sell International Wizard of Oz Club, Inc. memberships, and perhaps sell collectibles.

Oz in the News 6.17.15

33cf014bc60b675d56d75690eee4f137Dives fail to raise ruby slippers from Tioga Mine Pit  Last week, Itasca County Sheriff’s Office volunteer divers looked for the ruby slippers that were worn by Grand Rapids native Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz” and were infamously stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids almost a decade ago. The slippers didn’t turn up during the four public dives in the Tioga Mine Pit, said Rob Feeney, the museum’s volunteer in charge of acquisitions. But in a practice dive about a week earlier, one of the divers came up with what Feeney coyly described as “something that was of interest.” Actually, two somethings: a pair of containers, one a small duffel bag and the other a partially deteriorated tin can. It was apparent the can had been in the bag, Feeney said. “They had been down there a while.” The dives were staged at the mine pit, Feeney said, because of longstanding rumors that the slippers — stolen in August, 2005 — had been sealed in Tupperware with a weight inside and tossed in the pit. It might not be all that easy to find a pair of slippers in the Tioga Mine Pit. Although a mere blip among Itasca County’s numerous bodies of water, it still covers 51 acres and reaches a depth of 225 feet, according to Minnesota Lake Finder. The search for the iconic slippers isn’t over, Feeney said. “This is really just the beginning,” he said. “We’re never going to stop doing this until they’re found or we know what happened to them.”

Oz in the News 6.16.15

emerald-city-nbc-titledNBC’s ‘Emerald City’ Casts ‘True Detective’ Actress as Dorothy Emerald City has found its Dorothy. Adria Arjona (Person of Interest) has landed the lead role in NBC’s upcoming Wizard of Oz drama, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed. Emerald City was originally developed for the 2013-14 season and picked up straight to series in January 2014. However, the network opted not to move forward when NBC and producers could not agree on a shared vision for the show. Universal TV shopped the series to other potential networks before NBC revived the series in April. Replacing Josh Friedman (Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) and Matt Arnold (Siberia), David Schulner (Dracula, The Event) will write, exec produce and serve as showrunner on the 10-episode drama, which hails from Universal Television. The series is slated to premiere midseason. Arjona is the first casting for Emerald City. The actress can next be seen on the new season of True Detective. She is repped by UTA, One Entertainment and Stone, Meyer.

Oz in the News 6.14.15

90Internet beckons crime to Land of Oz; Goodbye, Yellow Brick Road  It’s highway robbery in the Land of Oz. Drawn by websites and Facebook pages specializing in spooky, abandoned places, vandals and thieves are stealing artifacts from the old Land of Oz theme park – particularly bricks from its signature Yellow Brick Road. “It’s probably the most sought-after relic we have,” says Cindy Keller, caretaker, keeper and militant defender of the mountain-top attraction that closed 35 years ago. Land of Oz is falling prey to an Internet fad called “urbex” for urban exploration. Adventurers seek out deserted places and post eerie pictures of their expeditions on sites specializing in what is called “ruin porn.”

After 115 Years, The ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Is Still Magical Today, we’re taking a trip to Oz with author Rebecca Loncraine. Her book The Real Wizard of Oz: The Life and Times of L. Frank Baum details the experiences of Oz’s creator in such a way that you’ll feel as if you’ve traveled to another world, much like Dorothy did in that first book of Baum’s.

HISTORICALLY SPEAKING: ‘Wizard of Oz’ author had varied career  He wrote 13 novels and countless other works, but didn’t always use his real name. In fact, Lyman Frank Baum despised his first name and finally ended up as L. Frank Baum. Baum was born and died in the month of May, born on May 15, 1856, in Chittenango, New York, and died on May 6, 1919. His parents were Benjamin and Cynthia Ann Baum. To tell the truth, he wasn’t always a writer. He’d been an actor, screenwriter, producer, salesman and newspaper editor.