Oz in the News 7.20.17

‘West End Bares’ Is Back – With Lots Of Nudity And A ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Theme West End Bares is back, and it’s not in Kansas any more … Now in its eighth year, the West End’s hottest annual fundraiser returns this October in the new Wizard of Oz-themed show Ruby Strippers, which will see more than 100 of the hottest performers from the West End stage and beyond, along with an array of celebrity hosts, as they take to the stage to combine the naughtiness of burlesque with the magic of the West End. Friends of Dorothy will be thrilled to see these stunning West End performers kitted out like scarecrows and tin men, with skimpier outfits of course. All of the money raised by the show will go to The Make A Difference Trust to fund HIV and Aids projects that raise awareness, educate and provide care and support in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa. Tickets for are now on sale and are priced from £15 to £100. Click here for more information.

Oz in the News 7.19.17

Minnesota Music Notes Frances Gumm was born in 1922 Grand Rapids, Minnesota. She would grow to become the singer and actor Judy Garland, star of The Wizard of Oz. Producer Daniel Zamzow recounts the time she came back to her home state to sing with the Minneapolis Symphony in 1958.

Oz in the News 7.13.17

Kari Wahlgren And The Wizard Of Oz The story of the Wizard of Oz has inspired people for generations. And now it’s back again, this time as an animated series on the Boomerang channel. We talk to the actress who plays Dorothy about her journey from small-town Kansas to being the voice behind “the ultimate Kansas girl.” Listen to our interview with her.

Oz in the News 7.11.17

The Tin Man Is a Reminder of L. Frank Baum’s Onetime Oil Career 17 years before he wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Lyman Frank Baum founded a petroleum company with his brother, Benjamin Baum. The Baum brothers’s Syracuse, New York business sold “lubricants, oils, greases–and ‘Baum’s Castorine, the great axle oil,’” writes the American Oil & Gas Historical Society. For four years, Baum was the chief salesman for Baum’s Castorine Company. He got the idea for the Tin Man on the road, writes the historical society. But in the end, Baum sold the company in 1888, writing “I see not future in it to warrant my wasting any more years of my life trying to boom it.”

WICKED Surpasses PHANTOM OF THE THE OPERA at Broadway Box Office WICKED is flying high at the Broadway box office. According to Variety, the long-running musical has hit $1 billion faster than any other show in Broadway history, surpassing THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at the Broadway box office. According to the site, the show, which tells the backstory of THE WIZARD OF OZ, has earned $1.12 billion in New York sales alone, surpassing PHANTOM’s current earnings of $1.11 billion. The total earnings now puts Wicked in second place overall, behind THE LION KING, which has grossed over $1.38 billion. Disney’s stage adaptation of its hit 1994 animated film, is currently the top-grossing musical in history, with over $6 billion in worldwide sales. ‘PHANTOM’, which is about to celebrate its 30th anniversary on the Great White Way, retains its title of the longest-running show in Broadway history. It has also earned over $6 billion worldwide. Wicked premiered in 2003 and has since grossed close to $4.5 billion worldwide, according to a representative for the show. WICKED is now a top-grossing property at Universal Pictures. A film adaptation of the musical is currently in the works. In addition, the show has been produced in Chicago, San Francisco and LA as well as in 14 countries around the world. A national tour is now performing throughout North America, while a West End production of the show has been running since 2006.

Oz in the News 7.7.17

Exclusive First-Look Trailer: Amazon Kids’ LOST IN OZ L. Frank Baum‘s iconic Oz books have spawned stories that have been reimagined across several generations, and this summer the legend grows once more with the debut of the Amazon Original Kids Series Lost in Oz. A modern-day fable that expands upon the Emmy Award-winning Amazon Original special, Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure, this new series will debut on Prime Video in the U.S. & UK on August 4, and Amazon and The Rock Father™ have teamed-up to give you a first-look at the series’ official trailer!

Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Review: The Slippers (Canada, 2016) Is Unbelievable, Whimsical And Charming Make no mistake, The Slippers is a much bigger film than just a simple story about some red shoes. It’s a love letter to the golden age of Hollywood and The Wizard of Oz, in particular. The film is a nostalgic one that shows the dark side of collecting as well as the positive emotions that people experience when they get to see a prop and remember scenes from important films, especially those from their childhoods. The Slippers is ultimately an unbelievable, whimsical and charming little film that will appeal to the inner child in all of us.

Oz in the News 7.4.17

Puffin has radically redesigned the covers of classic children’s books using Pantone colors The project is the brainchild of graphic designer Danielle Calotta, who used a process of free association to come up with the color for each title. Some choices were obvious: green for Anne of Green Gables; black for Black Beauty; metallic gold for A Christmas Carol. Others titles were harder, like The Wizard of Oz, which is covered in a sunny yellow hue. “Some people don’t know that her [Dorothy’s] original shoes [in the book] were silver, but a lot of people know her ruby red shoes. Then there’s also Emerald City, but inevitably, we settled with the yellow brick road,” explains Calotta. The designer says her formulaic approach is just another way to think about book covers, and not meant to entirely replace illustrated versions. “This is a modern twist to children’s classics,” she explains. “I don’t know why they can’t both exist.”

Sh*t-Faced Showtime: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Leicester Square Theatre, London The choice of the Scarecrow – poor, brainless, loose-limbed Scarecrow – is a wise choice for the show’s alcohol-fuelled character. It helps that Alan McHale is a warm and engaging musical performer of course: while the audience may not be as tanked up as he is, they are on his side throughout, and he reciprocates their warmth towards him. Humour, of course, derives from those moments where McHale stumbles over his lines, or over his feet. Other comedic elements, from the glove puppet Toto to Nick House’s cross-dressing Wicked Witch, work better when distracting McHale from his attempts to stick to the script than they do in bringing their own humour. Whether this improvised version of The Wizard of Oz will be as strong with one of the company’s other cast members in the role of sole inebriate remains to be seen. McHale sets a high bar for them, to be sure: as a singer and dancer who succeeds in performing a number of dance moves while not spilling his pint of beer, this is a performer who can, quite literally, hold his drink.

Oz in the News 7.2.17

L. Frank Baum Play At The Coronado Library, July 5 Famed author L. Frank Baum will be the subject of J. D. Newman’s solo play “The Man Behind the Curtain” in the Library Winn Room on Wednesday, July 5 at 6:30 p.m. Baum is the main character in the play, best known as the author of “The Wizard of Oz” and 13 other Oz books. The play is set on the stage of the Hudson Theatre as one of Baum’s theatrical productions has been cancelled and the “Royal Historian of Oz” offers the audience his own story of how he found his way to “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Before finding his calling as a writer of children’s stories, Baum struggled to make his living as an actor, director, store-owner, baseball team secretary, small-town newspaper editor, reporter, and traveling salesman. In the play, Baum tells how each of his professions developed his abilities as a storyteller and how he transformed his dreams and nightmares into his best known story. His life intersects with American notables including author Charles Dickens, inventor Thomas Edison, and his mother-in-law and women’s suffrage leader, Matilda Joslyn Gage.