Monthly Archives: November 2010

Oz in the News 11.29.10

REVIEW: The Wizard of Oz (Emerald City Theatre) Using puppets for the munchkins is hilarious and efficient, and the low-budget shortcuts that Emerald City takes contribute to much of the show’s charm. Kevin Beltz ’s economical set unfolds Dorothy’s house to reveal walls with turning panels to signify location, all located in the walls of Dorothy’s home that unfolds during the storm.

Oz in the News 11.28.10

Storytellers know that there’s no place like Oz in our conscious “Scarecrow,” directed by Peter Rothstein, is a radio-style telling with music and voice providing the landscape and characters. There is one fascinating element, though, that would be lost on radio. During interludes by the St. Paul bluegrass band House of Mercy, scenes from silent-era Oz films are projected on the Fitzgerald’s back wall. Immaterial to Kling’s particular story, these clips — mostly from the 1925 “Wizard of Oz” — nonetheless fill our heads with even more irresistible imagery — wholly different looks for the Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man; a flapper bob for Dorothy, and fields of goddesses. Weird? Yes, in a fascinating, good way. Again, it’s all about Oz.

Oz in the News 11.27.10

FRONT ROW CENTRE: ‘Wizard of Oz’ revival back on stage Cascone long dreamed of going back to the source and creating an original stage musical, one that would remain truer to Baum’s book, and yet be totally theatrical in style.  In 1999 he happened to meet a brilliantly talented composer from Texas, James Doyle. They bonded over their mutual passion of all things Oz, and decided to create their own musical, with Doyle supplying the score while Cascone wrote the adaptation.  Their collaboration was done mainly through correspondence, and by December 2000, timed to the 100th anniversary of the book’s publication, The Civic Light Opera Company presented the world premiere of this brand new musical.

Wizard of Oz Review: Here

Oz in the News 11.26.10

The Cowardly Lion Waits for Godot Goddard Lieberson, who produced original-cast albums for Columbia Records, had the brilliant idea to record a complete performance of the play. The existence of the resulting album, which has been out of print for the past quarter century, is no secret, but its longstanding unavailability has caused it to be overlooked by most people who write about “Godot.” Even John Lahr, the comedian’s younger son, fails to mention it in “Notes on a Cowardly Lion,” the uniquely perceptive biography of his father that he wrote in 1969.  It is, therefore, stop-press news for anybody who loves great theater that the 1956 recording of “Godot” is available once again, not as a CD but as an MP3-only sound file that you can download from Amazon for $3.56, or from iTunes for $5.99. (You can find it on either site by searching for “Bert Lahr.”) Culturally speaking, I’d call that the deal of the decade.

Wizard of Oz cast updates at London Palladium Hannah Waddingham (Wicked Witch Of The West), Edward Baker-Duly (Tin Man), David Ganly (Lion), Paul Keating (Scarecrow), Emily Tierney (Glinda), join previously announced Michael Crawford (Wizard), and Winner of BBC’s reality show Over The Rainbow Danielle Hope as ‘Dorothy’. Sophie Evans, who came second to Danielle Hope in the reality show, will play the role on Tuesdays from 8 March and also on the weeks that Danielle Hope is on holiday 2 May, 5 September & 12 September 2011.

Happy Thanksgiving from The Daily Ozmapolitan!

Oz in the News 11.24.10

Scarecrow on Fire: The Lost Notebooks of Oz Why did Kling decide to tell it from the Scarecrow’s point of view? In part to look at Kansas from an Oz perspective and also because he thought the Scarecrow would make a fine guide.  “You’ve got curiosity on your side, that’s his winning feature,” Kling says about the Scarecrow. “He soaks things up and everything is amazing to him. He’s the perfect storyteller.”  Of course, any show with an Oz theme wouldn’t be complete without tunes, and “Scarecrow on Fire” has music director Dan Chouinard at the helm, along with cellist Michelle Kenny and the House of Mercy Band, to provide an eclectic soundtrack with a “twist of Oz nostalgia.”

Walt Disney’s Journey to Oz “The indefatigable Walt Disney, who will be represented on the Music Hall’s screen on December 14 with Babes in Toyland is in association with his studio staff, working on a feature film that he does not expect to release before 1963. This is The Rainbow Road to Oz and it will involve not only ‘a multimillion dollar budget’, a spokesman for the for the producer said ‘but also months of writing, technical preparation and casting’. ‘The Rainbow Road to Oz,‘ our informant added in explanation ‘will be a live-action feature which takes up where The Wizard of Oz left off. Dorothy will return to the land of Oz and she’ll be involved with a variety of characters, such as the nephew of the Wicked Witch. No casting as yet. In the meantime, Disney is also in the midst of filming The Sword in the Stone. This too, is due in 1963.'”

Oz in the News 11.23.10

Fiction Fixers: The Curse of OZ The Land of Oz is in great peril. An evil man has erected towers that consume the people, light, and energy of Oz itself. Protect Dorothy and Toto as they travel across Oz in hopes of finding a way home to Kansas. Team up with the Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Lion and use their powers to overcome great obstacles. Beware of the Wicked Witch and Victor Vile! It’s up to you to save Dorothy and the Land of Oz in Fiction Fixers: The Curse of OZ, a fun Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game.

Sophie Evans- I’m really looking forward to The Wizard of Oz The performer will star in the musical every Tuesday and whenever Danielle Hope is away and she told the Western Mail she is excited but nervous. “Rehearsals start in December and I can’t wait to get started … I can’t really believe by the time I’m 19 I’ll have played Dorothy in the West End,” she added.

‘The Wizard of Panto-Land’ All of the witches and wizards and torch-singing Auntie Em are played by the astonishing Dante Maurice Sterling. Sterling is well over 6 feet tall with a huge voice, infinitely flexible face, and nimble grace. He towers over the rest of the cast and carries the action like a roller coaster.  In a clever twist, the audience becomes Munchkins and are cued to sing “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” at appropriate moments.

Oz in the News 11.22.10

Unique recordings send West Covina woman over the rainbow As Judy Garland shrines go, Cynthia Meader’s is rather understated: a “Wizard of Oz” clock, some wallpaper trim bearing the words “there’s no place like home,” and a Judy Garland star painted on the floor.  But Meader, 56, keeps the centerpiece of her Garland collection at a secure site. She owns two Decca Records demos of Garland’s earliest studio tests, when the young star was merely 12 years old.

Book Signing Event with Jerry Maren The most famous little person alive, Jerry Maren, will be signing his book Short and Sweet: The Life and Times of the Lollipop Munchkin at Alexa’s It’s New to You!, a Magnolia Park boutique located at 3416 W Magnolia in Burbank on Friday, November 26 from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M.

Cadmium, lead found in Oz drinking glasses AP’s testing, conducted by ToyTestingLab of Rhode Island, found that the enamel used to color the Tin Man had the highest lead levels, at 1,006 times the federal limit for children’s products. Every Oz and superhero glass tested exceeded the government limit: The Lion by 827 times and Dorothy by 770 times; Wonder Woman by 533 times, Superman by 617 times, Batman by 750 times and the Green Lantern by 677 times.

Boardwalk Empire “The Emerald City” L. Frank Baum’s “Oz” books have been picked over by critics and historians for their possible satirical implications, and though there’s no clear agreement on whether Baum was parodying progressivism, socialism, the gold standard, the gilded age, or nothing at all, it is true that Baum’s stories are frequently filled with false promises and men “behind the curtain.” When Nucky tells Margaret that he lives and works in someplace real, “not a fantasy world like Oz,” he’s right, of course. But he’s also, to some extent, fooling himself.

Oz in the News 11.21.10

Onstage spotlight: ‘Scarecrow on Fire’ Storyteller Kevin Kling subtitles this work “The Lost Notebooks of Oz.” He has written a series of stories that pick up on L. Frank Baum’s tale of Dorothy and her three companions. Peter Rothstein directs a show that includes music, theatrics and clips from a series of silent films made about Oz. Actors Stephen Yoakam and Simone Perrin are in the cast, and music director Dan Chouinard leads an ensemble that includes cellist Michelle Kenny and the House of Mercy band. The event was commissioned and produced by Minnesota Public Radio as part of the Fitzgerald Theater’s centenary.

Saturday Special Spotlight: Andre De Shields Today we are talking to an Emmy-winning stage star best known for his unforgettable turns as the Wizard of Oz himself in the original Broadway cast of THE WIZ, as well as his Emmy-winning performance in both the Broadway and filmed version of AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’.

Oz in the News 11.20.10

Following the Yellow Brick Road to Lisle There’s no place like home for “The Wizard of Oz” fan Laurae Kozlik.  Her enthusiasm for all things Oz has resulted in her becoming the goodwill ambassador for the International Wizard of Oz Fan Club. In her position as ambassador, she attends Oz festivals to help spread the word about the club, including last weekend’s Wizard of Oz event at the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville. At the theater and later for an interview with Lisle Patch, Kozlik wore a gingham hand-sewn Dorothy costume she purchased at the Yellow Brick Road. She enjoys surrounding herself with Oz memorabilia. Kozlik is legally blind, having lost sight in her right eye in 1989 because of a tumor. However, her disability has not dampened her go-getter outlook.

East Lynne presents ‘Life and Adventures of Santa Claus’ L. Frank Baum’s “The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus” will be presented by the East Lynne Theater Company on Nov. 26, 27, and Dec. 5, 10, and 11 at 8:30 p.m. at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St.  This adaptation is written by ELTC’s artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth, who also performs the 30-some characters in storytelling fashion.