Monthly Archives: January 2011

Oz in the News 1.30.11

Andrew Lloyd Webber is halted on his Yellow Brick Road by health and safety officials Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber wants to celebrate the opening of his new show at the London Palladium on March 1 by transforming the road outside the theatre into the mythical highway.  But Westminster Council officials have ordered a risk assessment amid fears that theatre-goers could slip on the finished paintwork.

Red Sparkly Shoe Tribute to “The Wizard of Oz” The Paramount Arts Center will celebrate the 80th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” with the live musical March 10. But on Feb 7, women and girls are invited to participate in a tribute by wearing an icon from the filmed production.  Jenny Holmes of the Paramount writes in her blog that “national Red Sparkly Shoe Day” invites girls of all ages who believe red slippers can make anything happen to wear a pair on that day and click their heels.

Oz in the News 1.29.11

Actress, stunt player and Mobile native Elizabeth Barrington dies Her credits include roles in the films “Under the Rainbow” and “House,” the television movie “The Dreamer of Oz” and the TV series “Seinfeld.”  Her husband, Jerry Marenghi, who was billed on screen and known to fans as Jerry Maren, is one of only four surviving “Munchkins” from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz.” He and Elizabeth Barrington were married in 1975.

Turandot by Shanower “I’m about to start adapting the fourth book in the Oz series, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. These Marvel Comics Oz adaptations have been really popular. I’ve been an Oz fan ever since I was six years old and have worked on countless Oz comics and books before this Marvel Comics Oz series, so it’s pretty much business as usual to be working with this material. For these adaptations of the Oz books, I don’t try at all to make them my own. I just adapt the books as L. Frank Baum wrote them.”

Oz in the News 1.28.11

Andrew Lloyd Webber, Danielle Hope Set For BBC1’s The One Show 1/28 Andrew Lloyd Webber and The Wizard Of Oz’s “Dorothy” Danielle Hope are set to speak on BBC1’s The One Show this Friday January 28th.  The two will be discussing the show, which has begun rehearsals at the London Palladium. The first show preview is set for February 7.  Hope will be interviewed direct from her dressing room, along with her little dog too.


Attilio Alfred di Scipio, 83 While at The Singer Company from 1963 to 1970 as group vice president and CEO of the Consumer Products Group, he reached the milestone of 1MM sewing machine units. He sponsored the “Wizard of Oz” TV broadcast as a tribute to Judy Garland and commissioned a Norman Rockwell portrait of Garland as Dorothy, which he presented to the Judy Garland Medical Library at the Motion Picture Country Home and Hospital.

Oz in the News 1.27.11

The Wizard Of Oz: Burlesque Style You probably didn’t make it to New York to see “Friends of Dorothy,” a “Wizard of Oz”-inspired burlesque cabaret at Galapagos Art Space in DUMBO, New York but luckily Smosh-pit photographer Erich Harvey Brown did! Check out these awesome pics from the show!

The Film Connoisseur takes on The Wizard of Oz “inally, they reach the Emerald City, a city said to be the home to The Wizard of Oz. When they get there they discover that no one is supposed to see the all powerful Oz. The Guardian of the Emerald City Gates tells them “The Wizard? But nobody can see the great Oz! Nobody’s ever seen the Great Oz! Even I’ve never seen him!” This kind of reminds me of how no one is supposed to see God. Actually, the bible says that whoever sees God will die right where they stand. That quote spoken by The Guardian of the Emerald City Gates also reminds me of how no matter how much you think you know about the bible, truth is you have never seen God, or an angel, or a demon. Its all in your head, same as Oz is in Dorothy’s head. She’s dreaming the whole thing. Oz only exists in her mind.”

Oz in the News 1.26.11

The Whiz – Created and performed by nichoas leichter dance Ease on down the road to recession and back from the brink of fantasy in Nicholas Leichter and Monstah Black’s take on “The Wiz/ard of Oz” for the Obama generation. Featuring choreography by Leichter, and a commissioned adapted score by Black with added musical selections, The Whiz is a full-spectrum original show of song, dance, and theatrical extravagance. The work showcases an array of different dance, performance, and music styles – house, funk, postmodern, drag, hip-hop, contemporary, and psychedelic – which traverse a landscape of hopes, fears, dreams, and home. Whether exploring race and gender, the relationship between dancers, or between street and traditional dance styles, the movement evokes a cultivated culture clash. “Leichter hears the beat of the moment, and renders it into hot but human modern dance.”

Road to ‘Oz’ may lead Johnny Depp to Michigan Michigan’s biggest Hollywood movie project yet — a $105-million production at a huge new studio in Pontiac — has won approval for a $40-million tax credit that alone comprises more than 60% of all credits for 26 projects approved in the last six months of 2010.  Many signs hint that the movie is “Oz: The Great and Powerful,” a Disney prequel to the classic “Wizard of Oz” with Michigan native Sam Raimi directing and Johnny Depp negotiating for the lead role.

Oz in the News 1.23.11

Springfield author carries on legacy of Oz Roger Baum did not start off following in his great-grandfather’s footsteps. He’s had a slew of jobs from salesman to emergency medical technician to stockbroker.  He had dabbled in writing when one night in 1987, a friend challenged him to write an Oz book and said he would illustrate it.  “And I thought, it’s a little presumptuous,” he says.

Thousands Audition for Wizard of Oz in Iceland Approximately 4,000 children and teenagers went to Reykjavík City Theater on Wednesday to register for auditions for the theater’s upcoming staging of the musical The Wizard of Oz.  The theater is looking for 20-30 kids for parts as extras, such as monkeys, children and munchkins which the main character Dorothy runs into in her travels around the magical world of Oz, Fréttabladid reports.

Oz in the News 1.22.11

Emerald City Grill closes its doors in Chittenango Even the Wizard himself couldn’t mend the economic woes of the village’s downtown businesses, which struggled as the reconstruction of Route 5 reduced village’s main drag to gravel and downsized the annual Oz parade.  The project outfitted Chittenango with its own yellow brick road, but routed traffic away from downtown businesses for close to two years.  “Now it looks beautiful, but it is hard to come back from that,” she said.  Oz Cream, where a small ice cream cone was known as a “Munchkin,” closed its doors in 2006. The following year saw the departure of Auntie Em’s Place, which failed to reopen after a fire.

‘Fairly Legal’ season premiere: Lawyers and cross-dressers and ‘Wizard of Oz’ references, oh my! The show had enough eccentric elements (like the constant references to The Wizard of Oz) to make me want to take another look. However, as a Bay Area native, I have to note that the show’s portrayal of San Francisco is extremely silly — except for the constant (greenscreened) shots of the Transamerica Pyramid and an out-of-nowhere cross-dressing plot twist, the show might as well be set in Anytown, USA. (Or, more to the point, Vancouver.)

My Fair Wedding Season 4 Episode 4 Wizard of Oz David Tutera has created countless classic themed weddings in his career as a designer, but his latest bride Aime and her fiancé wish to have a Wizard of Oz-themed wedding. This will create a challenge for David like he has never seen before. From poinsettia centerpieces and giant lollipops, to homemade red glitter ruby slippers and a construction paper yellow brick road runner, David must take Aime’s wedding from kitschy to classy in record time. And with Emerald City an iconic element in Aime’s theme, green is the main color in this bride’s nuptial landscape – a color at the top of David’s “Distasteful” list! David makes changes from top to bottom…and one which unknowingly will put him and his bride in jeopardy!

Oz in the News 1.21.11

  THE WIZARD OF OZ Blog: ‘Green Screen’ Witch Shoot! Recently, members of The Wizard of Oz creative team popped along to a film studio to shoot a very special bit of “Green Screen” footage that will be used in the upcoming production. Here, resident director Kate Golledge, takes us behind the scenes to see what went on – let us know if you spot the footage in the show!

Kansas Lottery paintings for the state’s 150th birthday “Famous Kansans” by Elaine Lierly- Jones, which includes Emmett Kelly, Dwight David Eisenhower, Buffalo Bill Cody, Amelia Earhart, Buster Keaton and Judy Garland, who played Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.” This painting is part of a collection commissioned by the Kansas Lottery to celebrate the state’s 150th birthday.

Pops orchestra is off to play ‘The Wizard’ Imagine what it must have been like to hear a live orchestra accompany Judy Garland as she sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”  Imagine no more: The TSO Pops orchestra is performing “Oz with Orchestra” this weekend.  As “The Wizard of Oz” plays on a big screen in the background, the orchestra will perform Harold Arlen’s songs from the classic movie. And yes, you’ll hear Garland’s voice, too. Constantine Kitsopolous will lead the TSO.


Oz in the News 1.20.11

Robert Downey Jr. Out of Sam Raimi’s ‘Oz The Great and Powerful,’ Johnny Depp Circling Robert Downey Jr. has not only stepped out from behind the curtain, he’s gotten into the house and flown back home to Kansas. The Iron Man star has dropped out of Sam Raimi‘s upcoming Oz The Great and Powerful leaving the project, which has just hired a unit production manager to start designing sets, without a title character. The film is about “a young illusionist with a grandiose attitude who is forced to flee a traveling circus. His hot air balloon is swept up by a tornado to the land of Oz, which is run by two magical wicked witches,” according to the Hollywood Reporter, and now Disney is hoping to fill the lead role with an even bigger star: Johnny Depp.

Oz in the News 1.19.11

OZ within their grasp “The Puppeteers” is a madcap comedy directed by Jeff Wills of Zuppa del Giorno, Electric Theatre Company’s contemporary American commedia dell’arte troupe. The show is inspired by L. Frank Baum’s stories of Oz, including the most familiar one, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”  The show centers around three “Scrantonians” who discover a magical world underneath a house, full of mysterious challenges, in which they will need brains, courage and heart to overcome.  “What’s great about this show is that it will be different every night,” Wills said. “The actors will have the ability to adapt the story before, during and even after a show. This makes it exciting and different each performance.”

Hope ‘won’t take criticism personally’ Of the possibility that some may not enjoy her performance, Hope told The Observer: “Yes, of course. It’s like Marmite: you love it or you hate it. Everyone’s got a different opinion.  She continued to explain the challenges of the role, saying of the four dogs playing sidekick Toto: “I’m 18, I’m a leading lady, a singer and a dog trainer. I mean, who’d have thought it?  You have to teach a dog set ways to do things and then repeat it over and over again. It’s so hard because a dog knows if your emotion is real… Your acting has to be so truthful to the dog.  And they’re heavy too. I’ve been free-weight training with bags of sugar in pillowcases. They each weigh about 8kg but one of them weighs 10kg.”

Tracie Bennett Set for February 5 CD Signing to Celebrate End of the Rainbow Release Tracie Bennett will appear at London’s Dress Circle on February at 1pm for a CD signing to celebrate the release of the new recording of End of the Rainbow. The album, released by First Night Records, will be available for purchase and download on January 31.  In End of the Rainbow, running at the Trafalgar Studios, Bennett plays Judy Garland in 1968 as she struggles to make her comeback, even as she battles with drugs and alcohol.