‘Wicked Shoes’ exhibit taps into interest in all things ‘Wicked’ “So many of the pieces that have come in here have had hearts in them,” said artist Linda Muldoon, who co-owns the gallery. “And the heart and the home are connected. I think what’s remarkable about the entries is not only that they have hearts in them, but that they were made with heart.” There’s humor and whimsy, too. Appleton artist Tim Brunn submitted a painting of one of Oz’s infamous flying monkeys wearing ruby slippers. And Reedsville artist Pat Filzen’s creation features a fiber-art tornado twisting up out of a black oxford-type shoe. Filzen took a used shoe that she patterned after Dorothy’s shoes from Kansas, and drove over it with her car to flatten and crunch it. She threaded her felted fabric cyclone with wire and wrapped it around an old Jello mold that she painted grey. To the cyclone, she attached tiny figurines of recycled or repurposed materials that help tell Dorothy’s story. She cut and tied scraps from an old broom to create Dorothy’s friend, the Scarecrow, for example.
Oz You’re Worth It! The Wizard Of Oz doesn’t officially open until March 1 but The Sun attended a special preview last night. It was the first time the show has been open to the public – and it was truly spectacular. Witches sparkled and cackled, dropping in from the ceiling and rising from the floor. The yellow brick road dips and twists like a waltzer, and fire, smoke and steam effects create a dazzling atmosphere on stage. The majestic choreography is masterminded by former Strictly judge Arlene Phillips. Kids may find the Wizard – played by West End legend Michael Crawford – a bit scary, but everyone will be terrified by the demonic flying monkeys. The London Palladium has had a £4million overhaul to make it a suitable home for the high-profile show – and it was money well spent. The incredible collapse of Dorothy’s home in the tornado is almost cinematic, as computer graphics make the winds whirl as the house spins into space. And Danielle’s performance is as impressive as the stage show. Her rendition of Over The Rainbow made the spine tingle and earned her rapturous applause from the sell-out crowd.
Michael Crawford: I fought off ME to make Wizard comeback to the West End Lord Lloyd-Webber had tried several times to coax Crawford out of his hiatus, but only succeeded when the role of the Wizard cropped up. He said: “I had to think for a long time over this offer. In the end I felt it was too good to turn down. “It’s not a massive role, but I’m quite happy doing this, and I will see how it goes. I really didn’t realise until I got back the work that goes into a performance. You’re like an athlete – if you haven’t been practising things tighten up. I had to do a lot of practice work, but I got through it. Even when I was 21 I would have a 40-minute nap on the day of a show, and I will still do that. But it’s been so far so good.”
END OF THE RAINBOW Nominated for four Olivier Awards; Extends Run Peter Quilter’s End of the Rainbow starring Tracie Bennett as Judy Garland today extends its West End run again as Bennett is nominated for the 2011 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress. Peter Quilter also receives a nomination for Best New Play, Hilton McRae for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and Gareth Owen for Best Sound Design. Bookings at the Trafalgar Studios are now being taken until 21 May 2011. Terry Johnson’s production of End of the Rainbow which combines humour and heartbreak to capture both the drama of Garland’s final performances in London and her controversial life off stage, opened in Northampton in February 2010 and transferred to the West End in November where it has received 5 star reviews and standing ovations at every performance since opening night.