Oz in the News 2.18.11

Mila Kunis Melts for Role of Wicked Witch of the West in Sam Raimi’s Oz, the Great and Powerful After a recent meeting with Raimi and Wizard James Franco, all agreed that Kunis would be perfect for the part of Theodorah, the younger sister of Evanorah who goes on to become the Wicked Witch of the West and, of course, to cackle iconic lines like, “I’ll get you, my pretty … and your little dog, too!” With her involvement assured, we’re told that Franco finally agreed to do the picture.

‘Wicked’ star Brummel enjoying turn as Elphaba “I didn’t want my interpretation to be changed by the novel,” she said. “Now that I’ve settled into the role, I’m very eager to read the book, now that I have what I perceive as the character. Now I think I’d be able to read it and enjoy it for the book that it is.”  Her favorite moments in the show are the biggies: “There’s the iconic ‘Defying Gravity’ — you can’t help but feel like a rock star by the end of that. The only thing that’s strange is, you don’t have any room to move around — you’re singing this huge song with very little space to move.”

Theatre students to perform modern ‘The Wizard of Oz’ In the musical, residents of Emerald City sport couture costumes, 21st-century technology is integrated into the plot and the wizard has been transformed into a modernized version of the 1939 original.  Although the feel of the musical incorporates modern themes, Graham Lundeen, a theatre junior who will play the Cowardly Lion, said the audience still will take away the same idea from the production.  “We haven’t changed the journey or the characters or the message,” Lundeen said. “Everything that was already there is still very true to what was in the ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (film).”

DAO Culture Night to present zany ‘Oz’ spoof For this winter’s Asian Culture Night — taking place on Saturday at 6 p.m. in Collis Common Ground — the Dartmouth Asian Organization will present a spoof on “The Wizard of Oz” that explores the effect of Asian stereotypes on Dartmouth students. According to DAO organizers, the play — titled “The Kim of Oz,” in reference to College President Jim Yong Kim — uses light-hearted fun to provide a powerful message about identity.  The play, billed as “an original musical with no original music” by the event organizers, brings the story of “The Wizard of the Oz” to the Dartmouth campus. Borrowing songs and other elements from the musicals “Wicked” and “The Wiz,” the play — written by Culture Night co-chair Danny Freeman ’13 — chronicles the experiences of Dorothy, a high school student from Asia whose dream is to attend Dartmouth.

TCM (Turner Classic Movies) is Popping UP in South Africa The popular film channel (available through DSTV), plans to give cinema goers a heart, a brain and some courage as it brings to life all the pivotal movie moments in a tangible, creative and exciting way – by putting the viewer right at the centre of the action.  The Arts on Main in Johannesburg will be taking 150 eager film enthusiasts somewhere over the rainbow to experience the Wizard of Oz-inspired elaborate set designs and interactive actors and fully immerse them into the world of Oz.  “TCM Pop Up Cinema will be like nothing you have experienced before, it will allow each and every person to get involved in the fun,” said Alan Musa, VP and GM, Middle East, Africa and Pan Region for Turner.

‘The Wizard Of Oz’ Lives Again In New CD From Saxophonist Peter MacDonough On MacDonough’s latest album, “The Woo: A Latin Jazz Suite for Soprano Saxophone,” music from the 1939 classic film adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz” is colorfully reimagined. By adding Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian textures, MacDonough takes songs that while timeless are still products of a distant era and awakens them to the 21st century.  “The Wizard of Oz” isn’t in Kansas anymore. Instead, just as the title of MacDonough’s CD suggests, he is somewhere tropical. “Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are (Part II),” for example, is invigorated by jumpy percussion that reflects the spicy, sun-soaked good vibrations of Latin music. “We’re Off to See the Wizard” is injected with an electrifying charge as rambunctious piano and MacDonough’s sassy saxophone lead the march. Through it all MacDonough’s saxophone playing is the thread that ties the tunes together. His sax conveys numerous moods, from the quiet reflection of “Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are (Part I)” to the infectious giddiness of “Optimistic Voices.” No moment is wasted, and each track is masterfully crafted.

Can’t Touch This: Toy Fair 2011, Engage!, and Virtual Pocket Money Brand expansion is nothing new; the trick now is how to extend characters and brands interactively. As relatively established as the virtual world concept is, and as much representation as it had at Engage!, the only born-a-book virtual world on display was “Dorothy of Oz,” an interactive virtual world commissioned from Dubit by Summertime Entertainment. Summertime is currently at work on CGI films derived more from the original L. Frank Baum books than from the 1939 film, and the Dubit representative talked enthusiastically about “bringing the classic book forward.”

Superbreak urges agents to sell off Wizard of Oz hype Superbreak is urging travel agents to sell London packages off the back of the media hype surrounding The Wizard of Oz. The operator has reported that agents have already secured more than £250,000 worth of bookings to the musical, which officially opens on 1 March. “This show has been much anticipated since the BBC TV show ‘Over the Rainbow’ saw Danielle Hope win the role of Dorothy back in June last year. The addition on Michael Crawford as the Wizard will I am sure, make this a must see for 2011,” said Graham Balmforth, national sales manager at Superbreak. “Agents have already sold over 1500 customers to the show and I expect the media hype surrounding the opening night to create a real buzz which I urge agents to ride on the back of. This is a show that appeals to all types of customers and we have a range of package options to suit all budgets.”


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