Oz in the News 6.4.11

First Wizard of Oz Pinball Artwork Revealed This artwork is part of the hand-painted seven-piece set created by Jerry Vandersteldt.  Jerry said, “The cabinet sides, backbox sides, front coin door panel, backglass art and backbox glass insert are seven different works of art and will complete the story-telling treatment I have in mind for the entire exterior art package, but for now, enjoy this first glimpse into the backglass design of Jersey Jack’s very own, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ pinball machine!”  Jack Guarnieri said about the artwork, “If you know any of Jerry’s works, you better be ready to see an awesome finished art package like none ever produced for a pinball machine before. When this takes life through color and depth, everyone will be blown away.

Oz-Stravaganza weekend kicks off in Chittenango as Oz fans flock to area  The International Wizard of Oz Club, a group of more than 1,000 Oz enthusiasts based in California, had a booth set up promoting its organization. Founded in the early 1950s, the club was comprised of Oz fans, mostly teachers who loved the book. Fans of the MGM movie and Oz collectors later joined in.  The club participates in six different Oz festivals through the year, Chittenango being one of the longest-running, member Karen Owens said. The story of the Wizard of Oz offers people so much to learn. It’s a story of hope, it’s a story of promise,” Owens, of Michigan, said.

Dorothy’s stand-in: A miracle or two along the Yellow Brick Road  A year or so after appearing in “Rosalie,” Caren was hired as a stand-in for a film that is now an American legend. A young actress named Judy Garland was starring as Dorothy Gale in MGM’s “The Wizard of Oz.” The studio needed another actress, of roughly the same size, to do “walkthroughs” while technicians tinkered with the set and lights. Like Garland, Caren stood about 4-foot-11. She weighed around 100 pounds, which is about 20 pounds more than she weighs today.

Aadon Blu Olmsted, of Canastota, lives on in Indiana author’s Oz book  In L. Frank Baum’s 14 original novels on Oz, the creatures were said to live in the northern forests of Gillikin Country and made servants of travelers they caught in their webs. And Aadon’s charge — to oversee a field of pinwheels — was derived from the Olmsted family’s annual effort to plant blue and silver pinwheels across Madison County to raise awareness about child abuse and its prevention. “There were pinwheels of all sizes,” Wallace describes in chapter 22, titled “Moonrise in the Pinwheel Fields.” “They had fins of blue and white and long blue stems.” Wallace said the field of pinwheels is positioned to keep unwanted intruders from the Great Northern Peaks, where the Wizard of Oz is preparing for retirement. “I wouldn’t have thought of that,” Wallace said. “Now it’s a main element of our story.”

Myths Surround ‘Wizard of Oz’ As Festival Opens  Robert Baum, a retired schoolteacher from Los Angeles, sees all the interpretations and myths surrounding his great-grandfather’s novel and 1939 movie as amusing, if misleading. But it’s good for keeping the man and story alive.

Twists and Turns on the Yellow Brick Road  Salty Dinner Theater has opened their third production with a delightful adaptation from David Sanderson.  Mr. Sanderson has created a funny, laugh-filled version of the classic tale of Dorothy’s adventures in Oz.  This version has a slightly grittier Dorothy and is slightly more true to the novel than the Technicolor extravaganza most people are familiar with.  The evening begins with L. Frank Baum introducing the story and characters as the story progresses.  We meet all the usual characters, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion.

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