Oz in the News 6.15.11

‘Oz’ casting call attracts more than 3,000 people   In Pontiac today, more than 3,000 people were off to see the wizard — or, at least, the extras casting wizards for “Oz: The Great and Powerful.”  A large crowd showed up for an open casting call for the Disney movie starring James Franco and Mila Kunis, which starts filming this summer at the new Raleigh Michigan Studios complex.  The auditions, open to anyone 18 and older, began around 9:30 a.m. and were conducted with the orderliness of a Disneyland ride. Extras casting director Tracy Dixon spoke to several hundred people at a time inside a Raleigh cafeteria, a process that kept the wait for most people down to about an hour.

Judy Garland Plays Lincoln Center: 31 Musicals In All, Complete with Wizard of Oz Sing-along  In a seeming effort to ensure that the milestone of Garland’s 89th birthday did not go unnoticed, the Film Society of Lincoln Center is supplying details for its summer tribute to the actress and singer.  The festival, emphatically titled All Singin’, All Dancin’, All JUDY! (all caps!) will mark the first time in 40 years that Garland’s work has been collected in such a concentrated form.  Also of note in the line-up is a night before presentation on Garland and Oz by the film historian John Frick, who has written extensively about Garland and her most famous, bedazzled-red-shoe-featuring role.

Licensing is Full Speed Ahead for DOROTHY OF OZ  Licensing is full speed ahead for DOROTHY OF OZ as more than a dozen licensees have already agreed to create merchandise for the upcoming feature film. The 3D CG-animated musical starring the voice and musical talents of Lea Michele as the beloved Dorothy Gale is produced by Summertime Entertainment, which is founded by the Carroll Brothers, the multi-media production company set on revitalizing the beloved Oz franchise.  Rutherford aims to capture additional licensing partners to round out the product assortments in social expression, party goods, cosmetics, childrens electronics, candy and confections, publishing, bedding and home decor at the Licensing International Expo.

Readers “jump into” classics in publishing venture  Readers will be able to “jump” from a new adventure series into children’s classics “Treasure Island” and “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in a new digital book initiative launched on Amazon’s Kindle on Tuesday. Written by children’s author David Gatward and targeting children aged 9-12, the “Booksurfers” series features four children — Jake, Becca, Ryan and Harriet — who are kidnapped by an arch-criminal and his evil henchwoman. They are forced to jump “into” the classic adventure stories to steal famous fictional artefacts such as the map in Treasure Island, using a gadget called the Nautilus.

Capital Music to display Wizard of Oz memorabilia  Movie-goers planning on attending Saturday night’s showing of “The Wizard of Oz,” in downtown Holly might want to come a little early to take advantage of the rare opportunity to see some authentic Wizard of Oz memorabilia. Holly resident Helen Welsh is loaning her part of her extensive Wizard of Oz collection to Brad Rebar, owner of Capital Music and Sound Stage. With Wizard of Oz items like posters, books, dolls and even a pair of ruby slippers, Rebar hopes people will stop in for a look. A member of the International Wizard of Oz Club, Welsh, 82 began collecting Wizard of Oz collectibles over 35 years ago.

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