Oz in the News 6.24.11

James Franco’s New Flick  “I never thought I’d play the Wizard of Oz,” Franco told us. “[But] I truly was a huge fan of the Baum Oz books when I was a kid. I read all of them when I was a kid, and they were some of the first books I read on my own, so I have been a fan for over 20 years.”

Danielle Hope on Jumping from Reality TV to the Lead in London’s The Wizard of Oz  “I’ve only ever seen The Wizard of Oz film twice, both times around Christmas as a young girl, and that’s probably been a benefit to me. What it meant was that I got my script on the first day of rehearsals like everybody else and read the lines as a 14-year-old girl in that situation without trying to imitate anything I’d heard or seen. It wasn’t about trying to copy someone or, on the other hand, trying to completely change it. It was, what is this character communicating, and how is this person communicating? I wanted to create a real person with real problems.”

As Coterie revisits ‘The Wiz,’ meet the man behind the curtain  “Charlie’s songs were very good, but Charlie was difficult to work with,” Brown recalled. “I had an apartment on East 46th, and I could get one with a terrace for an extra $5 a month. From the corner you could see the East River. Charlie came in and said, ‘Hi, nice pad you’ve got here.’ This was 10 o’clock in the morning and he said, ‘Have anything to drink?’  He wanted brandy. I didn’t have any brandy. I said would scotch be OK? He said that would be OK. So we sat there and started talking. He said, ‘I really don’t like meetings. If you have any ideas just write them down and send them to me.’ That was what collaborating with Charlie was like.”

Strange goings-on in Desert Opera Theatre’s ‘The Wiz’  Even in this twist on the “The Wizard of Oz,” one does not expect Dorothy to lose her phantom dog, Toto, or see a dancing Yellow Brick Road. And although many were undoubtedly prepared for the brainless Scarecrow and the heartless Tin Man, but what of the sissified Lion wearing leopard skin platform shoes, or the surprise twist on the identity of the Wiz, or the fact that at one point poor little Dorothy and her friends land in smack-dab in Watts?

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