Oz in the News 7.13.11

Steampunk ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Debuts July 21  “The Wizard of Oz” production’s look is inspired by Steampunk, a science fiction genre influenced by the Wild West and Victorian Britain. Steampunk is a science fiction concept based off of the idea of “what if” the people of the Victorian era had access to the advanced technology of today,” says Christopher P. Tyner, managing artistic director for Evansville Civic Theatre and director of “The Wizard of Oz.”  “My goal in creating this new visualization of Oz is to entice audiences to see what can be done with the magic of theatre; that you can take something you have loved since you were a child and bring it forward to the next generation in a new and exciting way,” Tyner says.

Smilin’ Through: The Singles Collection 1936-1947  This 4-disc deluxe set is the first-ever complete anthology of Judy’s singles at Decca Records that includes all her master takes and known alternates. Seven alternate tracks make their CD debut here.  Until now, some alternate takes were only available on the 1984 LP “From The Decca Vaults.” Some others were mistakenly presented as the “A” takes when released by Decca on LP. In 1994, MCA Records released “Judy Garland – The Complete Decca Masters (plus)” that was missing several of these alternates. Additionally, the sound quality on many of the tracks on that set was sub-par to what had previously been released on CD.

San Diego Comic Con 2011: Selected Movie Panels on Sunday  Following last year’s pattern, the last day of San Diego Comic Con 2011 is all about kids. With the 8th annual San Diego International Children’s Film Festival being kicked off on Sunday, July 24, about 60 short films from around the world are brought to the convention in a presentation that runs from 10:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M.  “Tom and Jerry & The Wizard of Oz”, which will be available on Blu-Ray Combo Pack and DVD on August 23, will be premiered in a screening taking place at Room 6A.

Land of Oz comes to Boston Children’s Museum  In this interactive walk-through exhibition, fans of all ages can experience elements of the classic film. See a replica of Dorothy’s famous Ruby Slippers as well as authentic photos from the film. Move on to the Gale Farm and its simulated petting zoo, where guests can experience the feel of various farm animals. In Dorothy’s slanted bedroom, you can create your own tornado. At the Emerald City, use a kaleidoscope-like device to change the hue of the horse of a different color. Finally, stop by the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle, where younger visitors can ride the witch’s bicycle and use ropes to scale the side of the fortress to reach her coveted broom. Along the way, you’ll meet Dorothy’s friends the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion.

Ambrose Schindler followed his own road to success at USC and beyond  Time, in its game report, called Schindler a “superstar” who had “spurned all offers to play pro football.” Schindler by then had launched a fledgling film career, serving most notably as the stunt double for actor Jack Haley (the Tin Man) in “The Wizard of Oz.” In one scene, which of course had to be reshot, an overly exuberant Schindler pulled loose the Cowardly Lion’s tail as they climbed toward a mountaintop castle to rescue Dorothy from the Wicked Witch of the West. “Every time you see the Tin Man in a compromising, risky situation, i.e. climbing that mountain, that’s my dad,” Charlie Schindler notes. “They used strong, in-shape young jocks before there were such things as professional stunt doubles.” Schindler calls his stunt work “a lot of fun,” but he spurned Hollywood too, opting for a career in coaching.

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