Oz in the News 7.14.11

A fine romance celebrates ‘Great American Songbook’  “A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, 1910-1965,” is a collection of playbills, movie posters and publicity photographs that pay homage to the composers who wrote music and lyrics that became part of popular culture and idioms in American language. The show, based on a 2009 book of the same title written by David Lehman, starts Friday at the library, 19 Ross St., Batavia. It continues through Aug. 26 and can be viewed during library hours. The traveling exhibit, courtesy of the American Library Association, features works of iconic composers, musicians and playwrights such as Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Jerome Kern, Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein. Posters of films that featured their scores are also part of the show.

Judy Garland: All Singin’, All Dancin’, All Judy  This autumn marks the 75th anniversary of Judy Garland’s feature film debut (Pigskin Parade, 1936). It was the onset of a motion picture career ultimately unsurpassed in its timeless, classic amalgam of singing, dancing, comedy, and drama. In celebration, The Film Society of Lincoln Center joins forces with The Paley Center to present screenings of much of Judy’s movie and television achievement. The Garland events in both venues will be highlighted by special introductions, discussions, and exhibitions. Don’t miss these opportunities to share what critics have ceaselessly called the “magic” of Judy Garland!

On a trip to LA, consider a stay in Munchkinland  The hotel’s history is rife with rumors and legends, some of them true. Most of the 124 “little people” playing Munchkins stayed there in 1938 while “Wizard of Oz” was filmed. In that same year, “Gone With the Wind” was shot at the same studio. “The Culver transports the traveler back in time,” said producer Jon Katzman, who is more than familiar with the hotel’s history as the third generation of his family in the movie business. “Throughout the hotel’s idiosyncratic nooks and crannies, one can feel the history as if stars and starlets were sipping mint juleps across the hallway.”

Former FHSU professor pens new novel   “It is an Oz Book, so it is a children’s book, but it isn’t for children,” Sackett said. “It doesn’t have sex or anything in it, but it deals with philosophical themes, political themes and psychological themes. All of this could be completely lost on a kid.” In the book, Adolf Hitler rallies portions of the Oz population to his side. After becoming the Reichschancellor of Oogaboo, he turns its people into a military unit. He incorporates the people of Runnymead, who like to run, into his Panzer unit and incorporates the winged monkeys into his Luftwaffe division.

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