Oz in the News 11.10.11

‘The Wizard of Oz’ by Beijing art troupe in Xiamen  The Beijing Ugly Duckling Cartoon Art Troupe will perform the classic drama “The Wizard of Oz” on Thanksgiving Day, which this year falls on the 24th November, at Xiamen Lotus Theatre.  Written by Frank Baum, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ has become America’s greatest and best-loved homegrown fairytale since its publication in 1990. Known as ‘Journey to the West’ in America, it was named one of 10 best children’s books ever by the NEA. It has spawned an enormous number of sequels, stage plays and musicals, movies and television shows, biographies of Baum, scholarly studies of the significance of the book and film, advertisements, and toys, games, and other Oz-related products.

Bruce Campbell Didn’t Make the Cut for ‘Oz’  Sad news for fans of Bruce Campbell looking forward to his role in Sam Raimi’s Oz: The Great and Powerful. He tweeted that his scene in the movie didn’t make the cut. “News: my scene in Oz has been cut before shooting. It happens on epic flicks. Disappointed, but all good w/Sam. On to the next adventure!” Oz: The Great and Powerful is the prequel to The Wizard of Oz and stars James Franco as the Wizard as he begins his journey to becoming the ruler of Oz. It’ll be out in theaters on March 8, 2013.

My Five Things: Wicked Novelist Gregory Maguire  “It’s no secret that I admire the fine work Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman and associates have done turning my book into Broadway gold. That makes me able to laugh out loud, without a twinge of regret or guilt, at parodies of Wicked: the Musical. References, rip-offs, homages, in the last year occurring on The Simpsons and South Park, make me realize that my private exercise in character rehabilitation tweaked some gene of popular culture. I’m not sick with power, just sick with laughter.”

Gregory Maguire: Language of childhood binds us  “I suppose I was deciding to occupy Oz,” Maguire says. “I was saying, the musical is wonderful, but this is my story, and I’m going to do with it what I want. Going back to write the series was a way of, in a sense, going back to claim ownership of that again.” And while the “Wicked” series may be over, Maguire’s legacy is lasting: One need only look at the slew of recent films and TV programs inspired by classic tales. “The fairy tales and the stories that we get as children are one of the few common tongues that we have,” Maguire says. “We all speak the language of childhood. … I love that there’s one common language left.”

Homecoming bonfire returns to campus  The Lip Sync Competition began and groups of student organizations were judged based on creativity, choice in music, lip sync ability, costumes and crowd response. Students seemed to have a great time at the party.  The final performer of the night and winner of the first place position, the NAACP, was certainly a crowd pleaser.  Their performance featured the “Wizard of Oz,” including Dorothy, the wicked witch, the tin man, scarecrow and the cowardly lion. The cowardly lion represented Roomie, as he needed courage from the Wizard to defeat the Bearkats in the big Homecoming game on Saturday.

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