Is James Franco’s Oz Really Different From The Wizard of Oz? “It’s before the Scarecrow and the Tin Man and Dorothy and all that,” Abigail Spencer, who plays the Wizard’s assistant May, told me at the recent L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center benefit for homeless youth services at the Sunset Tower hotel. “It really goes deeper into how that story came to be. “It really is what the books are based on,” she added. “This is the real story and I think this is actually what the writer [L. Frank Baum] intended when he wrote them.”
‘Pinocchio’ on his way to Castlecomer – oh, yes he is! Pinocchio Escapes from Oz is this year’s quest, and director/ Dame John Coogan says it’s all coming together nicely for the show that opens on Tuesday night. “The story goes that Geppetto is after making the puppet Pinocchio come to life, but then Pinocchio gets fed up with what’s happening in the town of Twinkletrot,” he explains. “So the two comics Fagin and Snatch, played by Chubby Brennan and Midgy Dowd, come to town and persuade Pinocchio to come to the Land of Oz to have a better life. “They bring him to the wicked witch Esmerelda, who has turned ‘good’ because Dumbledore the wizard has cast a spell on her – but if they bring someone who is good, she will turn back to evil,” he says. So the plan of action is that Dorothy sets off to save Pinocchio, along with the Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow – and of course no story would be complete without Agnes the Dame.