Oz in the News 3.5.12

Oz Gets Postmodernized  The show is full of new interpretations of Quincy Jones’ songs from The Wiz, and the fabulously energetic new choreography pays homage to the film’s. But this Oz is an edgy one with men in heels, a Korean performance artist of indeterminate gender and off-theme songs, such as “Lick Shots” by Missy Elliott. In fact, The Whiz has no narrative structure at all. There are theatrical elements—lots of costumes from sharp business suits to glittery bikini tops and boxing gear. Finally, a story is not the thing The Whizis here to relate. In an unusual arrangement, the artists and presenters agreed that The Whiz would be different in every iteration building up to this festival appearance and its subsequent seven-city tour. Performed by Leichter’s dance company with a gender-bending, MC-like persona played by Monstah Black, the work has progressed from a song-and-dance for three in a showcase in March 2008, to a 50-minute medley for eight dancers on a stage that could generously be called an asymmetric platform (Joe’s Pub in March 2010), to an evening-length work blown out to Abrons Arts Center’s proscenium stage in June. While cast members have broken the fourth wall in each setting, Damrosch Park, with seating for 3,000 and a capacity of 10,000, presents a challenge. “The yellow brick road is really long now,” Leichter said.

No Place Like Home #1 Sells Out  NO PLACE LIKE HOME #1, the first issue of a new Image Comics series by Angelo Tirotto and Richard Jordan has sold out after being released on February 22. A new printing (JAN128166) has immediately gone to press and will be in stores the same day as NO PLACE LIKE HOME #2 (JAN120598), March 21. A re-imagining of The Wizard of Oz, NO PLACE LIKE HOME tells the story of Dee, a young woman who returns home to Kansas from L.A. after the deaths of her parents. The deaths were attributed to a tornado, but a few people in Emeraldsville seem to know something more. Dee will have to uncover the small town’s dark secrets to solve the mystery.

Turner Classic Movies to Celebrate Judy Garland’s 90th Birthday on June 10th  Working with selections made by Emmy Award-winning Garland documentarian and author John Fricke, the cable television network has programmed eleven feature films, a documentary, and numerous short subjects for the event. Fricke will also appear on TCM for much of the Garland retrospective, discussing her career with host Robert Osborne. Between 12 noon (EDT) on June 10th through the 2 a.m. screening on June 11th, the duo will introduce six of the motion pictures as well as the documentary.

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