Oz in the News 3.17.12

Life lessons found in quest for Oz  Toledo educator Claudia Cooper finds a number of metaphysical messages in The Wizard of Oz, which she will discuss at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Lyons Universalist Church, 145 E. Morenci St., Lyons, Ohio. Ms. Cooper, who studied drama, received a bachelor’s degree in special education, and attended St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo., said one of the helpful messages that a person can take home from Oz is to not be limited by fear. “We live our lives with all these worries, these concerns,” she said. “Dorothy and the others are on their journey to see the Wizard, but if they go through the woods they are probably going to encounter ‘lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!’ The fears we have in our daily lives — how are we going to pay these bills or do this or do that — they are the lions and tigers and bears of our lives. And they turn out to be something we can very easily deal with. They’re not as frightful as we make them out to be.”

‘Witches of Oz’ cheesy but fun for family   I’m guessing director-screenwriter Leigh Scott learned how to stretch a dollar as a disciple of B-movie director Roger Corman. The digital effects are second-tier, the pacing is slow (especially early on), and the acting also feels like television-series work for the most part — and not the best of that. An exception is Christopher Lloyd (“Back to the Future”) as the wily Wizard, who at one point claims to have once played Lear on the Omaha Playhouse stage. Wish I’d seen that.

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