Monthly Archives: April 2012

Oz in the News 4.26.12

James Franco, Mila Kunis talk ‘Oz’  “He is a comedic character,” Franco, 34, said of the Wizard. “There are a lot of sides to Oz, but one of the main aspects of Oz is his comedy and his sense of humor. I think that allows a movie to get away with a lot.” Kunis, who was also on hand at Caesar’s Palace, acknowledged she was more nervous to partake in this movie than any that came before. “You create a character from scratch, and it’s your little being,” she said. “But when there’s an anticipation for what the character ultimately turns out to be, you don’t want to mimic that or copy that, because you’ll never be able to replicate it.”

James Franco Talks ‘Fresh’ Trip to ‘Oz’  “There’s a tendency in these big huge movies to make the actions bigger, make the explosions bigger and make the violence more intense. In this world, you don’t have to do that. It’s strangely a movie for everyone that still is kinda cool and I like being a part of something like that.”

Oz in the News 4.25.12

Rachell Sumpter Discusses Designing Penguin Threads Book Cover ‘The Wizard Of Oz’   The original Denslow drawings and design of the Wizard of Oz are already beautiful. There was also the movie made about it and numerous children’s books. It’s well covered ground graphically. I hadn’t stitched extensively before this either. I considered many options; there are so many meaningful moments in the book. Originally I was trying to do something with the yellow road and her slippers. It took a while to figure out what would work stitched. A lot of the early ideas were eliminated simply because didn’t lend themselves well to the line quality that stitching produces. I am grateful for the final result.

Mila Kunis & James Franco Bring ‘Oz’ to CinemaCon  The 28-year-old actress wore a Phillip Lim top, shorts and jacket, Dior shoes, and Jennifer Meyer and ALC jewelry. Mila and James attended the event to promote their upcoming flick Oz: The Great and Powerful, which hits theaters March 8, 2013. Oz is a prequel to The Wizard of Oz that tells how the Wizard (Franco) arrived in Oz and became the ruler. Mila will play Theodora, The Wicked Witch of the West, with Michelle Williams as Glinda.

Remembering a Munchkin  While Cynthia Marguerite Nickloy – a 35-inch tall woman who starred under the big top and in movies – may have died 50 years ago, but she has not been forgotten. She was able to attend the gala opening night at the Glove Theatre for “The Wizard of Oz,” where she told a crowd she made $55 per week in Hollywood. She also said she married twice and lost one child. One of the marriages was to a man taller than 6 feet. She said she had a romance with fellow “Oz” Munchkin Elmer Spangler, but wasn’t interested in settling down. On April 14, relatives of Nickloy gathered by her grave at a part of Prospect Hill Cemetery in Gloversville to see the new pink headstone of “Princess Marguerite.”

Secret Theatre Opens THE MERMAIDS’ TALE  While the name L. Frank Baum is most immediately associated with his legendary work The Wizard of Oz, the author is one of the most prolific writers to date.  Following the success of Oz, Baum would go on to write the charming underwater adventure The Sea Fairies, published in 1911. Though one of Baum’s more obscure titles, it came to the attention of playwright and director Jack Dyville and writing partner John Stutte, who were inspired to adapt the novel into a children’s musical. The Mermaids’ Tale, which opens the Children’s Repertory Series at Secret Theatre later this month, promises to be a magical, musical adventure for both children and adults. Dyville says “the play has morphed a lot since its premiere in 2011”, with the show becoming even more“interactive and child-friendly.”

Oz in the News 4.23.12

‘Toto the Tornado Kitten’ Gets Own Children’s Book   Meet Toto the Tornado Kitten, now on a media tour. Speaking with a local Fox affiliate in Boston this week, Jonathan Hall, the paramedic who adopted the cat, named him after Dorothy’s famous dog in The Wizard of Oz and then wrote the book about their adventure, retold Toto’s origin tale on TV: “One of the lucky survivors was Toto the tornado kitten here. He was a little kitten that was found by a tree worker in a tree the day after the tornado and rescued, he was turned over to us in the fire station … and we tried taking care of him but couldn’t.”

Wizard of Oz supposedly comes with a curse  Four months after the film was released Frank Morgan, who played The Wizard, was involved in a car accident in which his chauffeur was killed. Toto broke a paw when one of the Wicked Witch’s guards stepped on it. Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West, was badly burned during a stunt. And Judy Garland began taking amphetamines not long after playing Dorothy and soon progressed to barbiturates. She died aged 47 after accidentally overdosing.

KTL Radio presents The Wizards of Oz featuring Sister Dorothy Muhammad  The world renowned “word/nameologist” will be using her unique method of using letter & number frequencies to break down some coded messages intertwined in some of our favorite fables. She will be deciphering and decoded the hidden messages in “The Wizard of Oz” and explaining how the template for these characters helped her identify the “Wizards” in her world. Walk with Dorothy down the yellow brick as she unlocks the hidden meaning of the frequencies of numbers 1-10.

Oz in the News 4.19.12

Yip Harburg: A Lyricist For The Ages  During his 84 years on the planet, Yip Harburg contributed brilliant lyrics to some of the finest melodies of the American popular song canon. Most of his songs were originally written for Broadway shows or Hollywood musicals. Finian’s Rainbow is probably his most popular stage work, but he’s best known for working with composer Harold Arlen on music for The Wizard of Oz, a collaboration which won them an Oscar for “Over the Rainbow.”

An Over-the-rainbow Experience at the Oz-Stravaganza Festival, June 1-3, 2012  What began as a one-day affair 34 years ago has turned into a 3 day jubilation with featured guests, costume parade, Miss Oz-stravaganza Pageant, writing and coloring contests, a Munchkin Mile Fun Run for kids, live entertainment, food, vendors, fun and more! One of this year’s special guests include André DeShields, the award-winning actor who created the title role in the 1975 production of The Wiz on Broadway. Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked, the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West that inspired the Broadway musical, acts as the parade’s Grand Marshall this year.

Extending Arianna Huffington’s “GPS for the Soul” Into a New Operating System for the Economy  Slowly a new story started to come to me in which a new operating system utilizing a new kind of money and new kinds of banks could be realized. The result was a 2.0 version of The Wizard of Oz entitled: The Wiz of Iz. The Wiz of Iz, is a short read at 120 pages and it’s based upon an even shorter story about four good buddies who set out to change the world along the Route of the Rainbow. The story is one you might have heard: There was a very important job to be done and because this job was so important, Everybody was asked to do it. Everybody was sure Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. So Nobody did it. Somebody got mad about that because it was Everybody’s job. In the end, Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Oz in the News 4.18.12

Baum Reflections on Oz-Stravagana and His Great Grandfather  All of my experiences lead me to believe my great grandfather’s success came about because he never lost sight of the audience he wrote for.  He wrote just to please children of all ages.  He wrote his stories while looking at the world through the eyes of a child, just one step beyond reality.  Oz has become a home away from home, a safe haven where dreams are real and reality can be put aside, at least for awhile!  Oz is imagination unleashed, allowing all who enter, to soar “somewhere over the rainbow.”

Road to Avonlea’s Cedric Smith in The Wizard of Oz   We’re not in Prince Edward Island anymore. In the new Mirvish/Andrew Lloyd Webber production of The Wizard of Oz, it looks like the Wizard will be going down the yellow brick road instead of his more customary Road to Avonlea. The Star has learned that the title role in this version (originally played by Michael Crawford in London) will in all probability be played by Cedric Smith, veteran stage actor, original member of the folk group Perth County Conspiracy and creator of the role of Alec King in the iconic CBC-TV Series Road to Avonlea.

Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz Brings 2,300 Runners to Olathe  With Garmin as its title sponsor and a colorful Wizard of Oz theme, the tenth annual Garmin Marathon in the Land of Oz April 21 is attracting the attention of runners from across the country. Planners expect 2,300 or more participants in four running events: the Oz Marathon, the Wickedly Fast Half Marathon, the Dorothy Dash 5K, and the Munchkin Marathon.

Oz in the News 4.17.12

Breaking Glass Pictures Acquires North American Rights to the New Family Feature ‘After the Wizard’  After the Wizard is a heartfelt, often humorous and always entertaining story about a 12-year-old girl named Elizabeth (Jordan Van Vranken) who lives in an orphanage in Kingman, Kansas. Like millions of girls her age, she has read the beloved L. Frank Baum novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” countless times. But unlike other girls, Elizabeth believes she is Dorothy … and maybe she is. Because Elizabeth refers to herself as Dorothy and constantly looks for Toto and a way back to Oz, the headmistress at the orphanage worries Elizabeth is losing touch with reality.

Uncompromising Discourses Presents No Place Like Home 1-2 Review  Art wise its pseudo-Richard Corben in inspiration; Gothic in nature, indie-underground in stylization, heavy on inks and finally dark and decadent in colorization. Unlike Corben however it’s grounded more in realism, allowing the reader to be engaged in the atmospheric horror rather than be disorientated by the artwork. The pacing and structure of the book is another high point, although initially relying on the psychological elements of the implied horror rather than visual horror, the book slowly builds an intricate sense of tension before revealing the reality of violence and harm enacted upon the body by a common monkey.

Blu-Ray Review: The Witches of Oz  If its runtime had been cut in half, its noisy, disorganized and flamboyant silliness might be more endearing, but any movie that runs upward of two-and-a-half hours risks becoming monotonous, even if it’s chopped up into two separate installments, and a project this unfocused just can’t stand up to that challenge. Despite its epic runtime, “The Witches of Oz” doesn’t play like an epic fantasy at all – instead, nearly the first 90 minutes consists of non-fantastical set-up, peppered with vague flashbacks, character back stories, and a pointless romantic subplot, which is followed by a single bombastic fantasy battle, and then a conclusion.

First Footage from Animated DOROTHY OF OZ  Check out this interview video with Lea Michele, Megan Hilty and Bernadette Peters talking about their character work for the DOROTHY OF OZ animated film.

Oz in the News 4.15.12

A ‘Wicked’ veteran considers musical’s enduring appeal  “I’m always surprised when somebody comments about the Wizard being the villain of the piece. I think very few villains see themselves as villains. True villains, as a rule, don’t see themselves as such. I think the Wizard is a very simple guy, a very ordinary man who, due to circumstances beyond his control, found himself in an extraordinary situation where he became feared and deified in Oz. Being a simple man, he rode with it. He got himself carried away. As he says, ‘What can I say, I got carried away, and not just by a balloon.’ It’s an easy thing to do when people imbue you with supernatural powers.”

Mila Kunis on ‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ “Shooting a CG-heavy movie turned out to be good training for Oz: the Great and Powerful, which also stars James Franco, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz and is due out in March of 2013. “Oh, my gosh, it was amazing,” she says. “I don’t even know where to begin. Going from Ted to Oz was great, because I got to work with imaginary, inamimate objects. In Ted I practiced that, so by the time I went into Oz it wasn’t so hard to envision things going on around you.”

‘Wizard of Oz’-themed, first-person obituary by Saginaw Township woman goes viral  I’m off to see the wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz. Let us rejoice in what was a pretty cool life along my Yellow Brick Road. I, Michael E. Duvall, was loved — from the day I was born, Dec. 14, 1949, in Madisonville, to the day I died, April 7, 2012. Already awaiting my arrival in Emerald City are those who passed before me: my parents, Cecil and Mary Lucille (Morgan) Duvall, my niece Amy, and my first son, Jonathon M. Duvall. I’ve thought a lot about Jonathon over the years, and I look forward to our reunion. Left here in the Land of Oz are my beloved Munchkins and maybe a Flying Monkey or two. I wouldn’t dare say which is which.”