Oz in the News 4.11.12

Baum’s Aberdeen Oz Was a Baseball Diamond Beside the immigrant drawn by free homestead land, the other “typical” settler on the Dakota frontier of 1888 was young, restless and looking to escape the maddening crowd back east. Lyman Frank Baum was the second type. Baum believed Aberdeen was no one-horse prairie pothole. The Hub City was progressive — there were 20 hotels, a library, four restaurants and a half-dozen newspapers in town. Electric light service and telephones were available. With the addition of Baum’s store, Aberdeen had everything a civilized town might want or need. Except a baseball team. An ardent “crank,” as baseball fans were then known, Baum felt the lack keenly. Less than a year after he arrived in Aberdeen, L. Frank Baum helped bring a group of local businessmen together to field a team. They were so impressed with his enthusiasm and ideas they made him secretary, responsible for the club’s day-to-day affairs. A subscription of 300 shares sold out quickly, and the Hub City Nine were on their way.

New chronology of US history at Smithsonian to span from Pilgrims to ‘Oz’ to 2008 election  The National Museum of American History will open a new exhibit Thursday featuring iconic objects from pop culture along with objects dating back to the Pilgrims’ arrival in 1620. “American Stories” will be a new chronology of U.S. history from the first encounters of Europeans and Native Americans to the 2008 presidential election. Dorothy’s heels from the 1939 movie will help show the emergence of American pop culture. Other sections will explore the nation’s founding, growth, innovations and contemporary society.

Judy Garland’s Easter Parade Almost Didn’t Happen  Milwaukee native John Fricke is considered the world’s leading authority on the career of Judy Garland. His newest book is called Judy: A Legendary Film Career, published by Running Press. Fricke spoke with Stephanie Lecci about Garland’s film, Easter Parade.

Wicked: A Great Comic Book Musical  It’s not based on a comic book, but it has many of the same features as one. It’s a colorful set with a steampunk look. It has crazy costumes and makeup-laden characters. Monkeys fly above the crowd. It works very hard to fit into the continuity of an earlier story. It features several secret origins. And the whole thing is one big RetCon. I can’t imagine how that Spider-Man musical can compete with all of that.

Why The Wizard of Oz Should be Rated NC-17  With the slippers, Dorothy becomes West’s target for the bulk of the movie. Does Glinda know/care? Listen to her passive-aggressive read of the situation after West’s smoky departure: “I’m afraid you’ve made rather a bad enemy of the Wicked Witch of the West.” Now if Dorothy were the actual teenager Judy Garland was, and not the innocent/gullible 10-year-old she was playing, her response would have been: “I’ve made her an enemy? You did it, you bitch! I didn’t ask for these shoes!”

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