Oz in the News 5.9.12

‘Wizard of Oz’ as ballet  Starting Friday, “Wizard of Oz — The Ballet” returns to the main stage of the Burnsville Performing Arts Center (BPAC), where it had its world premiere in 2011. Conceived by Denise Vogt, artistic director of the Twin Cities Ballet, a resident company of BPAC, the production tells the familiar story through dance (ballet, modern, and jazz) and classical music by Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Strauss, Saint-Saëns, Khachaturian and other composers. No words, no “Over the Rainbow” or “Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead.”

‘The Wizard of Oz’ – Why this timeless classic continues to capture the hearts of every generation  A recent poll by marketing firm Aloft Group found that 99 percent of all respondents had seen the original film, with 71 percent having seen it more than five times and almost half of respondents had seen it more than 10 times.

Des O’Connor hopes wizard role will win him best newcomer After appearing 1,284 times at the London Palladium as a solo performer, Des O’Connor is set to star at the venue for the first time in a stage musical. The veteran entertainer, 80, has signed up to appear in the title role of The Wizard Of Oz — and joked that he hopes to win a best newcomer award.

Judge’s Wizard of Oz analogy too much for Government censors  It appears that the Government chose to censor a DC Circuit Judge’s rather inane Wizard of Oz analogy, in the name of national security. The recently de-classified decision, in which Judge Janice Rogers Brown denied a habeas corpus petition by a Guantanamo prisoner, compared the plaintiff’s case to the characters in The Wizard of Oz. “Like Dorothy Gale upon awakening at home in Kansas after her fantastic journey to the Land of Oz, Latif’s current account of what transpired bears a striking resemblance to the familiar faces of his former narrative. See THE WIZARD OF OZ (MGM 1939). Just as the Gales’ farmhands were transformed by Dorothy’s imagination into the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion, it is at least plausible that Latif, when his liberty was at stake, transformed his jihadi recruiter into a charity worker, his Taliban commander into an imam, his comrades-in-arms into roommates, and his military training camp into a center for religious study.”

The Wizard of OZ (1925) soundtrack by In The Country  On May 24th Organ Grinders is presenting a film and band combo more awesome and outrageous than anything that could have appeared to us in feverish dreams.  A silent film that few have heard of and fewer have seen: The Wizard of OZ (1925).  An adaptation so bizarre that if you play Dark Side of the Moon along with it… well, honestly it does not really work at all.  However what does work is the new soundtrack cooked up by Norway’s In The Country, special guests at the 2010 Portland Jazz Festival. They recently won The 2011 Independent Music Award for best long film for their CD/DVD Sights & Sounds and are here as one of only 3 stops on their US tour.

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