Monthly Archives: August 2012

Oz in the News 8.30.12

What if… it was the Hipsters of Oz?  Since every generation has gleefully embraced The Wizard of Oz, it got us thinking… Suppose the story was told through the lens of one of the most prominent groups of today’s generation: hipsters. What if we put on a pair of magical vintage Wayfarers, ones that gave us “Hipster Vision,” and revisited this timeless classic? Would Dorothy have packed a thermos of coffee in her courier bag before embarking on her journey? Would the Cowardly Lion have proudly sported bed head? Would the Scarecrow have stuffed his straw into skinny jeans?

28 years later…. an Oz Club Member!  You would have thought that given I have been a major lover of all things Oz since I was about 5, I would have joined the Oz club sooner rather than take 28 years. Well I did nearly join on a couple of occasions but ultimately I never got around to it. I think this has a lot to do with feeling a little disconnected from other Oz fans, the Oz club was there online as well a few Oz fans, but I never really felt a connection with the Oz Club in the UK, there are not so many of us who are fan’s of the Oz series of books in the UK. I’m certainly not aware of any conventions ever happening in the UK, so it can be quite solitary being an Oz fan collector over here.

No Place like Home – Wizard of Oz Festival marks 31 years ‘Over The Rainbow’  The Wizard of Oz Festival is an important event for the people of Chesterton. Through the years it has grown in size, drawing thousands of Wizard of Oz fans from across the country and from places as far away as Poland. “We’ve received calls from all four corners of the U.S. from people telling us about all the memories they’ve had here,” said Machelle Blount, one of the people who helped organize this year’s festival. “The community has been very supportive.”

Oz in the News 8.26.12

The Many Variations on the Wizard of Oz   The Judy Garland version actually flopped at the box office, initially. But resurgence from initial failure or indifference is a sure sign to me of a powerful cultural myth, and the story is still watched and referenced today (one of the characters in The Avengers refers to flying monkeys, and Captain America, reawakened after having been frozen in ice since WWII, remarks “I got that reference.”)(the list of TV shows and movies that reference it goes on and on and on, if you’d care to have a look).  L. Frank Baum (author of the original Oz novels, of which there were seventeen)’s imdb page lists a whopping 125 credits, almost all of them Oz related.

Comic Book Legends Revealed #381  While everyone is familiar with L. Frank Baum’s classic The Wonderful World of Oz (which was published in 1900), less famous is the illustrator of the book, W.W. Denslow. Interestingly enough, Denslow owned the copyright to the first book with Baum 50/50. Sadly (for Denslow), even then, Baum was accepted as the “real” author of the Oz characters and while Queer Visitors was a hit (as was the new novels, which Baum would continue putting out until his death in 1919), Denslow’s strip faded into obscurity very quickly.

Oz in the News 8.24.12

Inside the Baum legacy According to local legend, L. Frank wrote his most famous story, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” while at Lake Macatawa, and when he wasn’t writing enjoyed telling stories to all the children around. “I think my great-grandfather probably did write some of his stories here,” Baum said. “As for telling stories to the children, I can’t imagine him not doing that. Being here gives you a feeling of what it was like to be L. Frank Baum.”

Wizard of Oz fans help mark historical site  A landmark from Wizard of Oz fans now sits on the waterfront lot where L. Frank Baum’s summer vacation home once stood. Baum, author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”, vacationed in Macatawa with his family in the early 1900s. During the International Wizard of Oz Club’s visit to Holland Aug. 17-18, club members visited the gated Macatawa Park community and donated the marker to the developers of the area.

Oz in the News 8.23.12

Wizard of Moms: Does Menomena’s new album pass the Oz test?  Everyone knows Pink Floyd did it with Dark Side of the Moon, but it’s less common knowledge that a full decade worth of classic albums were recorded in careful lockstep with the classic 1939 film. Frampton Comes Alive!? More like Frampton Sees the Wizard! Blood on the Tracks? More like Blood on the Yellow Brick Road! Songs in the Key of Life? More like Songs in the Cowardly of Lion! Bat Out of Hell? More like Bat Out of Kansas!

Judy Garland – Hollywood Costumes On Display In V&A  Iconic Hollywood costumes will go on display in London this autumn. Some of the most memorable outfits to ever grace the silver screen will be showcased in a special exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum, from Judy Garland‘s gingham pinafore in ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and the black dress worn by Audrey Hepburn in ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ to Sharon Stone‘s racy white number from ‘Basic Instinct‘. Deborah Nadoolman Landis, guest curator and Hollywood costume designer, commented: ”This landmark exhibition will provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the most beloved characters in Hollywood history and gain insight on the role of the costume designer and their vital contribution to cinema storytelling.” The extensive exhibition was five years in the making and costumes were sourced from all over the world, gathering objects via museums, motion picture studios, costume houses and private individuals.

Next stop, Oz: Actress eyes Dorothy role  Windsor’s Danielle Wade is among 20 semifinalists in a nationwide search for the role of Dorothy in a stage production of The Wizard of Oz. The 20-year old LaSalle resident is in Toronto this week at “Dorothy Farm,” an intense training and selection process aimed at whittling down the number of finalists to 10 for CBC-TV’s fall reality show, Over the Rainbow, starting Sept. 16. Ironically, Over the Rainbow was one of the first songs Wade sang on a stage.

Oz in the News 8.22.12

Wizard of Oz fans hit Holland, ruby slippers and all  Just ask Walter Krueger and he can tell you the price of a replica pair of ruby slippers or the value of the original Emerald City wool coat. He owns both. As an avid fan, collector and appraiser for Wizard of Oz Collectors United, Krueger, of Chicago, has devoted a good portion of his life to the Wizard of Oz story. Krueger was one among about 100 Wizard of Oz fans who gathered at the Doubletree Hotel in Holland this weekend for the annual International Wizard of Oz Club National Convention.

Wamego, Kan., offers fans a road to Oz  Stepping into the Oz Museum, 511 Lincoln in Wamego, pulls visitors into the magical land, where life-size figures of the main Oz characters gaze at visitors. Greeting visitors as they enter is a giant Tin Man, signed by Roger S. Baum, great-grandson of L. Frank Baum. Roger S. Baum has written multiple “Oz” books, including “Lion of Oz and the Badge of Courage,” which was adapted into the animated feature, “Lion of Oz.”

Local playwright gives ‘Wizard of Oz’ a campy, thriller spin“Dot’s Journey” will be presented as an old-time radio drama, with the actors standing and speaking into microphones onstage, with live sound effects. “It’s a campy vintage thriller,” says the imaginative playwright, who is directing the show’s premiere. Set in California circa 1939, the “Oz”-paralleling story has Dot (played by Jennifer Sanford Bernhardt) traveling on a train called the Yellow Trail Express, where she encounters three men with personality traits that parallel the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion (Doug Tennant, Leland Pettis, Scott Mason).

Oz in the News 8.18.12

Wizard of Oz Club convention visits Oz history in Macatawa Park  The International Wizard of Oz Club kicked off its National Convention in Holland this weekend with a nostalgic tour Friday through Macatawa Park, where L. Frank Baum, author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” once spent his summers. Oz fans from across the nation traveled to the Lakeshore for the club’s first convention in the area in 25 years.

Off (to Holland) for Wizard of Oz weekend  Guests for the weekend include Christianna Rickard, author of Remembering Oz and niece of Ray Bolger (who played the Scarecrow); Tom Doyle, author of The Wizard of Macatawa; Angelica Carpenter, author of Frank Baum: Royal Historian of Oz, and author and historian John Fricke. International Wizard of Oz Club members also will put on a play based on Baum’s book Tamawaca Folks: A Summer Comedy, tour the Macatawa Bay Yacht Club, of which Baum was a member, and walk the route that Baum would have taken from the Chicago ferry dock to his Sign of the Goose cottage on Lake Michigan.

The Wizard of Oz comes to Coeur d’Alene  Time Warner Cable and KXLY ABC 4 are proud to host the sixth annual “Movie in the Park ” at Coeur d’Alene City Park on Friday, August 17th.  This year’s feature movie is the 1939 musical classic, “The Wizard of Oz.”  This event has become somewhat of a North Idaho tradition for families and movie fans of all ages.  Everyone is encouraged to dress up as their favorite “The Wizard of Oz” character for a fun and festive evening.  Time Warner Cable will also be providing complimentary photos in front of a “Yellow Brick Road” themed backdrop.  A photographer will be on hand to take photos for everyone to take home as a keepsake, courtesy of Time Warner Cable.

Oz in the News 8.16.12

Wizard of Oz Club convention returns to Holland after 25 years This weekend, about 100 “Oz” fans will gather to discuss the islands, castles and homes that attracted Baum to the close-knit community in the early 1900s. They will visit the site of his former three-story home in Macatawa Park, walk the trails he walked, and see the steamship landing that welcomed Baum from Chicago each summer from about 1898 to 1909. “This year’s convention is a little bit more historical,” Kathleen Di Scenna, the club’s chairperson, said.

Sony’s Oz-Somely Huge Rainbow Art  Culver City is the place over the rainbow (actually, Culver is both sides of the rainbow, if you want to get technical). “The Wizard of Oz” began production on the Sony Pictures Studio lot, making rainbows and the city forever entwined. Now an actual colorful arch will stand on the very lot where “Oz” shot in the form of artist Tony Tasset’s “Rainbow.” And, like a real rainbow, it will have a rather impressive size: The artwork will be “94 feet across by 188 feet tall.” The mega bow will, in fact, span the distance between Thalberg building and Madison Gate, if you know your studio layout. If you aren’t as familiar, the stretch is impressive.

Wizard of Oz Stylized Bridal Shower  When I walked into the house, I couldn’t help but instantly smile at the transformation and welcoming sweet smell of fresh blossoms.  Nicole of Blooms of Hope had stylized a bridal shower she was throwing for a friend.  The décor was not just your ordinary shower details – it was a sophisticated twist on the Wizard of Oz in  From a glowing yellow brick road, haystacks, ruby blooms, and perfectly colored drinks, it was a feast for the eyes.  Joanna of Three Little Birds Studio designed the most gorgeous bridal shower invitations, drink tags and cards reflecting quotes from the movie.  There were details tucked within the blooms and in the small spaces in each room.  Seriously amazing.  Seriously.  It was absolutely gorgeous and I could not get enough of photographing their vision and work. You can only imagine the reaction when the bride-to-be and her guests arrived!

Wizard of Oz hits Bacchus Marsh  FROM Dorothy and Toto to the Tin Man and cowardly Lion, Bacchus Mash will be transformed into its very own Wizard of Oz. As part of the shire’s annual Literacy Trail on August 30, children and adults alike will let their imaginations run wild as they walk the wonder trail of Oz down Main St.  The Literacy Trail also includes a host of colourful characters on the day including stilt police, circus dogs, a magic chef, fire juggling, story telling, and the police band.



Oz in the News 8.11.12

Mapleton triplets put faith in Wizard of Oz garden  The Wizard of Oz Garden got its start in 2002 when the park board director noticed that a 3/4 acre area in Butler Haynes Park needed some sprucing up. He asked Ekvall if she had any ideas. Ekvall took the question to the Hollis Park District Garden Club. They quickly came up with an idea for a children’s garden. “Looking at the lay of the property, you could just see the Wizard of Oz Garden,” she said. It took 425 brick-faced stepping stones to create the yellow brick road, which was installed by volunteer Frank Sanders, Ekvall said. Sanders’ wife Wanda and Ekvall hauled the pavers as Sanders worked. “It took almost the whole summer,” Ekvall said. A coat of yellow paint completed the look. At the same time, other volunteers put in garden beds to represent the various scenes in the movie.

‘Oz: The Great and Powerful’ the most flat-out fun ever, says Rachel Weisz  “I got to shoot lightning out of my fingertips, fly around in a black-sequinned dress and wear lots of red lipstick. It was a complete antidote to doing Bourne – not that Bourne needed an antidote.” She said of the action film: “The stunts were terrifying. There were weeks spent on the back of a motorcycle, with Jeremy [Renner] riding it, jumping over intersections and down staircases, and jumping off bridges in harnesses and onto moving buses.

Oz in the News 8.10.12

Exclusive: Plot Point Revealed for Sam Raimi’s “Oz: The Great and Powerful”  Oscar Diggs (James Franco), a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, is hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz. At first he thinks he’s hit the jackpot-fame and fortune are his for the taking. However, that all changes when he meets three witches, Theodora (Mila Kunis), Evanora (Rachel Weisz), and Glinda (Michelle Williams), who are not convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. Reluctantly drawn into the epic problems facing the Land of Oz and its inhabitants, Oscar must find out who is good and who is evil before it is too late. Putting his magical arts to use through illusion, ingenuity-and even a bit of wizardry-Oscar transforms himself not only into the great and powerful Wizard of Oz, but into a better man as well.

Fashion Inspiration: Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz  Even though the film was released in 1939, Judy Garland’s Dorothy remains a fabulous source of fashion inspiration! Her gingham print dress and girly aesthetic can be used to inspire your everyday looks. Below, I’ve created several outfits inspired by Dorothy Gale.

Review: After the Wizard  “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” becomes grist for an earnest exercise in child therapy in “After the Wizard,” a maudlin drama about a modern-day Kansas girl who identifies a bit too closely with the characters in L. Frank Baum’s beloved storybook. Primarily a fish-out-of-water fantasy in which the Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman find themselves traversing the Midwest, writer-director Hugh Gross’ wooden if well-meaning indie has its charms, but may leave over-imaginative tots feeling patronized rather than captivated. Pic will segue quickly to DVD following a brief theatrical release.

Garland Street Fair features contests, music and little dogs, too  On Saturday, the Garland District is putting on its 10th Garland Street Fair. Sure, it’s a tribute to Judy Garland and “The Wizard of Oz,” but it’s also a day full of kids activities and live music, food and local vendors. “We are expecting around 20,000 people to come up here,” said fair director Amy Cutler. “Something new this year is the block party that picks up when the street fair is over and runs through 10 p.m.”

JSP Records to Release Remastered Collection “Judy Garland: Creations 1929-1962 – Songs She Introduced”   JSP records will release a four-disc remastered set of Judy Garland compilation albums, billed as “Creations 1929-1962 – Songs She Introduced,” in early 2013, the London-based label announced Aug. 9. Containing 92 songs and over five hours of music, “Creations” will feature rare Garland photos and remastered recordings of songs Garland was the first to perform. They include “Over The Rainbow,” “Good Morning,” “Paris Is a Lonely Town,” “It’s A Great Day For The Irish,” “Be A Clown,” “Sweet Danger,” “The Man That Got Away” and more.

There’s No Place like The Judy Garland Museum  The Museum not only touched on Judy’s upbringing as a child performer (she began performing with her sisters at just two years old, back when she was known as Frances “Baby” Gumm) and her starring role as Dorothy, but also painted a picture of her later years. I learned about her movies, her concerts, her family (famous singer Liza Minnelli is one of her daughters), and her many devoted fans, as well as her financial struggles, relationship issues (she was married five times), and battles with depression, self-esteem, and drugs, prescribed at a very young age to help control her weight. Sadly enough, she died of an apparent drug overdose at age 47.

Review: No real magic in ‘After the Wizard’  “After the Wizard” has a tamely pleasant message about friendship, as well as the importance of reading, but no real snap or energy. A good heart and sweet message don’t make for exciting filmmaking all on their own, making “After the Wizard” a forgettable afterthought.

The Woe Is Oz Book Project  Ethan Tarshish (Writer/Creator) and Kelly Brown (Artist/Visual Producer) here. Together, we create an ongoing series called Woe Is Oz. Since its launch in February of 2009, we’ve completed four issues of the story, and now we’d like to complete the first chapter in the journey (which will encompass issues #1-6) and compile them into a printed book.

Oz in the News 8.7.12

‘Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ to land in Frankenmuth this weekend  The Troy Mullin Company’s original musical adaptation of the classic — which will feature a cast of over 50 puppets — began last weekend with performances at Reese High School in Reese.  Organizers say the musical features an original score composed by Tamara Kosters. Mullin will direct, choreograph, and design the set.

DM Playhouse Final Act Ensemble Presents THE WIZARD OF OZ Radio Play  The Final Act Ensemble, a Playhouse troupe that performs classic and original radio plays, will present “The Wizard of Oz” at the Iowa State Fair’s Farm Bureau Pioneer Hall, 12:00 PM, Monday, Aug.13.  Dorothy goes over the rainbow and finds adventure in the land of Oz, making friends with the Lion, Scarecrow, and Tin Man. L. Frank Baum’s favorite tale is brought to life as a radio play with special sound effects, including a tornado scene that requires the entire cast, and inventive commercials presented live before your very eyes by the Des Moines Community Playhouse’s Final Act Ensemble. This version of “The Wizard of Oz” was originally presented as part of the Lux Radio program. Lux Radio Theater was a classic radio series that began broadcasting hour-long versions of Broadway plays and film adaptations in 1934.

Roger S. Baum plans appearance  Roger S. Baum, great-grandson of the original Oz book series creator L. Frank Baum, has continued the tales of Oz with books of his own including “Dorothy of Oz,” “The Lion of Oz and the Badge of Courage” and more. Baum is scheduled to sign books at noon Aug. 18 at the 8915 W. Charleston Barnes & Noble in Las Vegas. For more on the author, visit