Oz in the News 9.15.12

LaSalle’s Danielle Wade a finalist in CBC’s search for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz By conservative estimates, Danielle Wade figures she’s sung Over the Rainbow 100 times in the last two weeks. And she’ll be singing it a lot more as one of 10 finalists of CBC-TV’s star search series, Over The Rainbow, announced today. The series which premieres Sunday will find the next Dorothy for an Andrew Lloyd Webber production of The Wizard of Oz opening in Toronto in December. The 20-year-old LaSalle native was picked from 20 semifinalists who attended so-called Dorothy Farm in late August. The intense outdoor camp north of Toronto proved to be more than just a chance to show off performing chops, said Wade. “It was intense and very exciting. I learned a lot about myself and my craft.”

Follow the yellow brick road … to Chesterton  As in past years, many people associated with the 1939 film will be attending this year’s fest. Margaret Pellegrini, one of three remaining original Munchkins, is expected to again this year’s festival. Munchkins by marriage Mary Ellen St Aubin and Myrna Swensen are scheduled to attend in memory of their husbands, as will Judy Garland stand-in Caren Marsh-Doll. Roger S. Baum, the great-grandson of Oz author L. Frank Baum, will introduce his new book, “The Oz Enigma,” at this year’s festival. Prerelease copies of the book will be available at the festival prior to national distribution later this year.

Polk County Cadets are taking a trip ‘Over the Rainbow’ The Polk County Cadets are stepping out of this world and into the land of Oz. Pulling themes from three major works, the Cadets’ “The Wicked Women of Oz” marching band show will bring back favorite Oz characters, including Dorothy, Elphaba and Glinda. The show includes musical selections from “The Wizard of Oz,” “Wicked” and “The Wiz.” Fans can expect to see the band led by characters from Oz. The color guard will be dressed as Dorothy, complete with ruby slippers. Dorothy’s house, which was lifted up by a tornado in “The Wizard of Oz,” will appear on the field.

Journey to Oz  Emily Blake’s journey on the yellowbrick road ended before she reached the Emerald City. But even though she didn’t make it to her final destination, she gained valuable experiences along the way. Passing the first round meant she had to go to Toronto June 20 for the final elimination while the producers whittled down the girls to the 10 that would appear on the show. In Toronto the hopeful contestants did segments on news channels to promote the upcoming show.

Toto, The Wizard of Oz Dog (1932-1945)  Terry’s owner and trainer was a man named Carl Spitz. He ran the Hollywood Dog Training School. Spitz adopted Terry in 1933, when she was just a year old. He had no plans for Terry to become a movie star. Her original owner had left Terry to be trained, but then never returned to pick her up. Terry was to appear in 15 films altogether. The Wizard of Oz was the only one in which she actually got a screen credit. Her first appearance was in Ready For Love in 1934. This was just one month before her first major film with a big star. Later that year, Terry appeared with Shirley Temple in Bright Eyes, playing the role of “Rags.” In 1938, Terry was taken to a casting call looking for a dog that resembled Dorothy’s black dog in the Wizard of Oz books. Terry was hired on the spot and immediately began living the high life. This meant living for two weeks at Judy Garland’s house! Judy became quite fond of the dog and wanted to adopt Terry after filming ended, but Carl Spitz said no.

Theatre Arts Presents THE LOST PAGES OF OZ AND THE RISE OF THE WINGED MONKEYS Shortly after Dorothy and the Wizard return to Kansas, the Wizard discovers that their adventures were more than a dream. He invents the technology to travel to the future of Oz, where he discovers the Winged Monkeys’ hostile takeover. The Wizard follows the Red Brick Road to rescue the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and the Lion. They then form an alliance with the Winkies and a newly created species to stop the Winged Monkeys’ resurrection of the Wicked Witch and save the Land of Oz.

London canine star Toto in Webber’s Oz  One of the stars of this year’s The Wizard of Oz at Huron Country Playhouse, a London-based Norfolk terrier named Tilley, is headed to Toronto to star as Toto in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of The Wizard of Oz at Ed Mirvish Theatre opening for premiers in mid-December. “I’m ‘over the rainbow,’ ” said Tilley’s owner and trainer Terry Shevchenko of London. Tilley, 9, will be joined by its twin brothers, Winny and Neddy, 6, also owned and trained by Shevchenko.

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