Monthly Archives: October 2012

Oz in the News 10.31.12 (Halloween Edition)

The Wizard of Oz and Zombies  Vancouver Film School‘s YouTube channel is a good place to go prospecting for above average student short films. This month, they’ve added three that are perfect Halloween fare. In each, viewers are shown a darker side of the yellow brick road than fans remember from the technicolor original. Alas, in all these shorts, as in the original film, Dorothy is the object of the story but never the most interesting character. Still, they are all good, gory fun and worth the less-than-twenty minutes it takes to watch all three.

From ‘Wizard of Oz’ to ‘Troy’: Ten Cursed Films  What, America’s favorite classic — doomed? We’re not even going to go into Judy Garland’s later drug addiction —- there was plenty enough chaos on this set. Directors were playing a game of musical chairs, as a quick succession of big names (Richard Thorpe, George Cukor, Victor Fleming, King Vidor) helmed the pic. The original Tin Man, Buddy Epsen, bowed out after aluminum powder makeup infected his lungs. The makeup was changed, but it still gave the sub, Jack Haley, an eye infection. The Wicked Witch, aka Margaret Hamilton, had to take two weeks off after a special effect involving flames backfired (and her stand-in didn’t fare well either). No wonder she preferred being melted by a bucket of water. Then there were the underpaid munchkins who got stinking drunk every night, the winged monkeys falling from wire, and even Toto, aka Terry, got her paw broke and had to take a doggie break. The film itself wouldn’t gain its storied place in pop culture until decades later, thanks to television reruns — a sign perhaps that some curses do have an expiration date.

Journey through a different ‘Oz’ at St. Charles North  “The play begins at a funeral, and then takes place in a dream world of Oz, but in this Oz — the scarecrow is happy he doesn’t have a brain, and the tin man is grateful he doesn’t have a heart, because life can be so much easier if you don’t think about or feel things,” Hryniewicz said. “However, one needs to think, feel, and fear in order to move forwards in life.” A character named Beth finds herself journeying through this world, wondering what role she plays in this classic story gone awry. The production is described as “a hilarious and heart-wrenching exploration of grief and perseverance on the road to acceptance.”

MHS teacher nets rights to rare ‘Wizard of Oz’ inspired stage work  “The play is a contemporary adaptation from the original story by L. Frank Baum. The original production in Chicago was met with great acclaim when it opened several years ago. To my knowledge, this will be the second ever production of the play. –Tom Mackey, theatre/English teacher at Merrillville High School.” Mackey is exactly right. The last, and only time, this stage adaption, which was written by playwright Phillip C. Klapperich, who now lives in Colorado, was in a stage spotlight it was this same time of year in the late summer/fall of 2006 produced by House Theatre in Chicago, first at Viaduct Theatre and then way up north, at the Northlight Theatre space in Skokie, Ill. It ran from September to November 2006, with an addition short extension run of a few added performances again in March 2007.

Starz give a new twist to Oz  Many may be familiar with The Wizard of Oz theme but this show is set at Christmas time. Dorothy and Toto with Tin Soldier (instead of Tin Man), Snowman (instead of Scarecrow) and Stuffed Toy Lion (instead of Lion) will go on a magical journey down the yellow brick road. Some performers are only 4 years old and this is their first opportunity to be on stage.

Oz in the News 10.28.12

‘Wizard of Oz’ movie description goes viral  An old one-line movie blurb has gone viral this week thanks to mentions all over the world wide web. In 1998, for a Wizard of Oz listing on TCM, writer Rick Polito wrote, “Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first person she meets and then teams up with three strangers to kill again.” This morning, Polito told, “That line is going to follow me to the grave. It was just on Leno, it was a clue in a crossword puzzle, it showed up in Playboy, and people use it as their email sigs.”

Judy Garland’s dress in ‘Wizard Of Oz’ made from cheapest material Adrian ran it up on an old sewing machine, taking care to use only the cheapest material, so that as Dorothy skipped along the Yellow Brick Road it looked like something her Aunty Em might have made. “There were back-up costumes, but none were used and almost all were lost over time. What we are selling is the one and only original,” the Daily Express quoted Caroline Galloway, spokeswoman for Julien’s Auctions, as saying. “Its sheer simplicity and astonishingly pristine condition make it one of the most important items we have ever brought to auction,” Galloway said.

‘The band were actually watching Mary Poppins’: Engineer Alan Parsons take on the Pink Floyd/Wizard of Oz phenomenon  The combination — commonly referred to now, after years of rumors and innuendo, as either “Dark Side of Oz” or “Dark Side of the Rainbow” — involves playing the 1973 Pink Floyd album alongside the muted 1939 film. There follows a number of canny instances in which the two appear to work in concert with one another. “As for the Wizard Of Oz … I have to keep correcting people,” Parsons tells Joe Bosso of Music Radar. “The band were actually watching ‘Mary Poppins’ the whole time they were making the album. (Laughs.) Or we can tell it differently and say they were watching ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!’”

Oz in the News 10.25.12

Haunted house at Granite Museum takes ‘Oz’ theme to extreme  After a “month of Sundays” – not to mention Tuesdays and Thursdays – Cadorette says that is precisely what The Haunters Guild is ready to do, and she dares folks who doubt her to come and experience “The Evil Side of Oz” during a two-night run that will start Friday at the Vermont Granite Museum. “Robert (Badeau) does the first side, Scott (Wilson) has the end and we worry about what’s in the middle,” Cadorette says of a haunted house that will feature a “Dorothy (or at least parts of her) in every room,” not to mention a “floater” to keep visitors on their toes as they make their way through the carefully crafted maze that includes nearly a dozen distinct rooms and a couple of creepy hallways. When it comes to haunted houses, Cadorette has come to believe there’s no place like the museum – a spacious old stone shed with a dirt floor that, with a little bit of effort and the right materials, is big enough to be turned into just about anything or anywhere. Thanks to Badeau’s ingenuity, the motor from a Gen-Air range, some PVC pipe, and a pint-sized army of “zombie munchkins” folks will enter “The Evil Side of Ozz” in the midst of a chaotic tornado and leave it after Wilson gets a crack at them. Wilson is the man behind the big finish to “The Evil Side of Ozz,” and he says he’s just itching to introduce folks to the inhabitants of his warped version of the “Emerald City” – the one that is located at the very end of “the Bloody Brick Road” and is home to, among others, a “butcher, a baker and a people pie maker.”

Oz in the News 10.23.12

You’ve never seen the Wizard of Oz like this before  In this anthology, the editors have recruited some of today’s most popular and talented young adult and fantasy writers and asked them to re-imagine L. Frank Baum’s classic creation. In these stories, you will be reintroduced to the world of Oz, but it will be Oz as you’ve never seen it before. Ever wonder what Emerald City would look with an urban fantasy makeover? Perhaps you want to know the origin of Dorothy’s slippers, or maybe you want to know what happened when the Wizard first came to the Land of Oz. What if Dorothy never went to Oz at all, or the Land of Oz was actually a dystopian nightmare? All these scenarios and many more will be found in Oz Reimagined. At the helm of this project are John Joseph Adams-bestselling editor of more than a dozen science fiction/fantasy anthologies-and Douglas Cohen, former editor of Realms of Fantasy Magazine. Together, they will bring you stories by celebrated authors such as Orson Scott Card, Tad Williams, Jane Yolen, Seanan McGuire, Jonathan Maberry, Simon R. Green, David Farland, and many other terrific talents who have each reinvented Oz with their own unique visions. Along with a foreword by Gregory Maguire-renowned author of Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West-the anthology features a lineup not to be missed.

‘Wizard of Oz’ Multiplayer Video Game to Launch on Facebook  The game is being published on Facebook for the first time using Unity software on the social media network, originally developed by a Danish company. Kaminkow said they have a relationship with Facebook and have worked closely with their own game developers to create the new virtual world of Oz, where players can walk down the Yellow Brick Road with Dorothy, or see it from Dorothy’s point of view. The first hour or so of play is free and then users must wait to accumulate more playing time or make “micro payments,” buying “emerald” energy stores that extend their play. They can also get extras from getting a Munchkin to cut wood for their house, to avoiding a visit from the Wicked Witch.

Jersey Jack Pinball, Inc. Launches Pinball Experience™ Application for Dynamics ePlate™ Credit Card Device When the Jersey Jack Pinball experience™ application is selected, users can earn a yellow brick for every $50 the consumer spends anywhere they use their Dynamics ePlate™ credit card device. When the consumer collects all 100 bricks, they are mailed an exclusive, autographed pinball commemorative plaque along with a coupon for $100 off The Wizard of Oz Pinball Machine. Qualifying purchases offer an instant win opportunity for The Wizard of Oz Pinball Machine (sweepstakes rules forthcoming, including how to enter without making a purchase or card enrollment).

Couple’s ‘Oz’ collection fit for a wizard  Paul and Hjordy Wagner’s collection of “Wizard of Oz” memorabilia — including replicas of the green-faced, black-garbed Wicked Witch of the West — totals 2,000 to 3,000 pieces.  Their prized piece is a 26-piece hand-carved “Wizard of Oz” wooden folk art set they found at an antique store north of Council Bluffs, Iowa.  A close second to the folk art set is an autographedcollection of “Wizard of Oz” photographs including Judy Garland, who played Dorothy in the movie; Baum, the author; Charley Grapewin, the actor who played Uncle Henry; Clara Blandick, the actress who played Aunt Em; and Jack Haley, the actor who played the Tin Man.  After their Eau Claire house is sold, the couple likely will put the collection in storage, Paul said. “We’d like to keep it all as one if we do sell it.”  Hjordy would like to see the collection remain in Eau Claire. Perhaps an Eau Claire business could buy it and display it in a “Wizard of Oz” room, she said.

Oz in the News 10.19.12

The Ed Mirvish Theatre and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s THE WIZARD OF OZ Need Your Help To Build A Yellow Brick Road for Sick Kids  A spectacular Yellow Brick Road in the Yonge Street lobby of the Ed Mirvish Theatre will be built for the launch of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of THE WIZARD OF OZ all in support of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). “We are very grateful to the Ed Mirvish Theatre and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new production of THE WIZARD OF OZ for supporting SickKids.” says Paula Menzes, Director, Sponsorship and Cause Marketing at SickKids. “Partnerships like this help to raise critical funds for the hospital and allow us to continue to provide world-leading care for our young patients and their families.” Join others, and help build the Yellow Brick Road by contributing a brick. Dedicate your brick to a family member, a friend or even your pet dog. A suggestion donation of $20.00 CDN is requested with all proceeds in support of SickKids. Go to for details to donate online. The Yellow Brick Road will be installed in the Yonge Street entrance of the Ed Mirvish Theatre (formerly the Canon Theatre) in December 2012.

Strictly Come Dancing 2012: James Bond, Wizard Of Oz & Toy Story – heres what the stars will be performing for Hollywood Week!  Strictly Come Dancing returns to our screens tomorrow night and fans can expect an evening of glitz and glamour. Having starred in a James Bond movie recently, Colin Salmon will go all 007 with a Tango to ‘Goldeneye’, while Dani Harmer will tap into her inner child for a Wizard Of Oz themed performance.

Oz in the News 10.10.12

Judy Garland’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ Dress up for Auction  Celebrity auctioneer Darren Julien says Judy Garland’s original costume from “The Wizard of Oz” could sell for half a million dollars when it hits the auction block next month. Judy Garland Dress. The white puff-sleeve blouse and blue gingham pinafore has inspired countless Halloween costumes since the film was released in 1939. Although several identical dresses were made for the production, the dress to be sold is the only version seen in the film and the only complete original dress to survive. The outfit will be on view at London’s Stafford Hotel beginning Tuesday, before being exhibited at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, Calif., Nov. 5-9, prior to the auction Nov. 9-10.

The Wizard of Oz book used tonight on Revolution  The episode begins showing the mother reading the story (WOZ) to her kids before the blackout and all during the blackout she kept the book with her but we didnt know that as viewers until the end. She was walking from coast to coast trying to get home, back to her two boys in England, no electricity anywhere so she was stuck here. Tonight’s episode showed more of her backstory and showed flashbacks as this is just the 4th episode. She gets attacked and stabbed and will bleed out and die but before she dies she will makes peace with the fact that the new family she’s meet helped her and saved her from going crazy from the loss of not seeing her kids. She become the kids stepmother after the backout and shows they somewhat happy. The last scene shows a compnion pulling out The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from her backpack and it is just sad telling her real kids about home and there no place like home, it was really touching for a science fiction show.

Oz in the News 10.5.12

Warner Bros. to Celebrate 90th Anniversary With New Logo, Massive DVD Collections  Warner Bros. chairman Barry Meyerand other executives revealed the new 90th anniversary logo as well as multiple new DVD and Blu-ray Disc collections coming in 2013, including enormous 100-film DVD and 50-film Blu-ray collections.Warner has created two new documentaries and spent time and money restoring classic films for the 90th. One such classic The Wizard of Oz, will get special 3D treatment next year for its disc release, which includes a theatrical release to kick it off.

Smithsonian to lend Dorothy’s ruby slippers to UK  Dorothy’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz” are leaving Washington on their first international journey to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Judy Garland wore the shoes in the 1939 film in which she played a Kansas farm girl on a magical journey. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History announced the rare loan of its popular slippers Thursday. They will be shown with Dorothy’s blue-and-white gingham dress in “Hollywood Costume,” an exhibit opening Oct. 20 in London. Curators say it’s the first time Dorothy’s dress and shoes have been together since the movie was filmed. The dress is part of a private collection.

Wizard Of Oz Pinball Launch Date Approaches; Sneak Previews Set For Manhattan And Orlando  The Wizard of Oz game won Pacific Pinball Expo’s Overall Best of Show award.  Next week, the new pinball machine makes a stop at New York Comic Con in midtown Manhattan. New York Comic Con, the East Coast’s biggest pop culture convention, takes place at the Javits Center from Oct. 11 to 14. Last year’s show drew more than 105,000 pop-culture adventure seekers. Two WOZ pinballs will be on display in booth 1683.

Butler Project in Aitkin Launches National Judy Garland Talent Search  In advance of the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz in 2014, the National Judy Garland Talent Search hopes to find one finalist per U.S. state to compete for the national title. Contestants, ranging from 18 to 45 years of age, will be judged based on their overall appearance and vocal talent. Individual state finalists will gather in October, 2013 in Aitkin, MN, at the newly restored Aitkin Opera House at Butler’s, the exact location where the Minnesota native, then named Frances Gumm, performed on-stage as part of the Gumm Sisters vaudeville act in 1925 at just three years old. The winner of the nationwide contest will receive a cash prize of $10,000 and a set of professional headshots, in addition to widespread press exposure on local, regional and national TV news outlets, along with national recognition. They will also make an appearance at the 2014 Judy Garland Festival, held every year in Garland’s birthplace of Grand Rapids.

Sarah Saltzberg Hosts THE WIZARD OF OZ Sing-A-Long for Halloween Festival at Bucks County Playhouse, 10/27  The movie screening, hosted by Broadway’s Sarah Saltzberg (25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) will kick-off with a costume contest in which everyone who has come in costume will be invited onto the stage to show off their look. Awards will be given for the most courageous costume “The Lion Award”, the most heart-warming costume “The Tin-Man Award”, the smartest costume “The Scarecrow Award”, and the “Wizard-Award” for overall crowd favorite. The afternoon’s host will then lead the audience in a brief vocal warm up and take everyone through their complimentary goodie bags, containing various items to be used at strategic points throughout the film.

Oz in the News 10.2.12

Culver City’s 94-foot-tall rainbow pays homage to ‘Wizard of Oz’  “We are excited to bring to life something that would likely make Harry Culver and Judy Garland smile, as well as historians,” said Keith Weaver, executive vice president of worldwide government affairs for Sony Pictures. The 8-foot-thick rainbow was constructed off site and then shipped in 40-foot sections to Sony Pictures on flatbed trailers in early September, said John Baker, partner with Carlson Arts LLC, the firm that built the piece. The final section of the arch — weighing about 60,000 pounds — was hoisted into place by two cranes a week ago. That process, including setup and installation, took 19 1/2 hours, Baker said.

Will Middlebrooks Dresses as Dorothy From ‘Wizard of Oz’ as Red Sox Rookies Jump on Hazing Train  The Red Sox joined the Major League Baseball trend of hazing rookies with creative dress-up demands on Sunday, ordering their youngsters to wear some pretty special cheerleader garb as they rode the train to New York. (Quite a few players ended up getting the rookie treatment — but that makes sense, considering the Red Sox called up just about their entire farm system during the injury-plagued year.) But one rookie — standout third baseman Will Middlebrooks — was singled out to take it a step further. He was decked out like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, complete with a short dress, knee socks and a little basket.