Oz in the News 4.7.13

bildeFrom north central Ohio to Hollywood  His name was Melzar Frances Enos, but everybody around here, unsurprisingly, called him Frank. The Tannehills were a pioneer family of Green Township, now Ashland County, where Frank was born in 1864. But he left there and chose a completely different career than his ancestors — as a stage actor, director and company manager. He took his show business name from his father — Wilson Enos. Frank had two sons, one from each of his marriages to actresses Julia Arthur and Gertrude Berkeley. The youngest, born in 1895, became a Hollywood legend — his birth name was William Berkeley Enos, but his film name was Busby Berkeley.

Stars talk to GSN about why the legend of gay icon Judy Garland endures  Lainie Kazan of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, My Favorite Year and Beaches fame said Garland endures because ‘she was the great communicator – her pain, her joy, her talent, was there for the taking and everyone felt it. They felt that they were being sung to personally.’ Kazan also shared a personal memory of Garland: ‘I had dinner at her home, I was invited to a Christmas party that she gave. I took my husband (the late Peter Daniels) who was a wonderful pianist and she asked me if I would sing for her which I did. She said, ‘If you sing for me, I’ll sing for you.’ And she sang Somewhere Over the Rainbow. I don’t remember what I sang, do you believe that? I was in a fog, I was such a fan. I was so nervous that I was with her, that I was able to sit down next to her.’

Frank L. Baum – Author of “Oz, The Great and Powerful”  With Disney’s new movie, “Oz, The Great and Powerful” showing on the silver screen, I cannot think of a better subject to talk about than the author of these iconic tales of the “Magical land of Oz.” For many people who were weaned on the 1939  MGM classic “The Wizard of Oz” starring Judy Garland, few realize that Baum had also written an additional thirteen books on the Land of Oz. He also penned nine other fantasy novels, 83 short stories, over 200 poems, an unknown number of scripts (A total of 55 novels in all) plus four “Lost Novels.”

Jay Laga’aia to play The Wizard of Oz  New Zealand-born star of stage, television and screen, JAY LAGA’AIA, is today confirmed to play The Wizard of Oz in the Auckland season of WICKED – the Broadway musical blockbuster coming to New Zealand in September. Jay – known for his roles as Captain Typho in the films Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith – has had a long and illustrious career that includes roles in television shows such as Water Rats, Play School, McLeod’s Daughters, Xena: Warrior Princess, All Saints, Home and Away and Street Legal. “To be able to come home with a show that is absolutely awe-inspiring is something that this prodigal son could only dream about. My biggest fear is not The Wizard but the amount of ticket requests from family and friends. Maybe Glinda or Elphaba could whip up a spell for me.”

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