Oz in the News 6.16.13

birthplace-of-judy-garland‘No Place Like Home’ for Garland Fan  The Wizard of Oz star Judy Garland was born in Grand Rapids and her childhood home needed a fresh coat of paint. A devoted fan traveled over 10,000 miles to help out. Geoffrey Stallmann came all the way from Brisbane, Australia to help restore the home. Stallmann said he was a painter for 36 years, and this last job will usher in retirement. The house now sits next to the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids. It looks like 1920 inside the home, but the exterior was in need of a little work. “I’d sort of like to think that I’ll look back and say, ‘Well, if they Judy Garland House is the last house that I ever painted then I’d sort of see that as a feather in my cap,’” Stallmann said.

Interview with Mila Kunis of ‘Oz The Great and Powerful’  “The first book that I ever read in English, past the alphabet books and the kid books, was “Return To Oz.” I came to America when I was seven and a half years old, but that was the first English book I read. Then, I was doing an interview two years ago – way before this movie was ever even in existence to me – and I was asked: “What movie do you remember seeing as a child that changed your life?” I said, “The Wizard Of Oz.” When you are nine years old and you see such a magical, beautiful movie with so many lights and colors, you really want to immerse yourself in it. It’s such a fantastical movie. I loved it.”

The metaphor of melting: Dorothy’s solution and a mother’s education  Earlier this year, I went to my alma mater middle school to see my daughter in The Wizard of Oz. Obviously, this would be a special experience for any parent whether your child plays Dorothy, a flying monkey or a munchkin. What made the experience unique was, in fact, the circumstances. After more than 70 years of plays, concerts, assemblies, musicals and promotion ceremonies, Wydown Middle School was awaiting the final blow of the wrecking ball. This was this theater’s swan song. The Saturday evening performance, the last of the last forever, was bittersweet. I was sitting in the dark auditorium of my own muddled youth, knowing that the building I had attended was already half gone — save this very theater. And on stage, there was my daughter, who has had the “theater bug” from a very young age. Through bright blue eyes and a wide grin, she conveyed to everyone in that audience how utterly delighted she was to share the stage in any capacity.

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