Oz in the News 12.19.13

200px-AmericanFairyTalesFamily Fun with American Fairy Tales Dec 18-31  AMERICAN FAIRY TALES is a fast-paced, slapdash, interactive family-friendly show for the holidays. This production of AMERICAN FAIRY TALES, adapted by Stan Heleva and directed by Michelle Pauls, features adaptations of three short stories by L. Frank Baum, the author of THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ and other American classics. These little known stories will have their Philadelphia premiere when performed on the Walking Fish Stage. It’s interactive! Audience members can help the performances by adding specific sounds and movements from their seats, as well as join in singing seasonal songs with the cast and even dancing with the actors. The stories to be performed are: THE GIRL WHO OWNED A BEAR, BOX OF ROBBERS and THE QUEEN OF QUOK. Opening Night is Friday, December 20 @ 7:00pm. And then the show runs until December 31.

Want a Copy of the Wicked Witch of the East’s Death Certificate for Christmas?  The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion is a fascinating compendium of everything related to the movie classic. Written by Jay Scarfone and William Stillman, the book is a lovely “coffee table” piece that is sure to satisfy diehard fans as well as newbies. Most of the information contained in the book can be found in endless documentaries and specials made about the movie (some of which are also included in the new Blu-ray set, which is another beauty upon itself) but there is always something extra brought to the table by the texture and weight of paper.

L. Frank Baum’s work, including the Oz books, at the Central Library  An exhibit on Baum, his life and literary career and creations—including originals of all 14 books in the Oz canon, together with précis plot summaries—is currently on display at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library downtown. Also considering the continuing vitality of the Oz literary phenomenon, noting the Judy Garland (and Ray Bolger and Jack Haley and Bert Lahr) movie, which came out in 1939, and later illustration projects by the likes of Barry Moser and pop-up book artist Robert Saluda (sic), who is said to have taken Nancy Reagan as his model for the Wicked Witch of the West.


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