Oz in the News 3.29.14

RubySlidppersA simple message and some good characterisation survive Alexander’s soap opera plotting  The seemingly unconnected cast of characters living in Manhattan in Keir Alexander‘s multi-narrative novel are gradually drawn together by a pair of ruby slippers. Originally worn by Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, they are discovered in old Rosa’s filthy apartment and are worth a fortune. The voice of Michael Marcinkus, a Latvian-American deli owner, is the most dominant and his story the most genuine. Through him and his aunt Rosa, Alexander explores the repression of memories by those who survived Nazi Europe and fled to the USA. Their respect for the slippers as a symbol of freedom and goodness is cleverly contrasted with what they bring out in Americans: greed, family division and violence.

Which ‘Wizard of Oz’ Characters Will Arrive on ‘Once Upon a Time’?Sunny Mabrey will join the cast as Glinda the Good in an episode slated to air in the later half of this season. While no other details have been provided yet, executive producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz have hinted that we will see some more “iconic friends” venture to Storybrooke.  But don’t expect to see any ruby slippers just yet — so far, there’s no word on whether Dorothy will be making an appearance. That’s too bad, because it looks like the folks in Storybrooke are having a really tough time dealing with their witch problem.

Mickey Carroll & Other Fond Memories Of “Oz”  Carroll, whose given name was Michael Finocchiaro, was a St. Louis native. He lived in Crestwood for a time before his death in 2009 at the age of 89. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and, in 2007, was the grand marshal of Crestwood’s 60th anniversary parade. “During the school talent show when I was in about seventh grade, Mickey Carroll came and made a special guest appearance,” recalled Webster’s Danelle Haake. “We were all very excited to have him there and he seemed to truly enjoy watching the 300 or so students sing TV theme songs, perform goofy skits and dance into each other. He helped make it a night that we will never forget.”

Oz-Stravaganza! 2014: ‘Wizard of Oz’ festival will attempt to break world record  The current world record stands at 446 costumed characters from the movie gathered together in one place. Oz-Stravaganza! organizers will attempt to smash that record in June as part of the 75th anniversary celebration of the “Wizard of Oz.” The festival, which runs June 6 to 8 in Chittenango, is the 36th annual celebration of the classic movie. L. Frank Baum, author of the “Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” was born in Chittenango on May 15, 1856. To help break the record, all people need to do is show up in costume to register for the event at 10 a.m. June 7 at Chittenango High School’s football field. Once everyone has gathered, the costumed participants must stand in place for five minutes at noon and the attempt will be videotaped.

Oconomowoc played host to original ‘The Wizard of Oz’ premiere  Oconomowoc was one of three locations selected for a ‘soft launch’ of the film. Haas has some theories as to why it was chosen. “Oconomowoc was the hometown of one of the munchkins in the movie,” Haas explained.  “Meinhardt Raabe played the coroner who pronounced the wicked Witch dead.” “Plus, Herbert Stothart (who wrote the score) was from Milwaukee.  He had a home in Okauchee Lake.” Oconomowoc will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the film with a large outdoor viewing of the movie on Aug. 7th.  It’s something the city has done annually ever since the 70th celebration in 2009.

If I only had a 75th anniversary book about ‘The Wizard of Oz’  On April 6, Scarfone, of Derry Twp., and William Stillman, also a Hershey-area resident, will be at the Art Association of Harrisburg to discuss their book, “The Wizard of Oz: The Official 75th Anniversary Companion.” Scarfone, Stillman and, originally, a third partner met many years ago through affiliation with the national “Wizard of Oz” club. They pitched a 50th anniversary book about the film and got it published. Then came the 60th anniversary companion. And now the 75th. All this while working at day jobs. Scarfone is a CPA with Penn National Insurance. Stillman writes books and consults on autism. “What we have been able to do is channel our enthusiasm into continually researching and finding new things,” Scarfone said.

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