More than the Wizard: the world of Oz expands with new movie “I used to walk thru Oz Park on my way to school,” says Ryan Carroll, one third of production company Summertime Entertainment, which is behind the new animated feature. “I always thought [they were] a good series of books and I always thought it’d be a great animated story.” So along with Bonne Radford (who helped found Dreamworks Animation,) Carroll and his brother, both Rogers Park-bred and Mather High School graduates with deep roots in Chicago’s theater community, got to work. About seven years ago they contacted Roger S. Baum, the great grandson. The younger Baum had taken up great grand-dad’s mantle, and at the age of 40 had started fleshing out the kingdom of Oz with more books. To date he’s written 21 books to accompany the elder Baum’s 62.
This Oz trip hits the mark The Rainbow Company Youth Theatre production of “Ozma of Oz: A Tale of Time,” a stage adaption of the third Oz novel by L. Frank Baum opens on a minimalist set that consists of a stack of rainbow-colored suitcases, a wardrobe shaped box, a bucket and mop and chains hanging from the risers. A child seated behind me asked, “What is the bucket for? What are the chains for?” The child’s father answered wisely, “I don’t know, but we’ll find out.” We immediately find out the purpose of the bucket when sailors Sam and Steve (robustly played by Severina Nina Mijan and Mason Alexander Stanley) begin to swab the deck of a ship on which Dorothy and her Uncle Henry are sailing to Australia. Dorothy is now 13 with a teenaged-sized attitude. She would just as soon the ship turn right around and head back in the general direction of Kansas and the high school football hero she left behind. Morgan Johnson plays Dorothy with a believable adolescent headstrongness. Her simple blue dress and red slippers evoke the blue gingham and ruby slippers of the younger Dorothy.
Finding Oz in California’s Emerald City Coronado is sometimes referred to as “The Emerald City.” Fittingly, Oz fans will gather in Coronado and San Diego Aug. 8 through Aug. 10 for Winkie Con 50, the longest running event celebrating Baum and his books. (The Winkies are residents of the Winkie Country in the Land of Oz.) The festival combines live theatre, films, lectures and walking tours. San Diego resident David Maxine, Director of Winkie Con 50, said, “I went to my first Winkie Con when I was 14 back in the late 1970s and here I am, 30 years later, putting on the biggest Winkie Con ever. It’s an amazing group of people who all love the writings of L. Frank Baum and The Wizard of Oz. We encompass all ages from little kids to 90-year-olds. Some folks just like Oz and enjoy the camaraderie. Others are serious collectors of rare first editions. Others still are passionate researchers. But the mix is always friendly and it’s a great family event.”
Lea Michele & Darren Criss Sing ‘Wizard Of Oz’ In Black-Tie Outfits Lea Michele and Darren Criss took their “Glee” show on the road and to the red carpet of the Jonsson Cancer Center’s 19th Annual Taste For A Cure benefit in Beverly Hills, Calif. The co-stars traded in their McKinley High School gear for, respectively, a long, sheer dress and a dapper tux, and performed “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” from “The Wizard Of Oz.”
Fairy tales come to life at Poetry Center The 75th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” will be celebrated with a Night of Fairy Tales today at the University of Arizona Poetry Center. Fairy Tale Review editorial staff members read through the 14-part series and selected seven excerpts they believed fit certain categories, such as studies in economics, gender, astrophysics and science. In addition to Baum readings, the Greasy Light Orchestra will play throughout the night and a compilation of clips from contemporary videos that follow with the “Oz” theme will be shown as well. Special guest Timothy Schaffert will read a passage from one of his latest books, “The Swan Gondola.” His book was greatly influenced by “The Wizard of Oz” and is a masterful example of contemporary fairy-tale writing.
The Wizard of Oz Running April 26 through June 21 Fridays and Saturdays at 11:00 A.M. Doors Open 1/2 hour prior to Curtain. This musical was written by Robert Brock, Artistic Director, and is performed with marionettes he created. All Tickets are $10.00. We accept CASH or CHECKS, NO CREDIT CARDS. Call 717-394-8398 for Reservations. Tour the John Durang Puppet Museum or take a back stage tour lead by Mr. Brock before the performance. The Hole in the Wall Theatre was founded in 1990 by Robert Brock. The 60-seat Victorian theatre is located at 126 N. Water Street in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Hole in the Wall became a nonprofit corporation in 2001. The theatre is now managed by a volunteer board of directors who contract with Robert Brock to serve as Artistic Director. Performances are given on most weekends in the resident theatre. The theatre seats came from the Fulton Opera House in 1997. They were purchased at an auction held prior to the Fulton renovation. There is a gift shop and museum in this historic property (circa 1850s), which are open before performances.
‘Oz’ grandson ready to welcome ‘Dorothy’s Return” to big screen Many Times readers are familiar with Roger Baum, the great-grandson of L. Frank Baum, author of “The Wizard of Oz.” For years, Roger, now 75, remained a favorite celebrity guest each year at the annual Wizard of Oz Festival in Chesterton. To help promote the new film, the public is invited to join Dorothy, Toto, and their new friend, Wiser the Owl, from the upcoming 3D animated feature, as they bring the magical world of Oz to kids across the U.S. on the “Legends of Oz Express” with an event in the Chicago burbs from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 4 at Kohl Children’s Museum, 2100 Patriot Blvd, in Glenview, Ill. as part of a nine-city tour. Families will follow their hearts at the Tin Man’s Friendship Club by making friendship pins, test their brains in the Scarecrow’s Workshop with arts and crafts, and show their courage by performing on the Lion’s “Mane” stage. They will also hang out in cozy “Candy County” and hear the story that inspired the film. To help even more children experience the magic of books, imagination, and the wonder of Oz, guests are encouraged to bring a new book to be donated to Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. FYI: legendsofozworld.com.
Read a Gorgeous and Twisted Webcomic Retelling Of The Wizard Of Oz In The Black Brick Road of Oz, an amnesiac girl who thinks she’s Dorothy Gale finds herself in an Oz populated by flesh-hungry witches, zombie scarecrows, and a tin woodman mourning more than the loss of his body. Xamag’s webcomic uses Baum’s Oz as the basis for her story, with the lost girl whose house crushes the Wicked Witch of the West and encounters a brain-deficient scarecrow and a woodman whose body has been replaced with tin on her journey. But unlike Gregory Maguire’s novel Wicked, which purports to be the “true” story of Oz, Xamag takes pieces of Oz and rearranges them into a rather different fantasy tale.
OZ CON Poster Contest Coronado The Coronado Cultural Arts Commission and MainStreet Ltd. invite Coronado students in grades 9-12 in public, private, and home schools to be part of this summer’s OZ CON by creating an original poster design for the OZ CON Poster Contest. Winning posters (first, second and third place) as well as the other entries will be available to Coronado businesses to display in windows on Orange Avenue and throughout the downtown area. It will be an opportunity to showcase your creativity on the occasion of a very exciting celebration.
Off to see the Wizard Crown Center in downtown Kansas City will be teeming with Dorothy, Toto and their friends from Oz next week. A nine-city tour promoting the upcoming animated “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return” will stop outside the shopping complex from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Activities include crafts, game stations and the story that inspired the new movie, by Roger Stanton Baum, great-grandson of “Oz” creator L. Frank Baum. The movie arrives May 9. Meanwhile, Crown Center’s own exhibit, “75 Years of Oz, Oh My,” continues through May 4. And Starlight Theatre will present the stage version June 10-15.
Dylan’s Candy Bar Celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Wizard of Oz The collection features special edition items of nostalgic, character-themed confections to celebrate the film, such as chocolate bars created for Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and Tin Man, and hand-decorated cookies shaped like Toto and the classic Wizard of Oz rainbow. There are also lollipops fashioned as Dorothy’s magical ruby slippers and the also magical (but slightly maniacal) villain, the Wicked Witch. In addition to the candy collection launch, the two companies have partnered to create a larger-than-life candy sculpture out of Jelly Belly ® jelly beans. The sculpture will be unveiled at the Original Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles, CA, on May 4, 2014.
Wizard of Oz Fest to Enchant Fans in Orland Park, IL The festival will feature special guest speaker and Master of Ceremonies, John Fricke. Fricke is the spokesman for Warner Bros. as the host of the Hollywood re-premiere of the Wizard of Oz film on its 75th anniversary. He is a two-time Emmy Award winner as co-producer and co-writer of programs on A&E and PBS-TV. Also a featured special guest is Roger S. Baum, the great-grandson of L. Frank Baum who is the author of the original Wonderful Wizard of Oz book. Roger is a bestselling children’s author whose 2013 book, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s return, will be released as a movie in theaters nationwide May 2014. In addition to Fricke and Baum, many other special guests will be announced as the event draws near.
Cantanti della donna of Alabama to celebrate ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Cantanti della donna honors this 75th anniversary year of “The Wizard of Oz” with a concert featuring songs about going home and highlighting the variety of musicals based on the original film. These include songs from “The Wiz”, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s, “The Wizard of Oz”, and the current smash, “Wicked.”
Stealing the Ruby Slippers Jared Canning is out of money and out of time. His gambling debts are due, and his creditors are not the kind that grant extensions. An old friend offers him a job: break into a small town museum, steal a pair Ruby Slippers Judy Garland wore in the Wizard of Oz, and share the profits when they are sold to a buyer in New Orleans. On August 25, 2005, Jared pulls off the heist perfectly. The next day, Jared watches Hurricane Katrina slam into New Orleans. His buyer, and his money, are gone.
Oz museum loses lease, finds new home, but needs money, help to reopen in time for fest The All Things Oz Museum in Chittenango lost its lease and now has to move into its new quarters abruptly, leaving it in a financial crunch, officials say. Museum officials are scrambling to raise enough money to get work completed on the new building at 219 Genesee St. in Chittenango, next door to its former museum location. They need about $20,000 in order to get the building ready for Oz-Stravaganza 2014 set for June 6 to 8. Anyone who wants to donate can mail a check to to All Things Oz, P. O Box 456, Chittenango, NY 13037.
“Wizard of Oz” Flower Show Preview Party – March 2014 The preview party for the second annual Flower Show of the North Carolina State Florists Association was held at the Weymouth Center on Wednesday, March 26. With the theme of “Wizard of Oz,” the floral designers decorated the rooms and grounds of the Weymouth Center in a whimsical fashion with beautiful and imaginative floral arrangements and backdrops.
UK website launched for May film Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return The Royal Blog of Oz, the “Wizard of Oz”/L. Frank Baum blog of Dorothy and Ozma Productions, owned by Jared Davis and others in the Oz community recently reported that the United Kingdom website for Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return has launched. With the launch of the website, came some new stills and clips. Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return will be opening in the United States this May 9, and in the UK on May 23.
JSP Records to Release a 5-CD set, JUDY GARLAND: THE GARLAND VARIATIONS Produced by John Stedman and compiled by award-winning Garland historian Lawrence Schulman, the set will for the first time gather songs Garland recorded in the studio on multiple occasions between 1937 and 1962. Placing them back to back, the 115-track 6 ½ hour anthology will highlight songs Garland thought enough of to re-record over her 45-year career. The box set will also include essays by James Fisher, professor and head of the Theatre Department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; Scott Brogan, founder and webmaster of The Judy Room; Christine Andreas, the Broadway and cabaret star who recently played Garland in the theatrical production of Heartbreaker, based on John Meyer’s 1983 memoir; and Laurent Valière, a journalist at Radio France and producer/host of the program 42nd Street.
Serenbe Playhouse to Celebrate 5th Anniversary with THE EMERALD BALL The Emerald Ball will take place on Saturday May 17th, in the heart of the Serenbe community. Fans will take a trip far over the rainbow and land in a glistening world of green. Rare gems will be far from the most beautiful things on display as Ozians parade in all shades of green to celebrate the kick off to The Playhouse‘s Season of Journeys. Exquisite food and delicious drinks will be enjoyed as one of a kind Silent and Live Auction items are highlighted, then dance the night away as one of Atlanta’s hottest DJ send you beyond the stars. On May 30th a world premiere adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Rachel Teagle, directed by Brian Clowdus and presented with original puppets from The Center for Puppetry Arts will touch the hearts of young and old alike. Dorothy, Toto and all of their friends will be in Serenbe until August 2nd.
Concert enters fantasy world of L. Frank Baum L. Frank Baum is best known for his 1900 novel, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” but he wrote many other fantasies. On Sunday, UC Riverside’s Department of Music will premiere a composition based on one of his little-known stories. “The Queen of Quok” is by Tim Labor, associate professor of music and media and cultural studies. In a phone interview, Labor described it as a 20-minute piece written for a “full romantic orchestra,” similar to “Peter and the Wolf” in that musical instruments represent characters in the story. It will be narrated by actor Johanna McKay. “It’s funny and colorful, with music synchronized with the narration in clever and tricky ways,” conductor Ruth Charloff wrote in an email. “The music is a mix of big, vivid film scoring and TV cartoony commentary. Different characters are depicted not just through attaching different instruments to each, but with really funny and very differentiated stylistic insight.”
Liza Is A Hatha-Hater! Why She’s Fuming Over Judy Garland Biopic Although Liza intially supported the “Les Miserables” star, she’s changed her mind, said another insider.“ As wild an idea as it is, Liza would love to see Lady Gaga play Judy,” revealed the insider. “Liza thinks Gaga has the singing chops, and Gaga has expressed a deep reverence for Judy. “Liza is also a huge fan of Katie Holmes and thinks she’d be a great choice to play Judy. Katie sings, she dances and Liza respects her acting. Liza’s biggest fear is that the movie will further tarnish her mother’s legacy. She’s haunted by the tragic figure Anne played in ‘Les Miz’ and worries that the same kind of darkness will come through if Anne plays her mom. She thinks that Gaga or Katie will give a more uplifting performance as Judy during those difficult times.”
Upcoming Book: Annie’s Stories The year is 1901, the literary sensation The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is taking New York City by storm, and everyone wonders where the next great book will come from. But to Annie Gallagher, stories are more than entertainment—they’re a sweet reminder of her storyteller father. After his death, Annie fled Ireland for the land of dreams, finding work at Hawkins House. But when a fellow boarder with something to hide is accused of misconduct and authorities threaten to shut down the boardinghouse, Annie fears she may lose her new friends, her housekeeping job . . . and her means of funding her dream: a memorial library to honor her father. Furthermore, the friendly postman shows a little too much interest in Annie—and in her father’s unpublished stories. In fact, he suspects these tales may hold a grand secret.
The Card Game of Oz This new game ntroduces an innovative system called the Storyline Game System™ that adds strategy to your challenging and fun adventures through Oz. Each player takes on the role of an author attempting to construct the best story in the world of Oz. During the game, players will attempt to bring together objects, characters and locations that are appropriate together – for example, the Tin Woodman and his Oil Can – while avoiding hazards like the field of poppies and terrible beasts and villains like the Kalidahs or the Wicked Witch of the West. Each round players roll a special set of dice to determine the number of points they have for drawing and playing cards. The number of dice increases during the game, allowing the game to scale naturally while you play. The game ends when a player is able to move a Prime character – that is, one of the main characters of the story – from her Title card all the way to The End, but doing so is no simple race because the character who triggers the endgame is worth no points toward victory. Featuring hundreds of fascinating characters, events, and vistas, Oz is a world that has stood the test of time. Construct an iconic tale that is all your own!