Oz in the News 5.4.14

10270693_10201862523829528_8563453693753955034_n‘Legends of Oz: Dorthy’s Return’ tour stops in St. Louis  This May, you could be off to see the Wizard – again. The new animated movie, “Legends of Oz: Dorthy’s Return” is set to open in theaters in mid-May. But the first weekend of May, the “Legends of Oz Express Tour” is rolling through St. Louis. Scott Jones, the “Legends of Oz: Dorthy’s Return” tour manager told Christine Buck about the tour’s stop in St. Louis.

Wizard of Oz festival coming to Orland Park  Dorothy’s not in Kansas anymore: the Midwest Wizard of Oz Festival is coming to Orland Park. The festival celebrating the classic film will come to Centennial Park from Sept. 19-21, village officials announced. “This is unlike anything we have ever seen in the area and we anticipate a great event with family fun for all,” Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin said in a statement. The Oz-themed weekend will offer hot air balloon rides, a carnival with rides and games, costume contests and guest speakers, including Roger S. Baum, great-grandson of L. Frank Baum, author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” said festival organizer David De John.

The cause of ‘The Wizard of Oz’  Friday, the animated “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return,” based not on Baum’s books but on one written by his great grandson, Roger, will try to bring the magic back. I haven’t seen the new film yet, but judging from the description — Dorothy is whisked back to Oz to save it from the evil of the “Jester” — it shares, along with the other two spinoffs, an essential element of the original movie. All four films confront a woman’s role in society. Sure, you’re thinking, that’s why “The Wizard of Oz” is so beloved — its feminist subtext. But the gender politics are undeniable. Beginning with the 1939 original, each visit to Oz has featured powerful women and an ineffectual patriarchy.

10 Best Road Books  Please indulge me here: I’m wild about L. Frank Baum. As far as I understand, Baum never intended to write fourteen books about Oz but he was broke and needed the money. After the sixth installment, “Emerald City of Oz,” he shut the land of Oz off completely and then had to find a way around the barrier he’d erected. They aren’t books I would have like as a child but I seek them out now when I’m in need of a happy ending. There’s comfort in knowing that the characters will escape unharmed: they’ll cross the deadly desert safely; when they’re hungry, trees full of ripe fruit will appear. In The Lost Princess of Oz, Ozma is stolen from her bedchamber and a search party sets out across the land to take on Ugu, an angry shoemaker-turned-magician.

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