Oz in the News 5.22.14

1400724537001-prison-wizard-of-oz3Prison of Oz: Staying human in an Ohio Prison  There may be no tougher crowd in the world than a room filled with inmates and guards. These people are hard by definition and necessity. On Tuesday they sat waiting for the curtain to rise on the prison stage. When it did, there was Dorothy, a 6-foot-4-inch African-American man doing eight years in the Ross Correctional Institution in Chillicothe. Dorothy wore braids and a blue dress and Toto was sitting by her side. The sniggering and eye-rolling began immediately, then it turned louder and more derisive. Dorothy, something of a diva, let the laughter subside. Then she started to sing with a voice of resounding beauty about a land she once heard of in a lullaby, about chimney tops and lemon drops and wanting to fly away. “Why oh, why, can’t I?” The crowd instantly grew quiet.

Festival celebrates ‘The Wizard of Oz’  For the 39th consecutive year, the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, Minn., is celebrating the entertainer and her timeless film, “The Wizard of Oz,” during its week-long Wizard of Oz Festival, taking place June 10-15.  In recognition of the 75th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz” film and the movie’s enduring heritage, this year’s festival, formerly the Judy Garland Festival, includes a number of special events. Grand Rapids is the birthplace of Judy Garland. Kicking off this year’s festivities is the opening of a new “Wizard of Oz” exhibit at the Judy Garland Museum. The exhibit includes 3,000 items related to the movie, including the carriage that heralded Dorothy and her friends into the Emerald City, an original Winkie Guard spear used at the Wicked Witch of the West’s castle, Dorothy’s Adrian-designed 1938 pinafore test dress, Oz set design watercolors from 1938-39 and original movie theater lobby cards.

Abingdon to “goes to Oz” with Barter  A town-wide celebration is happening in Virginia as Abingdon goes to Oz with Barter Theatre! “The Wizard of Oz” begins Saturday May 17 and local businesses are getting in on the fun with limited time Oz themed products, food and drink! Barter Theatre’s Yellow Brick Road Partners range from Jeannine’s Fabric Store (with Wizard of Oz themed prints) to Pop Ellis’ Soda Shoppe (featuring the Munchkin Lunchkin), and everything in between. Bob’s at Barter—the newly renovated eatery at Barter Stage II—will feature, among its many tasty offerings, ruby red cookies and treats from the lollipop guild created by Anthony’s Desserts. Babycakes Cupcakery and Unique Eats will feature Ruby Red Slipper Cupcakes, a red velvet cake cupcake with glittery red icing. It’s sure to please. Figaredo’s is offering an Emerald City Pizza, a delicious green pizza with pesto sauce. Bonefire Smokehouse is offering a special “We’re not in Kansas Anymore” BBQ. Abingdon Olive Oil Company is partnering with locally owned restaurants in town with their The Oz Couple, pairing Ruby Red Grapefruit infused Olive Oil with Red Apple Balsamic Vinegar. For adults, the Peppermill is offering a Flying Monkey Cocktail with banana liqueur and the Tavern is offering a Good Witch and a Bad Witch, the latter made with absinthe. On the retail side, Mallory Fine Art invites the public to view the “Over the Rainbow” fine arts exhibit featuring original works by regional artists, and The Glass Peacock is selling beautiful hand-made Ruby Red Slipper Sun Catchers and Charms.

‘Wizard of Oz’ costume party and concert to kick of Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts in Port Angeles  California festival band Poor Man’s Whiskey will perform its bluegrass-flavored cover set, titled “Dark Side of the Moonshine,” as the classic film starring Judy Garland is shown as a backdrop. The match between the music of Pink Floyd’s 1973 album, “Dark Side of the Moon,” and the visual storytelling of the classic “Wizard of Oz” film was first noted in the press by the Fort Wayne [Ind.] Journal Gazette in 1995 and has a growing following, said Dan Maguire, festival director. Even Turner Movie Classics cable channel has aired a version of the film and music edited together, Maguire said. “Some people say it’s really uncanny. It has become a huge phenomenon,” Maguire said of the match between the movie and the music. Partygoers are urged to dress as their favorite “Wizard of Oz” character.

Choctaw casino player wins $1 million jackpot on Wizard of Oz slot machine  Texas native Dorothy was visiting the Choctaw Casino while her husband was on a business visit in Durant when she was drawn to a particular machine because of the THE WIZARD OF OZ slot theme. It worked out in her favor. Dorothy played about $40 on the machine before she hit the massive jackpot. After the winning spin, she was nearly speechless, and could only express her joy with, “Holy cow!” When asked how she would spend her winnings, Dorothy responded, “No idea. I’m still in shock.”

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