Monthly Archives: June 2014

Oz in the News 6.30.14

dorothy-videosThe Wicked Witch of the West ain’t got nothin’ on that b**** from Kansas. Watch Dorothy: The Real Princess of Oz –– an Epic Reads original YouTube series based on the New York Times bestselling novel Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige. Set in Dorothy’s castle, this three-part docu-series follows Dorothy Gale and her trusted advisers, The Wizard, Glinda the Good Witch and Dorothy’s assistant Jellia, as they plan a party for the citizens of Oz. The first episode follows Dorothy, now the maniacal ruler of Oz, as she navigates the daily struggles that come with running a magic kingdom. Watch the series here.

Danielle Wade, Over the Rainbow winner, wraps Wizard of Oz tour  After wearing Dorothy’s ruby slippers for nearly two years, actress and reality show winner Danielle Wade is wrapping up her turn in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. The young star has performed the musical’s lead role more than 500 times, during the show’s Toronto run, which began in December 2012, as well as through its subsequent North American tour. Wade wraps the Wizard of Oz tour at the Detroit Opera House on Sunday.

Oz in the News 6.28.14

julaug14_a01_nationaltreasure.jpg__800x600_q85_cropAn Early Script of The Wizard of Oz Offers a Rare Glimpse Into the Creation of the Iconic Film  On a recent afternoon in my study, I pored over a photocopy of a touchstone memento from the film—a typewritten studio script. The original, in the collections of the National Museum of American History and dated May 4, 1938, consists of about 100 pages. Though other writers, including lyricist E. Y. Harburg, who penned “Over the Rainbow,” would refine and polish the story, this draft is the work of Noel Langley. The differences between this version and the final shooting script? Hardly a page escapes without crossed-out speeches and handwritten substitutions. Plot points abound that are later abandoned (the Wicked Witch of the West has a son named Bulbo?). Only a couple of scenes refer to singing, and none of the famous lyrics appear. What would become “Over the Rainbow,” which I call America’s unofficial national anthem, is referred to as “the Kansas song.”

Oz in the News 6.25.14

10477559_649650911785412_4022405327290134228_o This year’s Winkie Con not only marks our first half-century, but also our first convention in San Diego – a city with many connections to L. Frank Baum, the creator of Oz. Baum spent winters at the Hotel Del Coronado and then rented a house in Coronado where he wrote the fifth Oz book, The Road to Oz. The coast of La Jolla was a starting point in several of Baum’s fantasies, including The Scarecrow of Oz. We’ll be exploring these San Diego connections to Oz and more at Winkie Con 50.

Oz in the News 6.20.14

emeraldcity_cast1Meet Dorothy and the Oz-some Residents of NBC’s Emerald City  Debuting during the 2014-15 TV season, Emerald opens with Dorothy, a 20-year-old woman desperate for clues to the identity of her biological mother, breaking into a sinister facility somewhere in the Midwest. When her mission is foiled by security, Dorothy steals a K9 police dog and speeds away… into the path of a tornado. Said twister transports her to a mystical land of competing kingdoms, lethal warriors, dark magic and a bloody battle for supremacy — in other words, the Land of Oz in a way never seen before, a realm where wicked witches don’t stay dead for long. A horse of a different color, indeed.

Oz And Suffrage: The Connection In New York  Thousands of people come to Chittenango every year for this celebration (last week there was an addition 20,000 souls lining the streets), and—this year— it’s where the International Wizard of Oz Club decided to hold its annual meeting. Naturally, I dragged my husband across the United States to join hundreds of fellow travelers for not only a board meeting, a club convention, but also Chittenango’s OzFest where, as Oz Club officials, we got to ride in the parade and were treated like royalty. Seven miles to the west of Chittenango is another small burg: Fayetteville. It, too, is famous for its Oz connections. It is where L. Frank Baum’s mother-in-law, Matilda Joslyn Gage, grew up. Like her son-in-law, Matilda would live to have a great impact on this country.  We also have Matilda to thank for L. Frank’s greatest achievement. After her husband passed away, she spent part of the year living with L. Frank and Maud and their four sons in Aberdeen and then Chicago. It is well documented that she was L. Frank’s staunchest admirer and constantly urged him to publish the stories he told to his sons and other children.

Oz in the News 6.19.14

53a3388bd72f6.imageWorld record book breaker!  The word is out; the Judy Garland Museum successfully gathered enough people to break the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of people dressed as characters from “The Wizard of Oz” at this year’s festival celebrating the 75th anniversary of the famous film. The previous record of 446 at Mile Oak Primary School in the UK was smashed last Friday by a count of 1,150 on the lawn of Evergreen Terrace, neighboring the museum.  Sharon Marty-Rasmussen said that she was excited to see so many “Wizard of Oz” costumes come out of storage for the event. The Grand Rapids Players performed a production of “The Wizard of Oz” in 1989 for the 50th anniversary of the film. “It was very heart-warming to see them come out of storage. It’s been a long time since we’ve done ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ and we didn’t have any use for them, but I wasn’t willing to part with them,” said Marty-Rasmussen. “It was really fun to pull [the costumes] out and rehash the memories that went with them.”

Yellow brick road travels through Ionia as Wizard of Oz Festival comes to town  A movie for 25 cents? The Ionia Downtown Development Authority is taking the town back in time Friday through Sunday, June 20-22, with the Wizard of Oz Festival to help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the film “The Wizard of Oz.”  As part of its Summer in the City celebration, Main Street will be transformed into the famous yellow brick road as arts and crafts, antiques, and collectible memorabilia vendors line the street to offer their goods. At 1:30 p.m. Friday, a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held with special guest Mary Ellen St. Aubin, the wife of the late Parnell St. Aubin, who played a Munchkin soldier in the film, in attendance.

Original movie posters for Dr No, The Wizard of Oz and Casablanca set to go under the hammer  Christie’s are holding an online auction featuring an eclectic array of famous movie posters spanning from 1914 to 2013.
The classic fantasy film The Wizard of Oz poster is expected to fetch £9,000.

Ford UNminivan cruises up Yellow Brick Road to find Wizard of Oz  To promote the car, Morales and Maya Murillo, both video bloggers, are taking a road trip around Kansas. The #UNminivan itself started its journey in Michigan and was driven down to Denver, which is where Morales flew in from California and Murillo from Arizona. The two women started their road trip to Kansas from there. Their first stop was Burlington, and then they headed to Liberal’s Land of Oz. “I think our whole goal for this trip was to pick out the beauty of Kansas and the Yellow Brick Road and make it our own,” Murillo said. “The #UNminivan is really about showing your quirky side and your creativity and originality.” They named the bright red #UNminivan Toto in honor of Liberal and its tribute to “The Wizard of Oz.”

Jersey Jack Pinball Publishes 380-Page Wizard Of Oz Manual OnlineJersey Jack Pinball reports that it has completed a comprehensive Wizard of Oz Operations Manual, and is making it available for download. The full-color manual includes instructions for game setup, testing and adjustment, along with parts information, reference diagrams and schematics, as well as advice on service and troubleshooting the game. The appendices include six pages of four-color game pricing cards, nine styles per page, for three- and five-ball games at 75¢, $1 and free play. Created by the company’s E.E. (Butch) Peel, the manual took nearly two years to compile as the game was being designed. In its final form, the PDF volume contains more than 1,200 hyperlinks for easy navigation through its 380 pages.

Oz in the News 6.18.14

Wizard-Of-Oz-Final-print-qualityweb-300x168Wizard of Oz fever grips Frome – and the rest of the world!  The organisers of the Frome Wizard of Oz world record attempt say that now is the time for everyone to stand up and be counted on Sunday 13th July.   “If you are proud of this wonderful, merry old town of Frome, then get your ruby slippers on, fluff up your lion suit, dust down your scarecrow, oil up your tin man, slap on your green face paint, titivate your Munchkin and come on down for some fun to the Cheese and Grain on Sunday 13th July from 9.00am. “It may be more difficult to break the record with these latest attempts, but we’re going to have a damn good go and a lot of fun trying!”

Oz in the News 6.16.14

20140614_wizardofoz15_53Grand Rapids Breaks ‘Wizard of Oz’ Record  The Wizard of Oz Festival was in full swing on Friday and people from all over the nation gathered in Grand Rapids, Minn., and beat a Guinness World Record for most fully-costumed Wizard of Oz characters in one place. They had 1,150 people dressed as Dorothy, the Tinman, the Cowardly Lion among other characters. The previous record was set in England in Nov. 2010 with 446 people. The little girl who came up with the idea said this wasn’t her original plan. “It was originally going to be most people dressed up as Dorothy, but then the original record was most people dressed up as Wizard of Oz characters so we decided to do that, and we broke a record,” said Reece Veatch. “I am just very thankful that everyone decided to come.” The coordinator of the event, John Kelsch, said this new record’s location is quite fitting as it is set where Judy Garland was born. Nearly tripling the record, he says he thinks they’ll hold the record for many years.

Wizard of Oz festival celebrates Dorothy in Judy’s hometown  Grand Rapids, Minn.’s annual “Wizard of Oz” festival this weekend celebrates the 75th anniversary of the film’s release in Judy Garland’s hometown. As part of the festivities, organizers attempted to set a Guinness Book world record for the highest number of “Wizard of Oz” characters in a single place.

75 Years on the Yellow Brick Road: Things You Likely Never Knew About The Wizard Of Oz  You might be aware that the film classic The Wizard of Oz is 75 years old this August. But do you know why Dorothy wears the iconic Ruby Slippers instead of the silver pair L. Frank Baum gave her in the book? Or that F. Scott Fitzgerald wanted to write the screenplay as a vehicle for the Marx Brothers? Michael Patrick Hearn, the leading authority on The Wizard of Oz, explores these and other little-known facts about the creation of the most beloved Hollywood movie ever made. Hearn was a great friend of Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch herself, and shares behind-the-scene secrets that she and others revealed to him. When editing the screenplay in 1989, he was given free access to the MGM files owned by Turner Entertainment.


Oz in the News 6.13.14

53985a35321cb.imageWelcome to the Land of Oz  Following months of preparation, the new Land of Oz gallery at the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids officially opened on Tuesday, June 10, and was free to the public for the entire first day. Despite a late start due to some last minute work in the gallery, a lively crowd was happy to see the thousands of new pieces on display compliments of collector Cheryl Ann Silich.  But the highlight for many people wasn’t actually any of the new pieces donated by Silich; it was the carriage from the film that carried Dorothy and her entourage through the Emerald City, otherwise known as Lincoln’s carriage, since it was also owned by the 16th President of the United States. The new gallery gave the carriage a new display, handsomely shown on a turning mirrored table so that guests will be able to see it from all sides.

Oz in the News 6.10.14

Walter Krueger, 28, from near Chicago, Il., is such a big fan of The Wizard of Oz that he has spent more than £120,000 on memorabilia

Walter Krueger, 28, from near Chicago, Il., is such a big fan of The Wizard of Oz that he has spent more than £120,000 on memorabilia

Oz-sessed! Wizard of Oz superfan has more than 10,000 pieces of memorabilia worth half a MILLION dollars – including a pair of replica ruby slippers  Mr. Krueger was introduced to the classic tale by his grandmother when he was five and says its morals helped him through difficult times, including the death of his mother. He said: ‘I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve seen the film – when I was a child our VHS copy of it had to be replaced multiple times. ‘It was a constant gift every year that I would get for either Christmas or my birthday – if I had to put a figure on it I would say I’d seen it thousands and thousands of times.’ Now most of Mr Krueger’s home – including his old bedroom – is dedicated to the extensive collection, which includes a first edition of the classic book and a coat worn in the 1939 film starring Judy Garland.

Lea Michele is over the rainbow in the ‘Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return’  “Getting to get to be Dorothy is so amazing,” Michele said. “I didn’t go a day in my childhood without watching ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ I actually watched it in my house so much that at one point my mother had to hide the videotape.” If watching the classic movie wasn’t enough, Michele truly got into character. “I wore my ruby slippers, and I have this crazy Christmas video of me where every year for 10 years I’m still wearing my ruby slippers because I thought I was Dorothy.”

Warlord of Oz #2, “A Most Sublime Act”  Warlord of Oz gives readers an interesting interpretation of familiar faces in a fantasy setting at war. This isn’t the cutesy whimsical Oz of yore, but a take no prisoners, burn everything else Oz, with violent tendencies and sexy heroines — including one Dorothy Gale, whose fetching gingham attire gets supplanted with something a bit more suited to battle (and, this being comics, of course means that it actually covers less than did her cutoffs and tied-off top). It’s definitely for the older readers, as there’s a setup that takes things just a little over the top: in Boggtown, the first pub to be destroyed is “The Wizard’s Knob.” Later, as they travel, Crumb sees the Warlord’s men set fire to “The Golden Shaft,” prompting him to cry out, “First the knob and now the shaft?”

Judy Garland: A Legend Remembered  Although Garland may have harbored initial misgivings about starring in St. Louis, for Margaret O’Brien who played Judy’s kid sister “Tootie,” the movie was an unalloyed joy from start to finish. “Judy was just lovely to work with,” O’Brien told us over drinks at Musso & Frank Grill on Hollywood Blvd. “People think of her as being kind of sad. She jumped rope with me and played hop-scotch between takes. She was kind of a kid herself. She knew who she was. She was Judy Garland for goodness sake!”  Judy Garland would’ve been 92 on June 10th.

Oz in the News 6.9.14 – International Oz Club/Oz-Stravaganza! Special


International Wizard of Oz Club Members






International Wizard of Oz Club Members






International Wizard of Oz Club Members