Monthly Archives: October 2014

Oz in the News 10.30.14

oz_webThe Oz Project  Parallel 45’s spectacular fall production is a completely original musical experience based on The Wizard of Oz, directed and choreographed by founding member Justin Perez. This jukebox musical will feature bold design elements and stunning contemporary dance set to popular songs from across the canon. Come experience this classic story reconstructed in new, dazzling ways!

Tinley Park prepares for 2015 Wizard of Oz festival  After this year’s disappointing cancellation, Tinley Park is gearing up for the 2015 Wizard of Oz Festival. The village, which scheduled a planning meeting for Oct. 29, is in the process of trying to staff several planning committees with local volunteers, said Vicki Sanchez, Tinley’s special events coordinator. So far, Sanchez said the village has received “a ton” of interest in the event. “People are really into ‘Wizard of Oz,'” Sanchez said. “It’s like a cult following.”

The great and original Oz musical  The Historic Everett Theatre has the privilege of debuting the next incantation of the story, titled “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” It is a worthy addition to its predecessors. Michael Gershowitz, who works at Kirkland Music Academy, had dreamed of remaking “The Wizard of Oz,” since he was very young. Twenty years ago, he discovered that not long after the book was published, that its author, L. Frank Baum Baum, also wrote a musical based on his story. Since no one else had an interest in it, and after getting permission from the family, Mr. Gershowitz and his company, Page2Stage Entertainment, revived the musical that had been collecting dust, but adding in their own songs, as well. His colleague, Joshua Sibley, also added songs until they had six composers and many more songs, such as “Witches Debate” and “Utopian Society.”

Wizardly tale: Ziaukas: Baum never a Bradfordian despite rumor  University of Pittsburgh at Bradford professor Tim Ziaukas laid to rest a rumor that has proliferated Bradford for many years — whether L. Frank Baum, author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” had really lived in the city. “L. Frank Baum was never a Bradfordian,” said Ziaukas, who is a professor of public relations. The error comes dates back to the Nov. 19, 1899, edition of the Syracuse Standard titled “Father Goose”: “Mr. Baum … founded The Era at Bradford, Pennsylvania, which has become a flourishing daily.”  “There it is. And it’s not true by a long shot, nor is it known if Baum himself fabricated the data or the journalist made a mistake,” Ziaukas said.

Oz in the News 10.26.14

OZ+02_46W0VK3UBSmithfield Halloween display created by a couple of wizards  For 75 years, “The Wizard of Oz” has been entertaining families on the silver screen, TV and through VHS and DVDs. But it’s been 20-plus years since the cast made its appearance in Johnston (at first) and now at 14 Red Wing Trail in Esmond. The display began at the home of Mark Smith, but when he and his first wife divorced, the cast needed a new home. Dave Keene, his friend since kindergarten — they’re both now 49 — stepped up. The display “started with the Tin Man and kind of grew from there,” said Smith. “The Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Wizard, those are the original three.” “He’s been doing this forever,” noted Keene. “We were in kindergarten making circles and squares, and he’s making Bullwinkle and Rocky.” Smith, who works in a machine shop at Dean Machine, in Cranston, chose the “Oz” figures because he believed he needed “to get away from skeletons, ghouls and goblins, yet still have that Halloween feel.”

‘Wizard of Oz’ coming in 3D for one-time showing  The Lake Arts Council, Hy-Vee, and Wehrenberg Theater Eagles’ Landing, are thrilled to bring one of the most beloved films of all time to the lake area. On Saturday, Nov. 8, you will be able to see the classic “The Wizard of Oz” in 3D beginning at 11 a.m. This event is partially sponsored by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. In addition to seeing the fabulous classic in 3D, The Lake Arts Council will sponsor a “Wizard of Oz” costume contest for all children, preschool through high school. Judging will begin at 10 a.m. in the lobby of the theater. Prizes will be awarded to winners in four age groups. Remember, only “Wizard of Oz” costumes may compete in the contest.

Oz in the News 10.14.14

Wizard-of-Oz-GroupWe’re Off To See ‘The Wizard of Oz’  “The Wizard of Oz” is presented on the main stage at the Center for Puppetry Arts and is a glorious example of traditional puppetry at its finest, filled with great special effects (truly one of the rare marionette performances to feature a tornado lifting a house into the sky) and a host of songs — composed and performed by Steve Frisch — that fit so perfectly they should have been in the movie version. Each of Dorothy’s three companions poignantly sums up his plight in a song — “Strawman Blues,” “Tinman Blues” and “Cowardly Blues.”  And of course the hopeful solution to all of their problems — including Dorothy’s quest to find Toto and to get back home — is to follow the yellow brick road to the palace of the great and powerful Wizard.

I’m a Celebrity meets the Wizard of Oz: Watch Ant and Dec head up the Yellow Brick Road  It is filmed in the Australian outback rather than the Land of Oz, but Declan Donnelly recorded a Wizard Of Oz-themed trailer to mark the return of the series, which this year is rumoured to include singer Tulisa Contostavlos, Olympic diver Tom Daley, TV host Melanie Sykes and former Coronation Street actress Michelle Keegan. In the trailer, the duo decide to follow a yellow brick road to find camp. Appearing from a hut looking flustered, Ant says: “Ooh, that was a whirlwind journey.”  “Which way to camp then?” asks Dec, looking around. They spot a yellow brick road and both point, excitedly saying, “Follow the yellow dirt road!” “Hold on, what on earth are you wearing on your feet?”, Ant then asks Dec. “Do you know what? They’re surprisingly comfy,” says Dec, clicking the heels of his sparkly, red slippers together.

Oceans 234: Wizard of Oz Bash  Oceans 234, one of Deerfield Beach’s most popular beachfront restaurants, will be hosting a Wizard of Oz-Themed Halloween Bash on Friday, Oct. 31, at 8 p.m., this year featuring a frightening “Wizard of Oz” theme. Guests are invited to wear their most devious disguises to enjoy a costume contest, prizes and live entertainment in the Emerald City-inspired environment. Festively costumed staffers will serve hand-crafted drinks and for a wickedly good time.

Oz in the News 10.21.14

hsyldkub-958x360-798x310This Wizard of Oz-inspired wearable lets you click your heels to order a taxi or text your friends  We’ve all found ourselves trapped in an awkward dinner situation where we want nothing more than to be rescued by a “important call.” A new device called Dorothy might be able to come your rescue. A different take on wearables made by iStrategyLabs, Dorothy works by attaching a ‘Ruby’ (a small Arduino-based Bluetooth device) to your shoe and tapping your heels together three times to trigger an action.

KC Wizard of Oz World Record Attempt  More than 250 people costumed as “The Wizard of Oz” characters gathered at the Legends Outlets on Saturday morning attempting to set a Guinness World Record. The Kansas City Star arranged the event in honor of Halloween and the movie’s 75th anniversary.

Flashmob of Dorothys proves a wizard spectacle at Born in Bradford Festival  MORE than 100 women and girls donned their red shoes for a Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz-inspired flashmob in the centre of Bradford during an action-packed weekend of activities. The impromptu performance was held as part of the weekend-long Born in Bradford Family Festival, which took place at the National Media Museum and City Park. The troupe, led by Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, skipped and danced their way through the Mirror Pool in a five-minute display organised by the Irregular (Arts) group, based in Shipley to mark the 75th anniversary of the classic film starring Judy Garland.

Albino Dragon announces customized playing card deck based on the classic film THE WIZARD OF OZ  Albino Dragon, the Austin, Texas-based tabletop game publisher, is proud to announce their newest project, an officially licensed, customized Bicycle playing card deck based on the much-beloved movie, The Wizard of Oz. The project was launched on Kickstarter and, in less than one week, has already met its goal. Fans are very excited to receive the playing cards, which are illustrated and designed by Noelle Pugh, and officially licensed by Warner Bros. Consumer Products. The decks will feature one-of-a-kind court cards, custom jokers, and custom pip cards. The cards all feature rich artwork based on The Wizard of Oz. Maintaining their commitment to quality and excellence, the deck will be printed by the United States Playing Card Company (USPCC), the same company that produces the Bicycle brand.

Oz in the News 10.18.14

hillary_flying_monkeys_a_pHillary Clinton Flying Monkey Signs Deface Brentwood Ahead of L.A. Fundraiser  Guerrilla street artist SABO, who made headlines with his Gwyneth Paltrow “Obama Drone” poster, has struck again — this time ahead of Hillary Clinton‘s upcoming Democratic fundraiser at Tavern restaurant in Brentwood. The Los Angeles artist early Friday hung signs depicting Wizard of Oz flying monkeys holding “Hillary 2016” signs from traffic lights and pasted them on utility boxes near the San Vicente Boulevard restaurant.

Author Azar Nafisi returns with spirited defense of American literature  In her memorable 2003 best-selling memoir “Reading Lolita in Tehran,” Iranian-born college professor Azar Nafisi told a thrilling tale of how she used Western literature as a tool to fight against the oppression of the Iranian theocracy in the years following the Islamic revolution in her home country. But for the past 17 years, Nafisi has made her home in the United States, and it’s toward America that she now casts her eye in her new book “The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books” (Viking). She comes to Peace United Church in Santa Cruz on Oct. 28 in an event sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz. She introduces her book with a focus on an American story that might trump them all in metaphorical resonance, L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” “One of the fascinating things about ‘The Wizard of Oz,'” said Nafisi who earned her doctorate at the University of Oklahoma, not too far from Dorothy’s Kansas home, “is how when Dorothy and her companions begin searching for Oz, they think he’s Superman, that he’s the one with all the answers. But reaching Oz, they find that the power is within them. That is what imagination does to you. It opens up the possibilities that you did not think existed before. It teaches you to confront the limitations of reality and gives us a new of looking at our problems.”

Rainbow Garden Club fundraiser has ‘Wizard of Oz’ theme  The Rainbow Garden Club of Great Falls will hold its annual luncheon and style show on Saturday, Oct. 25, at the Great Falls Elks Lodge at 500 1st Ave. S. starting at 11 a.m. with a social hour. Luncheon and style show start at noon. Club members dressed as characters from the famous movie will mingle and provide photo ops with guests. The Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man will join Dorothy (and Toto), the Wizard and both the good and bad witches. The models from Great Falls and Cascade clothing stores and boutiques will enter the fashion show “under the rainbow” as they follow a yellow brick road. Special theme music will be provided by area musician Jan Roberts with a surprise vocalist. “Club members have been having a wonderful time preparing for this year’s program,” says Patty Schlaeger, Rainbow Garden Club’s 2014 style show chairman. “We have been making lovely basket arrangements for each table featuring sun flowers and bluebirds. These beautiful centerpieces will be for sale and will include a living accent that is a ‘friendship cutting’ donated from plants that decorate many local homes and businesses. Our members’ creative talents and enchanting decorating ideas will be turning the Elks Lodge into the wonderland of Oz for the afternoon.”


Oz in the News 10.14.14

4cb35ac7a96add3df59aa79d65fbecf7“Judy Garland And Friends: Duets” & “That Old Feeling: Classic Ballads From The Judy Garland Show” Available On Savoy Jazz  Songstress Barbra Streisand has been garnering incredible attention and sales for her “Partners” album, but Savoy Jazz has a few of the brightest gems in her duet repertoire—her duets with icon Judy Garland.  The songs featured on two Savoy Jazz releases– “Hooray For Love” medley which appears on “Judy Garland and Friends: Duets” and the all-time classic “Get Happy/Happy Days Are Here Again” medley taken from “That Old Feeling: Classic Ballads From the Judy Garland Show”—are priceless recordings from the early 60’s. Both albums are collections of hand-picked performances taken from the 1963 CBS-TV series “The Judy Garland Show.” Compiled by Emmy-winning historian John Fricke, the stellar sets feature unforgettable performances (as well as many previously unavailable on CD), showcasing the talents of entertainers such as Streisand, Tony Bennett, Mel Torme, Lena Horne, Count Basie, Vic Damone and others.  Also included in the packages are rare black and white photographs taken from rehearsals and tapings of the Garland series.

Buffalo Grove grad sells script after becoming Nicholl finalist  In a town where the action either has its foot stomped down on the gas or is idling in neutral, Josh Golden is not certain which analogy describes his current situation. But with his screenplay purchased by a major studio, the Buffalo Grove High School graduate may already be in the fast lane. “The industry, obviously, has a reputation for slow-moving parts,” Golden said. But observers of the Hollywood film industry are calling Golden a hot prospect. “We’ll see,” he said. Golden is the writer of “Road to Oz,” which no one outside of Tinseltown has heard of, because it does not exist in film form yet. His script is a biopic of L. Frank Baum, author of the famed “Wonderful Wizard of Oz” stories. New Line Cinema purchased the script at the end of the summer and is now shopping around for production.

Oz in the News 10.11.14

v9getgtc4ma03dvn4dmaThese Stunning Illustrations Restore Awe And Wonder To The Wizard Of Oz  Rice Boy creator Evan Dahm has gone back to the book’s text and is illustrating a new edition of L. Frank Baum’s classic novel. Dahm recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for his new illustrated edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The edition will include 100 of Dahm’s illustrations—24 full-page illustrations, one for the start of each chapter, and dozens of spot illustrations. If you want a copy of the hardcover book, head over to Kickstarter and back his project. I also highly recommend checking out Dahm’s webcomics, including Rice Boy, Order of Tales, and Vattu. You can also see more of Dahm’s Wizard of Oz work, including his sketches, at the Baum by Dahm blog.

Emily Tierney: ‘I’m always cast as a witch – I don’t know what that says about me’  ‘My sisters’ children want to be in musicals now because of us. I think they want them to have nice sensible careers and not follow in Auntie Em and Uncle Will’s footsteps. I’m so pleased because my sisters’ kids are the right age to come see a show now – they think their auntie Em is a fairy. One of them was asked in school the other day what their aunts or uncles do and she told them: “Well auntie Em is a fairy…” I’m not going to correct her on that.