Oz in the News 10.5.14

LITTLETINMAN-superJumbo‘The Little Tin Man,’ About a Quest for Acceptance  Mother knows best, and a maternal directive from the beyond will guilt any child, regardless of age, into taking an order. That’s the splash of cold water that Herman (Aaron Beelner), a dwarf actor drifting in a sea of malaise, gets in Matthew Perkins’s charming first feature, “The Little Tin Man.” It’s not that Herman has been playing it safe so much as he’s resigned to being typecast, settling for roles that require a high-pitched voice and “candy cane spandex.” His mother’s dying wish for him to take his career more seriously sends Herman and a ragtag crew, including the delightful Kay Cannon, a writer (“30 Rock” and “Pitch Perfect”) in her first lead film role, on a wacky adventure around Manhattan in hopes of auditioning for Martin Scorsese, who’s remaking “The Wizard of Oz.”

Oz Fest marks 75th anniversary of ‘Wizard of Oz’  “It just evolved into a big celebration from one day to nearly four days one year and from those three Munchkins in 1989 to 16 the next year and we had a lot of Oz fans who traveled from places like New Orleans and California, everywhere, to come to our Oz-Fest,” Marilyn Thompson, who was on the Oz-Fest committee in 1989, said. “And each year, as long as we were able to get the Munchkins here it was good. They were such precious little people, they were wonderful.” “I would like to see the Oz-Fest continue even though we can’t bring the Munchkins anymore. We still have the house and the Land of Oz exhibit and the people and volunteers at the museum help greatly and are trying to continue making it a festival everyone can enjoy.” Thompson said. “I’d like to see it continue because it doesn’t matter where I go, when people find out I’m from Liberal, Kansas they know the Land of Oz is here.”

Whether online or in person, hundreds stream to Storytelling Festival  Storytellers offered a variety of tales Friday afternoon: in the Library Tent, Donald Davis shared the story of a childhood prank he pulled on his hometown preacher; musician Kate Campbell regaled her audience with her stories and her songs, such as “Tupelo’s Too Far” in the Creekside Tent; and storyteller Megan Wells performed an interpretation of the literary version of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in the College Street Tent. For storyteller David Novak, who emceed the College Street Tent performances Friday afternoon, Wells’ performance of L. Frank Baum’s original work not only served as an example of good storytelling, but as a reminder of how stories can be obfuscated by media like popular cinema. “When the storyteller encounters the literary work, such as we had with L. Frank Baum and Megan’s telling, we have another task and that is a task of fidelity,” Novak said. “And it was beautifully demonstrated how far away we’ve gotten from the primary text. That was beautiful to be reminded of that.”

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