Monthly Archives: January 2015

Oz in the News 1.30.15

jupiter_ascending_character_poster_2‘The Matrix’ Creators Launch a New Epic With ‘Jupiter’  “I remember having a conversation with Andy about how there’s something missing from my experience in ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ Dorothy is pretty much the same at the end as she is at the beginning. Whereas Odysseus goes through such an epic shift in his identity.” So Jupiter Jones (Ms. Kunis’ character) has a few things in common with Dorothy Gale from “Wizard of Oz.” “That’s why she has the blue and white gingham on when [Jupiter and Mr. Tatum’s character, Caine] first meet,” Lana says. Together they go on a wild, otherworldly adventure. Jupiter Jones returns not only with a new appreciation of her life at home but with greater confidence and power. The Wachowskis even set up Mr. Tatum’s part-canine role as a sort of Toto-like traveling companion. Andy, who tends to interject one-liners while Lana elaborates, jokes about the challenge of giving Mr. Tatum’s makeup the right look: “Obviously [the producers] had their concerns about whether Caine was going to look like John Candy in ‘Spaceballs.’

West End’s WICKED Extends Through April 2016  WICKED, the classic West End musical that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is delighted to announce the opening of its 19th new booking period, on Monday 2 February 2015 at 10am, with 500,000 new tickets going on sale for performances until Saturday 30 April 2016.  While continuing its open-ended West End run, the spectacular, multi record-breaking UK & Ireland Tour has already sold over1 million tickets since its premiere in Manchester in September 2013. The tour will conclude in July 2015, with a return to the Greater Manchester area (to The Lowry in Salford), following engagements in Plymouth (where it is currently playing),Bristol, Sunderland and Aberdeen.

Oz in the News 1.29.15

54c964cc9af06.preview-620Whiting man remembers ‘Oz’ witch Margaret Hamilton fondly “Back in 1977, while I was a student at Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, Robert Page, who was the head of the music department was also the associate conductor for the Cleveland Orchestra. I not only accompanied him to Cleveland when he directed a children’s Halloween concert that featured Hamilton as a special guest narrator for the musical tale of ‘Peter and the Wolf,’ but I played the piano for her for her rehearsals,” Rapchak said. “She was so kind and very gracious and very serious about us using the afternoon to rehearse. I wish I had snapped a photo with her, but at the time, it was not so quick and easy like today to get a quick spur-of-the-moment photo. But what I did capture was a cassette recording of our rehearsal session, which I treasure.”

John Davidson relishes the role of the wicked Wizard  “It’s a powerful story about these two women and their relationship,” Davidson said. “I think it’s one of the best stories, and it’s Stephen Schwartz’s best score. The lyrics (also by Schwartz) are Cole Porter quality. For me, the show ranks with ‘Ragtime’ and ‘Les Miserables.’ The set, costumes and special effects are terrific. It’s quite a spectacle. It has been called the show of the decade, and I think it does represent the best of the modern Broadway shows.”

TV Recap: ‘Supernatural: There’s No Place Like Home’  Unfortunately, Oz steel can only be forged and repaired in that realm. It’s not too long into their conversation that they realize Dillon’s had the same thing happen to him as Charlie. In fact, his darker half just so happens to be the Wizard of Oz. The same wizard ruling Emerald City by her side. There’s only one way to get the wizard’s attention: Clive mortally wounds himself, forcing the wizard back into our world.

Oz in the News 1.24.15

Copyright_page_of_The_Wonderful_Wizard_of_Oz,_1899Local Collector Finds The Ultimate Piece  Last year we told you about Justin Ell–a person that most would easily consider North Dakota’s biggest fan of the Wizard of Oz. On top of over 2000 other pieces of memorabilia–his latest addition is a book that is 115 years old. This copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was published in 1900 and is where the whole story began. “This is the crown jewel of my collection.  It’s by far the best.  I thought that this would have been the last piece I would ever get of the Wizard of Oz.  I didn’t want to pay the money to get it.  And then I had to, I couldn’t pass it up.” He didn’t tell us how much the original was but he says he will probably be working until his 90’s to pay it off.

Oz in the News 1.22.15

woodsman-master495Led by a Tender Heart, Before It Is Ripped Out- ‘The Woodsman’ Tells the Tin Man’s Tale  Using words is dangerous in this eastern corner of Oz, yet sound is everywhere: the mournful music of a violin, the rasp of a witch, the spooky wind of the woods. A movement piece with puppets, James Ortiz’s “The Woodsman” is an elemental reimagining of L. Frank Baum’s world of Oz. The spectacle is handmade, infused with breath and light. The performance lasts only an hour, and maybe that’s not long enough. By letting a few more moments linger, this show’s talented creators might just lodge “The Woodsman” in our hearts.

Oz in the News 1.20.15

Margaret-Hamilton-as-the--002Follow the Yellow Brick Road: Wizard of Oz is most influential Hollywood film In a paper entitled Cross-evaluation of Metrics to Estimate the Significance of Creative Works, issued by Illinois’ Northwestern University, the study’s authors – Max Wasserman, Xiao Han T Zeng and Luís AN Amaral – analysed the “movie connections” section of the Internet Movie Database in an effort to uncover the “most cited” film – and, therefore, the most influential. Their resulting table excludes any film less than 25 years older than the citee, to reinforce the sense of what the paper calls “lasting importance”. The Wizard of Oz, which starred Judy Garland and Frank Morgan, heads the list with some 565 so-called “long-gap citations”, a considerable distance ahead of the first Star Wars movie (released in 1977), which took second spot with 297. Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 thriller Psycho came in third with a score of 241, followed by the wartime classic Casablanca with 212. The top five is rounded out by another film first released in 1939, the sprawling civil war epic Gone With the Wind.

B7uTU1fCcAAYvFcBastian Schweinsteiger shows off his new Wizard of Oz boots  Bastian Schweinsteiger may be ready to go all #therewillbehaters, but he’s also searching for a way home from Oz. Maybe he should try the Yellow Brick Road. Or maybe he can ask Philipp Lahm in munchkinland for some directions.

Oz in the News 1.17.15

The-WizNBC: Our next live musical is one of these two  NBC’s entertainment chairman revealed the network’s next musical—sort of. Robert Greenblatt said 1957’s The Music Man will be the network’s live musical this year. Or it will be the 1975 The Wizard of Oz update The Wiz. One of those. NBC has optioned the rights to both and is considering casting options on Music Man. The network had a huge surprise hit with its first musical, The Sound of Music Live in 2013, then had a disappointment with December’s Peter Pan Live.

Oz in the News 1.9.15

restmb_jhidxmake.phpTVXQ, SHINee, EXO, f(x) to star in hologram musical ‘School OZ’  SM Entertainment said it would launch a hologram musical “School OZ” at Seoul’s SMTOWN THEATRE on Jan. 14, featuring its celebrated stars.  TVXQ’s Changmin plays a mysterious perfectionist called Oscar, SHINee’s Key will take up the role of a suave man named David. Among other cast members, f(x)’s Luna plays a witch, EXO’s Suho and Xiumin are assigned as an elf and his loyal sidekick.
Red Velvet’s Seulgi joins the cast as a naive Dorothy, whose disappearance steers the musical’s plot in an important way.

Wicked producer Marc Platt gives an update on progress and that 2016 release date  “2016 is the goal, but I don’t know whether we’ll make that goal or not. We will make the movie, but like I said, the bar is really high. We’re going to scrutinise our work on the screenplay and our prep on the movie, and when we feel like it’s ready, okay. We’re not going to shoot a release date is what I’m saying. It’s in the works, it’s not in a rush. It took 27 years to make Into the Woods into a film from its original stage production, and 30 years with Les Mis. Some things take time for a reason. Patience, as ever, is a virtue.”

Oz in the News 1.7.15

WIZARD-articleLarge‘The Wizard of Watts’ Mirrors Debate Over Police Brutality  “The Wizard of Watts,” a coming animated television musical, was conceived two years ago as a big, fat gob of raucous entertainment wrapped around a nugget of racial commentary.  The primary villain in the Magical Land of Oz-Watts, where the story takes place, is a vicious pig clad in riot gear. Water does not neutralize this Oz villain; instead this baddie gets melted with a camcorder. “Oh, no! Not an irrefutable visual record of my illegal actions!” the anthropomorphized pig wails as he turns to mush at the musical’s climax.  How the musical will be received by viewers at a racially charged cultural moment is anyone’s guess. But when it arrives on Cartoon Network’s after-hours Adult Swim block on Saturday, “The Wizard of Watts” will at the very least become one of those eerie instances of art accidentally mirroring life.

Norwalk Filmmaker Invites You to Follow the Yellow Brick Road  A Ridgefield/Norwalk filmmaker is embarking upon an exciting new adventure that will take viewers back to the land of Oz. Everyone knows the story of the young girl from Kansas who dreams of a colorful, magical land where a wizard makes her dreams come true. But in Yellow Brick Road, adult Dorothy Gale returns to Oz where she teams up with the Wizard to face Betsy Bobbin who is searching for the Silver Slippers. The Scarecrow, the Tin Man, the Lion, and the Good Witches, will work together with Dorothy to defeat the wicked tyrant. The film was written by 16-year-old Angelo Thomas, and directed and produced by Leigh Scott, owner of Ridgefield-based Imaginarium Studios. Scott recently directed and produced the TV mini-series Witches of Oz, starring Christopher Llyod, Billy Boyd and Mia Sara. With more than two dozen feature films in his portfolio, Scott has worked as a professional writer, director, producer, editor, and cinematographer or over two decades with some of the industry’s greats including Roger Corman, Mickey Rooney, Kevin Sorbo and many more.  Click here to learn more and to donate.


Oz in the News 1.6.15

friends_with_doug_revised‘Wizard Of Oz’ Yellow Brick Road Peekskill Tale Is Disproved  Could the yellow brick road from the “The Wizard of Oz” really lead to Peekskill? One of the city’s most enduring tales is that when L. Frank Baum, author of “The Wizard of Oz,” arrived in Peekskill by boat from his hometown of Chittenango, N.Y., to attend Peekskill Military Academy, he asked someone how to get to the school. Baum was  told to follow “the yellow brick road” at West Street in Peekskill. The line stuck with him, leading to Peekskill to being the origin of one of the most quoted lines in history. Unfortunately, it’s probably not very true. While Baum did attend Peekskill Military Academy for 18 months, it is not where he got the famous line from. According to an interview with Roger Baum, Frank Baum’s great grandson, the famed yellow brick road was named after a street in Michigan where Baum spent vacations with his family.

40 Years of ‘The Wiz’: Music Times Chooses Five Classic Scenes from The Film Adaptation, Starring Diana Ross and Michael Jackson  We’re not Broadway people but we know a classic when we see it, and The Wiz is classic. The idea of adapting a cinematic masterpiece such as The Wizard of Oz into a new musical—set far from the rural lands of the original in the urban streets of New York City—could have fallen flat but William F. Brown‘s play was anything but. We hope that the musical gets a Broadway revival (the last attempt, during 2004, was abandoned) but until then the best way to check out The Wiz is via the 1978 film version starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor and more. We’ve whittled down a short list of our favorite scenes from that film to celebrate the play’s 40th anniversary.

Oz in the News 1.4.15

Screen-Shot-2015-01-02-at-2.27.32-PM‘Bluebirds’ at Guild Hall Nears Kickstarter Goal, But Time Is Running Out  Joe Brondo has more than $6,000 in pledges on Kickstarter for the presentation of his original play at Guild Hall, but if he doesn’t reach his $7,000 goal by the January 8 deadline, his effort won’t receive any of the money.  The play is a about a computer repairman in the Hamptons who steals a valuable book from a client’s house, and plans to sell it for a big payday, Brondo explains. But when his wife finds out about his plans, she tries to stop him. The book is a first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, autographed by L. Frank Baum with an inscription for President Teddy Roosevelt. While there is no evidence that Baum ever signed a book for Roosevelt, Brondo says he did his research and, based on the age of Roosevelt’s children when the book was published it is conceivable that Baum would have sent a copy to the White House.  The Bluebirds Kickstarter deadline is Thursday, January 8, at 4:17 p.m.