Oz in the News 5.31.15

1544105Review: “SPELLED” by Betsy Schow  Princess Dorthea of Emerald is downright spoiled in the novel “Spelled,” but it’s hard not to act spoiled when your closet is full of Glenda Original ballgowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. On top of that, Dorthea is restless. One woman of the Emerald royal line has been cursed to become evil and destroy the kingdom by fire, and no one is sure which Emerald princess it will be.  Utah author Betsy Schow presents a fun and witty retelling of “The Wizard of Oz” to readers just in time for summer with its June 2 release. “Spelled” is full of clever plays on words and fun reinterpretations of the original classic. While the story is light and comedic, Schow manages to weave a deeper plot and satisfying character growth into the pages.

Exclusive: Get a sneak peek inside the new Yellow Brick Road Casino  A yellow brick road now leads to the casino, and inside, the yellow brick-like tile continues the Oz theme. Poppy-splashed carpeting continues the theme throughout the casino. In the middle of the floor is a 16-foot high steel-and-brass cyclone, or simulated tornado. Guests will be able to go inside, pull a cord and money and prizes will spin around for them to try to catch, officials said. The Oz-themed restaurants include: Dorothy’s Farmhouse, a counter-service restaurant;   Wicked Good Pizza, a sit-down and take-out pizza place; Heart and Courage Saloon; Winged Monkey, a corner bar with video poker stations built into the counter. Opening day will feature costumed entertainers, and the opportunity for guests to win thousands of dollars in the Cyclone of Cash and the “There’s No Place Like Home” giveaway.

Oz-Stravaganza! 2015 Line’s Up Events Friday Evening : THE SCARECROW OF OZ Centennial Celebration! L. Frank Baum’s ninth Oz Book was published in 1915 and is now one hundred years old. Enjoy that most beloved character in a newly-assembled mélange of film and television clips from 1910 to 1978! Hear memories of her uncle Ray Bolger – MGM’s famous Wizard of Oz movie Scarecrow – from niece CHRISTIANNA RICKARD (author ofRemembering Oz: My Journey With the Scarecrow). Travel a Yellow Brick Road of memories with Munchkin-by-Marriage MYRNA SWENSEN, whose husband CLARENCE played a diminutive soldier in the film.

One Fellow’s WICKED Road to Oz! On the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Wicked – and the launch of his best-selling original Oz fiction series –premier author GREGORY MAGUIRE offers an illustrated tour of his personal journey to acclaim as one of the preeminent writers of our time. Learn about all the Ozziness that happened along the way to Wicked on the printed page and Broadway stage!

Selected Short Subject: THE SOUND OF OZ! NBC-TV affiliate film critic/historian and nationally-syndicated radio reviewer and personality RYAN JAY presents a sneak peek at plans for THE SOUND OF OZ documentary, which he’ll direct. Produced by Aaron Harburg — great-grandson of E. Y. “Yip” Harburg who wrote the lyrics to all the songs in THE WIZARD OF OZ — THE SOUND OF OZ will tell the fascinating saga of the Harburg/Harold Arlen collaboration that gave us “Over the Rainbow,” “We’re Off to See the Wizard,” “If I Only Had a Brain,” Ding-Dong! the Witch is Dead” and so many others.

Saturday Evening: Opening Remarks from ROGER and CHARLENE BAUM The great-grandson of L. Frank Baum and his wife greet you and discuss his latest books, as he continues the tradition of his renowned ancestor.

RETURN TO RETURN TO OZ with EMMA (PRINCESS OZMA) RIDLEY! What a coup! On the thirtieth anniversary of Disney’s 1985 film, Return to Oz, OZ-STRAVAGANZA! and special guest RYAN JAY team up to present EMMA RIDLEY, one of the stars of that motion picture! This marks her first-ever appearance at an Oz event; don’t miss her account of the making of that Ozzy Cult Classic! And revel in RYAN’S behind-the-scenes back-story and visual tour of the creative peaks of that production!

How Wonderful THE WIZ – And Its Lion Supreme! In this fortieth anniversary year of Broadway’s rip-roarin’-and-rockin’ stage musical, THE WIZ, theater legend KEN PAGE reviews his stint as The Cowardly Lion – both in that show and in other OZ theatrical spectaculars! MR. PAGE is OZ-STRAVAGANZA! Grand Marshall for 2015 and will also recount tales of his participation as “Oogie Boogie” in THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, as “Max” in DREAMGIRLS, and in such Broadway starring roles as “Old Deuteronomy” in CATS and in the original cast of AIN’T MISBEHAVIN’. Featuring exclusive video of THE WIZ cast members as they performed earlier in 2015 in NYC for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS!)

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