Oz in the News 6.9.15

DSC_0124Oz-Stravaganza 2015 in Chittenango Photo Recap  Emma Ridley is a performance artist, with a history in dance, music, film, television, and burlesque. With her many transformations, including losing over 100lbs after having 3 babies, she has inspired a generation. Emma spent most of her early years being in the spotlight, starting at the tender age of only 8 months advertising as the Gerber baby, as well as appearing in many feature films, including Jackie Collins ‘The World is Full of Married Men’, starring Tony Franciosa and Carol Baker, playing their 4 year old daughter Lucy. Emma played another character called Lucy in the well known ‘Hammer House of Horrors’ film ‘The House That Bled To Death’. Many more film and television projects followed. Emma joined the Royal Ballet London at age 6, starred as princess ‘Ozma’, the queen of Oz, in Disney’s ‘Return to Oz’, and won rave reviews as Bobbie Mechelle in Neal Simons’ ‘Last of the Red Hot Lovers’ on the British Stage in Repertoire Theater. She also had a role in the American Disney TV show ‘Boy Meets World’, all while spending her very full youth writing, performing, and producing music and music videos. Emma then decided to “settle down”, out of the spotlight, on a Californian ranch/farm to raise her 3 children (with horses, goats and chickens, oh my!). She has since returned once again to the spotlight as a successful business creator and owner of “Goddess Fitness Dance”, a completely unique self-expressed ballet, yoga and pole dancing approach to fitness!

Grand opening for Wizard of Oz Festival  On Thursday evening, June 11 at 7 p.m. the Judy Garland Museum kicks off the Wizard of Oz Festival with “A Jazz Tribute to Judy” by pianist Josh Gallagher and “Remembering the Judy I Knew” by author Joan Beck Coulson. A combined ticket for both events is $15 at the door. English-born Joan Beck Coulson grew up in London during WWII, and like many of her countrymen, was a big fan of Judy Garland. Thursday, “Remembering the Judy I Knew,” Joan Beck-Coulson will share some of her very personal memories, along with slides and music. On Friday, June 12, Joan will be available in the Museum Gift Shop from 11 a.m. – noon to sign copies of her book. In addition, this week the Museum opens a new exhibit, “Judy Garland’s Public Service,” which was inspired by information in Coulson’s book. Josh Gallagher, a native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, began his study of classical piano at the age of four. During his high school years, under Minneapolis-based jazz pianist Laura Caviani, his musical interests turned to jazz. Josh is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he had the great good fortune to be selected as pianist in the Dave Brubeck Institute Jazz Sextet. Currently, Josh serves as music director and organist at St, Mary’s Catholic Church in Altoona, Wisconsin. A fan of Garland’s for many years, Josh Gallagher is looking forward to this tribute performance at the Judy Garland Museum.

Recasting the Wizard of Oz  Almost everyone has seen one of the world’s most classic and beloved films The Wizard of Oz. But sometimes looking back on it, I think that it could have been done a lot better had it been made today. Now I know many people argue that it should never be remade since its a classic, but knowing Hollywood, they will eventually redo the classic film instead of beating around it by making similar films like Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return and Oz: The Great and Powerful. One day, it will be remade. But if it was made right now, here is who I would imagine to be in it.

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