Oz in the News 7.31.15

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Oz fans to gather this weekend  The 51st annual Wizard of Oz convention will embrace all things Oz, commemorating the 30th anniversary of Disney’s “Return to Oz,” the 40th anniversary of “The Wiz,” and the 20th anniversary of “Wicked.” And 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of “The Scarecrow of Oz,” one of thirteen novels Baum wrote based on the people and places of the Land of Oz. This year’s Con will feature the usual fun and games, such as Oz quizzes for all ages and levels, a treasure hunt, collections, panel discussions, cOZplay costume contests and much more over the three day event. Among others, special guests and presenters this year include actors Piper Laurie, Emma Ridley and Justin Case and author Joan D. Vinge.

Greater Gulf State Fair: Lions, tigers and a ‘Wizard of Oz’ theme this year  Organizers have unveiled a slate of animal entertainment and a “Wizard of Oz” theme. The 61st annual fair takes place Oct. 30-Nov. 8 at The Grounds in west Mobile. The theme announced Wednesday is “Lions, Tigers, THE FAIR, Oh My!” Early-bird tickets are now on sale. According to Wednesday’s announcement, attractions will include:

  • A 20-foot-tall “Emerald City” designed by artists and build with recycled materials.
  • Venardos’ Circus of Oz, a circus show led by former Ringling Bros. ringmaster Kevin Venardos.

Emerald City’s Yellow Brick Road doesn’t end at Oz  Suzanne Morlock will transform a dingy alley in Pioneer Square into sacred ground for empathetic truth-telling with “3772: Yellow Brick Road,” an art installation featuring the real-life stories of people who have or are experiencing homelessness in Seattle.  “I learned at some point that Seattle always refers to itself as ‘The Emerald City,’” Morlock said. “That’s the reference in ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ the place where these folks, who felt like they were deficient, were headed to get the magic that would make them whole. The idea that [Seattle] kind of views itself as this place … there’s a real disparity between the idea of the Emerald City and all that goes along with that, and having folks who are sleeping on the street.” Morlock plans to broadcast versions of seven people’s interviews over speakers in the alley that runs from Washington Street to Yesler Way, between Second and Third avenues, from 11 a.m. to dusk on Aug. 1. The installation runs in conjunction with the Art of the City Street Fest, a Black Lives Matter group exhibition and a gallery-wide performance by approximately 50 dancers and musicians inspired by Native American Seahawk stories.

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