Oz in the News 8.26.15

84d0c9dd8e54d27ffa6849629762e965OZ Museum in Wamego, Kansas, celebrates 115th anniversary of the ‘Wizard of OZ”  The OZ Museum in Wamego, Ks., conjures the world of the Wizard of OZ, which began when L. Frank Baum published the book in 1900. The museum spotlights 2,000 artifacts, pulled from more than 24,000 treasures that rotate through the vintage storefront-turned-museum along Wamego’s Lincoln Street. About 70 percent of the artifacts are from the collection of Friar Johnpaul Cafiero OFM, who began collecting OZ memorabilia as a boy and carried on for 50 years. Cafiero and his siblings watched the movie on TV every year and dressed as the characters for Halloween—he was the Lion—and their costumes are in the museum.

Ruby Red–Handed: Dorothy’s Stolen Slippers Remain at Large If the slippers do reappear, they will belong to the insurance company. Michael Shaw the owner of the missing shoes, who turns 78 next month, sounds at peace with that. “There’s more to my life than a pair of pumps,” he says. “I have no desire to have them again. After years of bringing joy and happiness to so many thousands and thousands of people by being able to see them, now to me they’re a nightmare.” He ends a phone call with Newsweek by saying, “I’m not going to talk about it anymore. I’m sick of it. They’re gone.” Then he quotes another Hollywood classic: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

5 Things You Still Don’t Know About ‘The Wizard Of Oz’  Originally, MGM gave feedback to composer Harold Arlen, saying his song “Over the Rainbow” was too “symphonic” and that it would have to be sung like an opera. MGM also seems to have thought it was problematic to have their star singing in a farmyard. Before it became an iconic American song, many critics deemed “Over the Rainbow” long and unnecessary. Associated Press said, “The picture could have been speeded more at its beginnings, especially by the elimination of Judy’s first song.”

Wonderful Wizard Of Song Performs In Cleveland Sept. 15  The Wonderful Wizard of Song is a theatrical production that brings the pivotal moments of Harold Arlen’s life to the stage, framed by songs that have become “pillars” of American film and theatre.  It will performed at the Conn Center on the Campus of Lee University on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 7 p.m. The Wonderful Wizard of Song is a collaboration of the Harold Arlen Foundation and Matt Davenport Productions.  Mr. Arlen’s son, Sam Arlen (president of the Harold Arlen Foundation), is a consultant for the production.  Arlen not only provides first hand stories and insight to the writing of this production, but also has provided personal mementos, family photographs and Harold’s own home movies of the making of the Wizard of Oz.

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