Oz in the News 10.9.15

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Stephanie Mills on Reprising Role of Aunt Em for THE WIZ Broadway Revival: ‘In a Heartbeat’  “I’m starstruck. I’ll think we’ll have a huge girl powwow,” Mills tells theater critic Joe Dziemianowicz while re-visiting the Majestic Theater, the home of THE WIZ’s Broadway premiere in 1975. Last Friday, Mills was introduced to 19-yesr-old Shanice Williams, who was plucked out of a nationwide audition call by NBC to take on the role of Dorothy. The meeting will be part of a documentary on the making of the live broadcast, which will air Wednesday, November 25th on NBC. Said the 58-year-old of her younger counterpart, “Shanice reminds me of me when I was her age. She’s a beautiful spirit.” Asked if she would be willing to reprise the role of Aunt Em for the proposed revival of THE WIZ on Broadway, Mills had no hesitations. “Yes,” she exclaimed, adding “in a heartbeat.”

Oz-Fest kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday, activities throughout the day  Celebrating its 76th anniversary, the cinematic classic “The Wizard of Oz” will have its own party, Oz-Fest, starting with the 5K Toto Trot at 8 a.m. Saturday in front of the Tourist Office. There will be several activities for attendees to choose from during the rest of the day, including tours through Dorothy’s House, look-a-like contests and performances from local entertainers at the Coronado Museum and Dorothy’s House.

Why ‘Over the Rainbow’ takes us to a magical, musical place  “We start off with this big leap. This is a full octave leap. That’s a big leap for a popular song. In fact, producers were worried that nobody would buy the song because it would be too hard to sing this opening leap. Now, this leap isn’t just a big leap musically. It’s a leap between two different worlds and two parts of the voice. The first note is kind of low down there in chest voice. It’s Dorothy’s troubled reality. It’s Kansas, aridity, no flowers. It’s the black and white of the beginning of the film.”

Judy Garland Musical to Follow the Yellow-Brick Road to Broadway Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz, a new musical about the early life of beloved film star Judy Garland, is aiming to transfer to Broadway in 2017 following its fall 2016 production at Goodspeed Opera House that was announced just 24 hours ago. Wizard of Oz and Garland historian John Fricke is serving as consultant on the project.

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