Oz in the News 10.16.15

UntitledThe Wizard of Oz comes to life at fantastical new playground  The Wizard of Oz comes to life at fantastical new playgroundWhen visitors drive through Watkins Regional Park in Prince George’s County, they may notice a few odd elements as they near the end of the grounds. Faces appear in trees that otherwise stand tall and strong; sounds of musical chimes float through the air; and yellow bricks that sparkle in the sunlight replace the old concrete sidewalk. A storybook sign under a rainbow arch reads, “Welcome: Home of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Suddenly, the scenery makes sense. Legs from the Wicked Witch of the West stick out from under Auntie Em’s tornado-ravaged home; tall flowers and a farm tractor sit in the field of poison poppies; flying monkeys hang from the trees; and Oz’s Emerald City towers above. There’s also a big red barn, a state fair, a giant ruby slipper, and of course, a scarecrow, a lion and a tinman — not to mention a handful of children running throughout. The Wizard of Oz playground is the newest addition to Prince George’s County’s collection of 26 “imagination” themed playgrounds.

THE WIZARD OF OZ National Tour to Launch This December in Cleveland  BroadwayWorld has just confirmed that the North American tour of the new stage adaptation of THE WIZARD OF OZ will launch on December 1, 2015 at Playhouse Square in Cleveland, OH. THE WIZARD OF OZ had its world premiere at The London Palladium Theatre in March of 2011. After a successful West End run, the production had its North American premiere in Toronto in December of 2012, and toured the US from September of 2013 through June of 2014. THE WIZARD OF OZ will feature the same award-winning creative team from London and Toronto: Jeremy Sams(direction), Robert Jones (set and costume design), Arlene Phillips (choreography), Hugh Vanstone (lighting design),Mick Potter (sound design), Jon Driscoll & Daniel Brodie (video/projection design), David Cullen (orchestrations) and Graham Hurman (musical supervision). Animals will be provided by William Berloni.

Review ‘OzLand’ would need a wizard to stretch thin premise  The bright, saturated cinematography and minimalist guitar-based score by Keatzi Gunmoney are the greatest strengths of “OzLand,” but they can’t overcome the meandering story and stilted dialogue. The movie — directed, written, produced, shot and edited by Michael Williams — takes what could be an interesting concept for a short film and stretches it across 105 minutes. The ideas are not deep enough and the dramatic tension isn’t real enough to sustain this feature.

The Complete Listing of All Public Children’s Literature Statues in the United States  We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. We’re in Alaska! On top of Reliable Sheet Metal, as it happens. Legend has it that this motley crew all began with a single Tin Man. The workers in the shop were just bored one day and made him. But Tin Man proved so popular that they decided to add a character every year.  There’s a little more information to be found here.  The tornado is my favorite.

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