Monthly Archives: December 2015

Oz in the News 12.30.15

first-look-at-dorothy-and-scarecrow-on-nbc-s-emerald-cityGet the First Look at Dorothy and Scarecrow on NBC’s ‘Emerald City’  Set to bow in the fall, the upcoming series features Adria Arjona in the lead role of Dorothy Gale, whose first look has arrived in the form of picture debuted via EW. In the photo, she’s is seen aiding Lucas a.k.a. the Scarecrow (Oliver Jackson-Cohen), who is “suffering painful trauma that causes him to lose his memory.”
Another image gives a look at Florence Kasumba as the Wicked Witch of the East. She and the Wizard of Oz, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, are “contending with a looming war between kingdoms and belief systems.”  Dorothy, meanwhile, is desribed as a 20-year-old woman who is “struggling to reconcile with her mother, who abandoned her as a child.” In another twist, Toto is now a trained K9 police dog. “Emerald City” has been dubbed a “modern and dark re-imagining of” the classic tale “The Wizard of Oz”. David Schulner serves as showrunner and executive produces the series along with Shaun Cassidy. “The Cell” helmer Tarsem Singh will direct the drama, which has received a 10-episode, straight-to-series order from NBC. No premiere date is set for the show just yet.

Best-Bekaar: Emily’s Oz, Disney Side leave a mark We had to rack our brains to pick a couple of great global ads in a year when the epic fails outnumbered the epic split and its ilk by a wide majority. We finally remembered this one, among the few ads this year that got props from the notoriously cantankerous George Parker who writes the hilarious abrasive and absolutely NSFW Adscam blog. In just about a minute, ‘Emily’s Oz’ reimagines parts of the Hollywood classic The Wizard of Oz as perceived by a blind little girl. The cowardly lion is a tiny furry creature “like a toy poodle”. The tin man has a big toe the size of a house. The scarecrow has tubes stuck to his body. Beautifully rendered in a production by Goodby Silverstein & Partners for Comcast’s Xfinity which offers talking guides for visually impaired movie watchers. Chances are once you see this, you will want to go through the making of and even sample a version of the ad with a talking guide. Heart-warming and moving without being exploitative, this is our pick of the lot for 2015.

Oz in the News 12.18.15

dt.common.streams.StreamServerDiane Tate’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ Christmas trees celebrates her successful brain surgery  From the time she was a teenager, Tate had seizures, sometimes several a day. After decades of trying different medications, nothing seemed to help. Finally, on the recommendation of Dr. David Hanson, Tate and her husband, Johnny, traveled to Rochester, Minnesota, for seven grueling days of testing. On Jan. 11, 2000, a medical team came into Tate’s room with the news that they had found that a brain lesion was causing the seizures. Two months later, she returned to Mayo for a craniotomy and removal of the lesion. Instantly, the seizures were gone. “After 27 years of seizure activity, I was healed,” she said. “I hadn’t driven in years. I very happily stood in line with the teenagers to get my driver’s license.” As a get-well gift, friends Sue Davis and Michelle Whittington gave Tate her first “Wizard of Oz” Christmas ornament featuring the Scarecrow, who only wanted a brain. “They said that neither of us had brains,” Tate said with a laugh.

Oz in the News 12.16.15


Heart of Liverpool’s LGBT scene set for magical Wizard of Oz transformation  Eberle Street, home to iconic clubs Garlands and Gbar, will be revamped with a unique paving and lighting scheme paying homage to the mythical Emerald City, Yellow Brick Road and Judy Garland. The project is the latest phase in an extensive series of city centre works funded by Liverpool BID Company and the council. Set to begin in early January, the scheme will see the street paved with “high quality stone which works sympathetically with the existing buildings”. That stone will lie beneath a “stunning” lighting scheme suspended 20 feet above Eberle Street featuring bespoke LED fixtures. Design images revealed to the ECHO show how clubbers will be able to follow a yellow pathway under a row of hexagon-shaped lights that will hang above the street like modern chandeliers. The patterned walkway will include Wizard of Oz-themed artwork, with special slabs showing off images from the Emerald City to Dorothy’s red shoes.

Oz in the News 12.15.15


Ferragamo revisits Marilyn Monroe’s pump and Judy Garland’s rainbow shoe in capsule collection  For the capsule collection released in time for the holiday season, Osorio, who started designing shoes at Ferragamo before launching his own Florence-based brand Aquazzura, created a contemporary Marilyn-inspired pump with sheer netted panels for a sexy reveal. He also referenced the famed 1938 Judy Garland “Rainbow” wedge with a steep stiletto heel and a feathery winged rainbow accent on the ankles. “It is not literal at all,” said Massimiliano Giornetti, Ferragamo’s creative director. “At the same time, it has the same spirit and the same approach that Salvatore Ferragamo had for developing the wedge for Judy Garland.” The collection was launched as part of the luxury brand’s 100-year anniversary celebration of Ferragamo’s connection with Hollywood and is meant to be the first of a series of capsule collections in other areas across the group from jewelry to women’s handbags and perhaps menswear, tapping young talent and encouraging experimentation.

Once Upon A Time Season 5: Oz’s very own Dorothy to return in March!  Dorothy of Kansas is coming back! Hold your horses, though, because we can guarantee that she will not be as you would have expected. Cast your mind back to the second half of Season 3 for a moment – a 15-year old Dorothy (played Matreya Scarrwener) was sent back to Kansas from the Land of Oz by the Wizard (or rather, by the wicked Zelina who pretended to be the Wizard). Well, with Zelina herself also having just been sent back to whence she came by her darling sister, Regina, the path is open for a new Oz-based storyline and, as TV Line has reported, that’s exactly what we’re gonna get!

Oz in the News 12.13.15

Judy sings Arlen

Newly restored Judy Garland ‘A Star is Born’ outtake to be released in Harold Arlen set  Judy Garland Sings Harold Arlen, a 45-track CD set containing music from the movies, records and live performances, will be released in early 2016, reports Garland historian Lawrence Schulman. Featured will be “the world premiere release of a newly-discovered A Star Is Born pre-recording,” according to a news release. The recording comes from a lacquer playback disc of the Arlen/Ira Gershwin song, Lose That Long Face. “The newly discovered A Star Is Born prerecording is a real event,” Schulman said in an email to the Miami Herald. “After my discovery of the 1935 Decca tests and the 1960 Paris concert by Garland, this is my third greatest discovery. It isn’t every day one discovers an unknown piece of this legendary and ill-fated film.”

Oz in the News 12.12.15


Return to Oz: The Elseys take on ‘The Wiz Live!’  “For the Scarecrow make-up, there was initial discussion that the character’s head was made out of a paper bag instead of sacking. “No matter how crazy the concept is,” offers Dave, “I always try to make it logical to myself at least, so I imagined his head was made from a bag of seeds, and it had rained, so water had gone into the bag. The seeds had grown and burst out of the top and created his ‘hairstyle,’ so that’s how we rationalized it.”

Oz in the News 12.11.15


Thefts of art ‘kind of weird,’ Coral Springs mayor says  Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West are clearly evident in the 3-D piece “Wizard of Oz” by Charles Fazzino. What’s not evident is where the picture is now. In at least the second theft of art in Coral Springs during the last two months, it was stolen from a home in Coral Springs sometime between Oct. 24 and Oct. 26. Without providing an explanation, investigators say the Fazzino work may have been sold to someone in or around Lake Worth. The original owner, who was out of town at the time of the theft, said she bought the piece for $1,590, but Coral Springs detectives say they found similar Fazzino works going for $7,300 on eBay.

Oz in the News 12.8.15


In Shadow of Oz, Biologist Wayne Rossiter Critiques Theistic Evolution  A new book, Shadow of Oz: Theistic Evolution and the Absent God, by Wayne Rossiter, offers a keen scientific, philosophical, and theological critique of theistic evolution. Rossiter, who holds a PhD in ecology and evolution from Rutgers, is an assistant biology professor at Waynesburg University. Because he has interests in both the scientific and the philosophical/theological dimensions of the debate over Darwinian evolution, Shadow of Oz is one of the most comprehensive books critiquing theistic evolution to date. The title is a reference to The Wizard of Oz, in which Dorothy is told that you can never see the “Wizard” and so she reasonably asks, “Well, then — how do you know there is one?” By analogy, Rossiter argues that theistic evolution gives no reasons to believe there is a God guiding nature. In his view, Darwinian evolution is the wrong way to describe nature.

Your Hometown: Historical Highlights of Mattydale  Mattydale is known for being the one time home of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum. Although Baum was born in Chittenango, he and his family resided for a number of years where Roxboro Road Middle School sits today. “Some of the Wizard of Oz historians can pinpoint items in the book that can be placed back to his time right here so, it’s probably a fact that people don’t necessarily know about Mattydale but I think is certainly an important part of the history,” said Nicotra.

Oz in the News 12.6.15


‘Reverse racism’ social media backlash over ‘The Wiz’ is absurd  “Can you imagine the outrage if a show advertised an “All White Cast”?! But #TheWizLive is getting praised for having an “All Black Cast” tweeted a user named Melly. Another user wrote: ‘why are there no whites starring in #TheWiz? this is racist! can u imagine if it were the other way? #whitelivesmatter #TheWizLive.’ Yes, we can imagine. But we don’t have to. They called that one “The Wizard of Oz ” Let’s get this out of the way first: There is no such thing as reverse racism. Something is either racist or it’s not. Secondly. The Wiz debuted on Broadway 40 years ago before it became a motion picture starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Richard Pryor. If you’re just learning about it now, you have bigger problems than your faulty racial meter.

Lone white dancer Chris Silcox spotted in ‘The Wiz Live!’ cast after confused viewers blast all-black production as ‘racist’  Confused viewers outraged by the all-black cast of NBC’s “The Wiz Live!” can ease on down from their gripes — a handful of eagle-eyed social media users have spotted a white dancer in the mix.  Viewers quickly identified the dancer as Chris Silcox, the lone white ensemble member listed on the TV movie’s IMDB page. “This has got to be my favorite one so far #TheWiz #WhiteGuyInTheWiz,” Silcox tweeted Friday, quoting a user’s photo of him captioned, “How the hell did THIS GUY sneak on set?!”

Oz in the News 12.5.15


‘The Wiz Live!’ Scores Strong Ratings  “The Wiz Live!” drew 11.5 million viewers, roughly 2.3 million more than “Peter Pan.” Roughly 4.3 million of those viewers were ages 18 to 49. The 11.5 million viewers represents the most-viewed Thursday night program, excluding sports, since February. The 18- to 49-year-old viewing figure was the highest Thursday-night tally in that demographic since ABC notched that total in September 2014 for the season premieres of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” and the debut of “How to Get Away With Murder.” It was also NBC’s strongest effort on a Thursday night since “The Sound of Music Live!”

Shanice Williams on Her Road to Dorothy and ‘The Wiz Live!’  “There was one moment where I hit a weird note and I didn’t even know if anyone noticed — I think in “Ease on Down the Road.” But I just got back into it. I was so into my character, it was like an out-of-body experience. I told Ne-Yo, when I get onstage, I don’t even know who I am and when I come off I don’t even remember where I’ve been, because it’s just like a whole other person.”

In ‘The Wiz Live!’ on NBC, a Search for More in the Emerald City  The one truly eye-opening moment came in an interlude at the Emerald City. Men and women did some serious ballroom vogueing in lighting from the House of Tron. It was progressive and inclusive, on the one hand, and deeply natural, on the other. Queen Latifah arrives as the Wiz, whose power — in her interpretation — seemed to come from her fabulous androgyny. This Emerald City was a place of conceptual ingenuity, and it made me feel greedy for more.

Dorothy Before Oz  Jane Yolen, often called “the Hans Christian Andersen of America,” is the author of over 350 published books, including Owl Moon, The Devil’s Arithmetic, and How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?  About the origins of “Dorothy Before Oz,” she said, “I was in an antique store and saw an old photo of a girl who immediately made me think of Dorothy Gale—same period, her eyes with a far-away look to them, as if she was contemplating travel. The first draft of the poem simply poured out. I paid $2.50 for the photo and it was a grand investment. We poets grab our poetry starters from wherever we can find them.”