Oz in the News 6.27.16

Todrick2Straight Outta Oz – Todrick Hall’s brand new epic  The first thing you need to know about Straight Outta Oz, an L. Frank Baum-inspired magnum opus by YouTube superstar Todrick Hall, is that it’s not meant to be taken as just a visual album, a la Beyoncé — it actually plays more like a musical; one that makes great use of several other performers that are featured, and not just as backup pieces, either. Secondly, in spite of the clout he obviously possesses, it’s crazy to think that Hall is still sitting pretty on the cusp of fame, and not completely immersed in it. Luckily for him, several celebrities; including, but not limited to, an American Idol winner, several RuPaul’s Drag Race favorites (including most champion, Bob the Drag Queen), a popular comedian/musician, a wildly successful YouTube player and New York Times best-selling author, multiple TV stars, and a well-liked and well-respected Oscar-nominated actor with impressive singing chops, seem to be willing to do what they can to help him get there by loaning their faces to this project. However, make no doubt about it: even if he did not have such an impressive support team in his back pocket, Straight Outta Oz is chock full of the power, influence and wonder to push Todrick into bonafide super-stardom all on its own — if that’s even what he wants, that is.

Amazon Partners With Polygon and Bureau of Magic for Anime Series ‘Lost in Oz’  Tokyo-based digital animation studio Polygon Pictures and L.A.-based production company Bureau of Magic are partnering to make a 3D CG anime series for Amazon Prime. The series, “Lost in Oz,” is based on Frank Baum’s classic “Wizard of Oz” stories and was developed and produced by Bureau of Magic’s Mark Warshaw, Darin Mark, Jared Mark and Abram Makowka. The music is by Adam Berry (“The Penguins of Madagascar”), the theme music by Mark Mothersbaugh (“The Lego Movie”) and the design by Flaunt Productions (“Under Siege”). The director and launch date for the new series have not yet been announced, though a pilot was streamed in June of last year.

Kelly Sue Deconnick Joins Writing Team For NBC’s ‘Emerald City’   DeConnick made an announcement at the Milkfed Criminals panel at Heroes Con that she has been working on episodes of ‘Emerald City’. The upcoming NBC fantasy drama based on ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and directed by ‘The Cell’ and ‘Mirror Mirror’ filmmaker Tarsem Singh finds the characters made famous by L. Frank Baum’s acclaimed books and the 1939 film reimagined in a dark, edgy way where, as DeConnick puts it, “Dorothy has a machine gun and Toto is a German Shephard”. The show stars ‘True Detective’ and ‘Person of Interest’ star Adria Arjona as Dorothy Gale and Vincent D’Onofrio as The Wizard, as well as Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Ana Ularu, Gerran Howell, Joely Richardson, Jordan Loughran, Mido Hamada, and Florence Kasumba.

Judy Garland’s Daughter Lorna Luft Sings ‘Over the Rainbow’ for the First Time in Tribute to Orlando, Stonewall and Her Late Mother Lorna Luft, daughter of the late Judy Garland, gave an emotional performance of her mother’s signature tune “Over the Rainbow” at New York City’s Feinstein’s/54 Below on Wednesday night – the first she’s ever given of the song, she says. “I’ve never sung this song,” Luft told concertgoers before the performance. “Not because it was too hard for me emotionally, but because I always felt you can’t improve on perfect. But I thought to myself, if I’m ever going to sing this, now is the time.” The emotional moment came 47 years to the day after Garland died at the age of 47, reportedly due to an accidental overdose. Garland’s funeral and memorial service was held in Manhattan on June 27, 1969. In the early morning hours of June 28 that same year, the New York Police Department raided the gay-friendly Greenwich Village tavern Stonewall Inn, where a group had gathered to mourn the late singer.

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