Oz in the News 8.31.16

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The actors who played the Munchkins in the Wizard of Oz were paid less than Toto  For their presence in what is likely the most iconic American film in the history of cinema, the citizens of Munchkinland were paid less than Dorothy’s dog, Toto. In the years following The Wizard of Oz, little people have made many strides forward in Hollywood, but the recent death of cabaret actress, Kimberly Tripp – known as ‘Mini Kim Kardashian’ – reveals the uncomfortable pace of evolving showbiz attitudes. Stephen Cox, author of The Munchkins of Oz, wrote in his 1989 book that in 1938, the Munchkins were paid US$50 per week, about US$900 in 2016. Meanwhile, Toto and her trainer earned US$125 per week, which would now equate to about US$2,100 per week.  The Munchkin cast never even saw their names in the credits.

THEATER CLOSE-UP: THE WOODSMAN  The Woodsman premieres Friday, September 2 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN, with an encore presentation on Sunday, September 4 at 1 a.m. The play will also air Sunday, September 4 at 10 p.m. on WLIW21. The unique collaboration between THIRTEEN and the large community of New York City area Off-Broadway theaters is captured live on-stage in partnership with streaming service BroadwayHD, in THIRTEENs trademark up-close” style. Based on the beloved writings of L. Frank Baum, The Woodsman, an imaginative retelling of the origins of Oz’s Tin Woodsman, is the story of the Tin Man, the woman he loved, and the witch that would stop at nothing to keep them apart. Through spectacular life-size puppetry and original music, the ensemble of Strangemen & Co. presents an inventive take on one of America’s original fairy tales. The Woodsman concluded its critically-lauded Off-Broadway run in May at New World Stages. Time Out New York described it as evocative and hauntingnaming it a Critics Pick; NBC New York called The Woodsmanan “achingly beautiful play,” and The New York Times declared The Woodsman “breathtaking,” “abundantly beautifuland a spectacle infused with breath and light.” New York Magazine exclaimed, Marvelous! Overflows with vivid imagery and emotion” and Rosie O’Donnell heralded the production on Twitter as “beautiful, stunning, haunting. The Woodsman premieres Friday, September 2 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN, with an encore presentation on Sunday, September 4 at 1 a.m. See more full episodes and previews from Theater Close-Up.

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