Oz in the News 10.20.16


Puppet People present ‘Wizard of Oz’ at Doctorow Center for the Arts in Hunter on Oct. 22 Join puppeteers Mark Carrigan and Michelle Smith-Carrigan as they travel to The Emerald City and beyond in the magical Land of Oz and bring to life this literary classic. Watch Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tinman and The Cowardly Lion learn about home, courage, heart and smarts. This puppet fantasy features marionettes, shadow puppets, rod puppets, a large parade puppet and more. The Puppet People present “The Wizard of Oz” on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 3:30 p.m. at the Doctorow Center for the Arts, 7971 Main St., Hunter. Visit catskillmtn.org for tickets or more information.

Michael Siewert shows us the world’s largest private Judy Garland collection If you are a Judy fan, you’re in for a big treat: Michael Siewert, who owns the world’s largest private collection of Judy Garland memorabilia, is with us. You’ll see pieces from his collection which will be on exhibit in London this month!  Some of the gowns and from Michael’s exhibit, “Judy Garland: the Dressing of a Legend,” include costumes from her most iconic films, “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Easter Parade” and this show-stopper from “In the Good Old Summertime.” Michael has been collecting Judy Garland dresses for 20 years. He says it’s been a privilege to be the steward of a piece of history.  You can learn much more about his collection at judygarland.com.

A Judy Garland Hologram Will Tour the World in 2017 Alki David, Hologram USA’s C.E.O., worked with her son, Joey Luft, to create a hologram version of the star, with her performances drawn largely from The Judy Garland Show, which aired on CBS from 1963 to 1964. “It will be a one-hour attraction in the style of a Broadway show,” David explains. “There will be a lot of narrative and a lot of music.” The details of the show and the tour are still in the works, but David promises “a completely digital Garland,” accomplished via its established hologram technology as well as work with new real-time motion capture, which will allow actors onstage to be transformed into Garland’s body. It’s the same technology used for the hologram of Tupac Shakur at Coachella in 2013—and all based on an old carnival trick called Pepper’s Ghost—but with a constantly evolving high-tech twist. “Every show is a little different,” David explains. “We have different technologies other than just the projections, certain novel animation techniques, voice modulations, things like that that sort of make the projection really as spectacular as possible.” He continues, “They will see a real life Judy Garland onstage performing her life story, her trials and tribulations, her greatest songs, and it will be a celebration of her life in a very entertaining, witty, musical.”

What a world, what a world: Ruby slippers still missing from Minnesota’s Judy Garland Museum Last year, on the 10th anniversary of the theft, an anonymous fan put up a $1 million reward, hoping to secure their return. An Itasca County sheriff’s dive team searched a watery quarry for them last summer, chasing a tip that local kids might have broken into the museum as a prank and tossed the shoes away in a panic. The searchers found nothing, and the reward expired without anyone stepping forward to collect. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences snagged another pair at auction for $2 million for a museum it is building in Los Angeles. The Smithsonian’s Kickstarter page seeking donations for slipper restoration raised more than $80,000 in its first day. Why all the fuss for some 80-year-old movie props? Kelsch gets that question a lot. “France has the Mona Lisa. America has ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ ” he said. “It’s our national masterpiece, so much a part of the American experience.”

An Update On How the Wizard Came To Oz With Producer RAMstar studios and film producer BJ Plott are off and running on their plans for a prequel to the Wizard of Oz. Based off a 1991 book “How the Wizard Came to Oz” by Donald Abbott, this film of the same name follows the backstory of Oscar Diggs, exploring his early life on through his introduction to the world of Oz. RAMstar has high aspirations on who they want start this franchise with, having spoken to representatives for such actresses as Amy Adams and Margot Robbie (as the good and wicked witches respectively), and are in pursuit of trying to sign Nathan Fillion as the wizard himself.

“There are a lot of actors that would best suit the role. But for me, I feel Nathan is the best choice. I love his show Castle. That character is similar to the wizard.”

Also, to better match the content of Abbott’s book and to expand its audience, Plott and RAMstar have decided to go with a PG-13 rating. With that said, they’re clearly going for a darker version of Oz within its mystical nature. “As for being dark, we’re thinking something similar to Harry Potter or the Gotham TV show,” Plott pinpointed.



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