Monthly Archives: November 2016

Oz in the News 11.30.16

panel-of-tiles-on-eberle-street-300x300Wizard of Oz theme lights up town Liverpool’s LGBT quarter has undergone a complete revamp inspired by the Wizard of Oz movie. The improvements in Eberle Street are part of a £1.6m scheme funded by the Liverpool BID Company and Liverpool City Council to improve the commercial district and the pedestrian connections linking it to the retail sector. The district now boasts two bespoke designed Eberle Street signs along with LED lighting across the thoroughfare to compliment unique hexagon shapes displaying a yellow brick road and Emerald City from the iconic film.

Judy Garland Musical Weighs Post-Goodspeed Options Producers of the Judy Garland musical biography Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz are weighing their options after a ten-week run at Goodspeed Musicals before a hoped-for Broadway transfer. New York-based producer Tina Marie Casamento Libby told, “We are exploring all options, and we will let you know once we have plans firmed up. For now, we are enjoying the aftermath of a very successful run at the Goodspeed.” Libby had previously said that the show is aiming for an eventual Broadway opening.

Oz in the News 11.24.16

Oz in the News 11.20.16

la-nleitereg-1479426280-snap-photoCowardly Lion’s onetime lair seeks $22.8 million in Beverly Crest Originally built for Bert Lahr, the actor who played the Cowardly Lion in 1939’s “The Wizard of Oz,” the traditional-style estate has a chain of ownership that includes the likes of Betty Grable, Harry James, Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. The Osbournes and Paul McCartney are among other past occupants. There’s no yellow brick road, but rather a palm-lined drive that leads up to the entrance of the gated home, designed by architect-to-the-stars Paul R. Williams and built in 1941. Inside, living spaces styled by Ralph Lauren include scaled formal rooms, a lavish chef’s kitchen, seven bedrooms, seven bathrooms and three powder rooms. A lower level with a wood-paneled theater, a speakeasy-style bar and a two-lane bowling alley also lies within roughly 12,000 square feet of living space.

Oz in the News 11.18.16

Crowd funding for Wizard of Oz Scarecrow costume falls short Donors flocked like flying monkeys to the Smithsonian’s crowd-funding campaign to preserve a pair of ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.” But they weren’t as generous when it comes to maintaining the Scarecrow costume from the beloved movie. A Kickstarter campaign for the slippers and the costume ended at midnight Wednesday, with donors pledging $349,000. The original goal was $300,000, and that total will go to the slippers. The National Museum of American History sought another $85,000 to preserve the Scarecrow costume, but that goal fell short. Museum spokeswoman Laura Duff says the Scarecrow costume will still be preserved. She says some donors gave directly to the museum instead of pledging to Kickstarter, and the museum is “committed to raising the additional funds necessary to complete the conservation.”

Oz in the News 11.16.16

Milton Art Installation 1 SA : Artist Michelle Maxwell who created the art installation for Pilton. Picture by Stewart Attwood                     All images © Stewart Attwood Photography 2016. All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission.

Picture by Stewart Attwood

Wonderful Wizard of Oz art project brightens up neighbourhood

Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) graduate Michelle Maxwell was joined by some of the young people from Pilton Youth & Children’s Project to celebrate the completion of a ‘Wizard of Oz’ themed environmental art project which has transformed an unused green space in the heart of the Edinburgh neighbourhood. Michelle’s unique design for a ‘No Place Like Home’ weather vane inspired the youngsters to get involved to create an attractive planted space for the artwork featuring a yellow brick road for the community to enjoy. Michelle said: “The final design consisted landscaping of the green area into large humps such as the ones on the way to Oz and flowers were planted along the yellow brick path that was also installed, with help of the younger residents that lived there. The weather vane points in every direction of the surrounding houses saying ‘there’s no place like home’, to create a sense of pride and community within the estate.

Oz in the News 11.15.16

584065492a9e45fb806f9d5c3623d61d_originalRemembering Disney’s Return to Oz – A Documentary Film “Remembering Return to Oz: Click Your Heels” is a brand new production featuring memories from several of the cast and crew members of the 1985 Disney cult classic film “Return to Oz.” The film will showcase “Return to Oz” fans in addition to some amazing “Return to Oz” movie memorabilia. Most of all, it celebrates a film… and not just any film, but a film about the America’s own fairyland: the Land of Oz, Dorothy, and her search to free the friends that everyone has grown to love. “Returning to Oz” is not only a film about the making of “Return to Oz”… it is about the memories of those involved in the filming and being a part of something so special. The documentary is being produced by FamilyFilmsProductions with Aaron Pacentine and Celia Foster as narrators. The film will feature Emma Ridley (Ozma), Justin Case (Scarecrow) alongside crew members and others involved with the film. Among those behind-the-scenes talent, we have Paul Maslansky (producer), Doug Aberle (claymation), and Craig Miller (Disney publicist from the 80’s). We are also honored to have the involvement of Disney historian Bill Cotter. Cotter will be sharing his thoughts and opinions on “Return to Oz.” Along the way we’ll meet a few “Return to Oz” collectors and get to see some of their amazing and rare memorabilia!

Oz in the News 11.12.16


Plano Library employee replicates ‘Wizard of Oz’ ruby slippers One of Randy Struthers’ earliest memories is watching the “Wizard of Oz” with his family. Fast forward 34 years and Struthers, who works as manager of Circulation Services at the Plano Library, is now working with the Smithsonian National Museum of American History to support their campaign to conserve “Wizard of Oz” items on display at the museum in Washington, D.C. In January he contacted the Smithsonian about leaving them a bequest in his will for preservation of the authentic ruby slippers from the movie they have on display. The museum, he said, was aware of his shoe creations due to his website – He was asked to contribute by providing several pairs of ruby slippers that could be used as incentives for donors pledging at least $7,000 to the museum’s campaign. They are paying him $600 per pair to cover the cost of the supplies, but he is donating his time estimated at about 25 hours per pair, he said. The $7,000 donors will receive their custom ruby slippers after Dec. 1. Until then, one of the pairs is on display in a special case in the entry of the Plano Library at 15 W. North St. in Plano.

Oz in the News 11.10.16


Check out this Texas school’s magical Wizard of Oz garden From Pam Collins’ tiny seed, a fantasy garden grew. “I thought there would be a few chairs over here and two or three trees over there. Now look at this,” she says with wonder. It’s the Garden of Oz. There’s a grand entrance, a yellow brick road and a shed with the striped stocking legs of the Wicked Witch of the East sticking out. A life-sized Tin Man presides over all. There’s also an outdoor classroom, a music wall with wood and plastic instruments, raised garden beds, a rainwater reclamation system and benches.The garden, a gift from the Celina Garden Club, opened in late October at Celina Elementary School.

The front row: Review of Goodspeed’s ‘Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz’ As Judy, Ruby Rakos has a marvelous voice: she can belt with the best of them, and she can also infuse a ballad with sweetness, longing and heartbreak. Rakos also manages that nearly impossible task of beautifully evoking young Garland without impersonating her. Kevin Earley, as Garland’s father, Frank, gives a simultaneously tender and towering performance as a desperate man, unable to provide stability for his family and hiding a painful secret. The strongest song in the show, and the most powerful scene, is Earley’s delivery of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows.” Sally Wilfert, as Ethel Gumm, embodies the wounded wife and the stage mother who really cares about her children’s success. Ella Briggs (“Baby” Frances Gumm”) not only sings with the power and nuance that young Judy had, but she is also a marvelous actor whose scenes with her father, in particular, are only cute when they are meant to be; more often, they are honest and affecting.

Storybook Cosmetics Teases Wizard of Oz Makeup Palettes First of all, the packaging is gorgeous and resembles and emerald, leatherbound book with gold embossing. The shades on the back include Poppy, Wicked, Good Witch, Emerald City, Oz, Cyclone, Yellow Brick Road, and Toto. Judging by the names and sizes of the pans, we can expect eight eyeshadows in rich jewel tones that shine bright. (We’re particularly excited to see how Poppy turns out, given that burgundy eye makeup is at the top of our “looks to try” list this year.)

Oz in the news 11.4.16

ron-ellis-shutterstock-com-wizard-of-oz-2Warner Bros secures $2.6m ‘Wizard of Oz’ copyright victory US entertainment company Warner Bros has secured a $2.6 million victory after a decade-long dispute over copyright in images from the films “Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz”, as well as short films featuring cat-and-mouse duo Tom and Jerry. Back in 2006, Warner Bros sued Art & Vintage Entertainment Licensing Agency (AVELA), claiming copyright and trademark infringement. AVELA had obtained restored versions of movie posters and lobby cards for the films and extracted images of famous characters including Dorothy, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow from “The Wizard of Oz”, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler from “Gone with the Wind”, and Tom and Jerry. The company then licensed the images for use on lunchboxes, shirts, playing cards, figurines, water globes and action figures, according to the suit. At the district court, Warner Bros received statutory damages of $10,000 per infringed copyright. Based on 257 copyright works infringed, Warner Bros received a total award of $2,570,000. On Tuesday, November 1, the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld the decision and permanent injunction.

‘The Wizard of Oz’ made its TV bow 60 years ago Nov. 3 In those days before DVDs and downloads, that single yearly presentation — starting on Nov. 3, 1956 — was a day to anticipate, dream about, count down to. For weeks in advance, TV commercials heralded the arrival of Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, The Cowardly Lion. On the big day itself — usually a Sunday night — all plans had to end abruptly at sundown, as we hurried home to prepare for The Big Event. It was no ordinary movie screening. Generally a kid-friendly “host” — Danny Kaye, or Dick Van Dyke — would introduce the movie against an elaborate backdrop featuring a yellow brick road slaloming into the distance. He would remind us not to be afraid of the wicked witch and caution that there was “nothing wrong with your TV sets” — the first part of the movie was supposed to be in black and white. For those of us who had only black and white sets — the majority, until the late 1960s — it was a mystifying remark. Some of us never saw “The Wizard of Oz” in color until we were well into our teens.


Oz in the News 11.1.16


Consumerism and the Wizard of Oz What’s culture worth? The Smithsonian Institution is asking people to fork over $300,000 for a Kickstarter campaign to restore and preserve Dorothy’s ruby slippers from the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. The film, which was based on the bestselling children’s books of L. Frank Baum, famously focuses on a heroic journey home, a place that no number of dollars or possessions can every replace. Ironic, then, that Baum himself had another interest—consumerism. In fact, the author was working on a book about decorating dry goods windows while he worked on Oz, a work that Stuart Culver says sheds light on the children’s book that birthed the film. Culver traces connections between Baum’s 1893 trip to the Chicago World’s Fair—echoed in the carnival barking of the Wizard of Oz and The Emerald City, which is built on false fronts and façades—and Baum’s book, The Art of Decorating Dry Goods Windows. Baum used the fair as a way to teach would-be window dressers about the theater of show windows. He encouraged people to decorate with a showman’s touch, using objects to tell a story and creating illusion with the help of mirrors, mannequins, and mechanics.