Monthly Archives: December 2016

Oz in the News 12.31.16

5659bbcb2d2e8a22Late Night in the Emerald City honoring Marcia Conwill With the glorious spectacle of Carnival, New Orleanians are often hard to impress, as our ability to throw a party is renowned. Now one more can be added to the list of the city’s legendary parties: Late Night in the Emerald City honoring Marcia Conwill. A creative statement was initially set with the invitation designed by Scriptura: a tornado of party information in gold foil set upon a Kansas farm scene, and a yellow house, floating separately in the emerald green envelope, which had a liner illustrating the Emerald City. The yellow house was the reply card, and on the other side was the information highlighted by a pair of red shoes. However, it wasn’t until party guests got to the Sugar Mill on the evening of Dec. 23 that they saw the vision: a modern re-telling of the Wizard in Oz in New Orleans. Upon arrival, guests began the evening in “Kansas” surrounded by cornstalks (and served champagne), but what truly astounded guests was the re-creation of the Conwill home. It wasn’t just the facade: when guests walked in, they realized the living room and library of the house had been recreated using the Conwills actual furnishings and art — original interior designer Sam Blount was flown in from New York make sure the rooms were exact, down to the last throw pillow. (Possibly giving a new meaning to Dorothy’s quote: “There’s no place like home.”) It wasn’t until moving towards the back door that guests saw a giant pair of red shoes positioned to look like the house had fallen on them.

Tarsem Singh is the wizard behind NBC’s ‘Emerald City,’ a modern take on ‘Wizard of Oz’ Tarsem saw the 1939 film just three years ago and says that he enjoyed the experience and described it “like a Hindi movie, incredibly kitschy and wonderful.” But his true inspiration came from the darker world of Baum’s source material and the “Emerald City” scripts (which originated with former show runner Josh Friedman). Tarsem confided to Cassidy that he’s often sent “crappy” scripts, because some believe he can make them look pretty. This wasn’t the case with “Emerald City.” Cassidy said the director loved the scripts and the characters, but wanted to take the visuals in a different direction. Tarsem’s lack of television experience did make for some awkward —  albeit humorous — exchanges. “Halfway through the thing he came to David and I on the set and said, ‘I just learned this new word, show runner, what is the show runner?’ David and I looked at each other and then I said, ‘I think that’s us.’

Oz in the News 12.30.16

rexfeatures_6363777aDebbie Reynolds Owned Ruby Slippers From ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and $25M in Hollywood Memorabilia Reynolds was an iconic star of the big screen during the 1950s and ‘60s, best known for her roles in “Singin’ in the Rain” — tap dancing opposite Gene Kelly — and the titular part in “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,” for which she earned an Oscar nomination in 1964. Later in her career, Reynolds exercised her many creative pursuits as a cabaret performer (sometimes alongside her daughter), as well as a fashion designer with a namesake line of dresses. Throughout her time in showbiz, Reynolds was an avid memorabilia collector who once owned a Las Vegas museum (closed in 1997) full of Hollywood movie treasures. Over the years, Reynolds has earned more than $25 million through sales of items she first bought from MGM in 1970. She spent more than $600,000 at the time on iconic props and costumes, including Charlie Chaplin’s bowler, one of Scarlett O’Hara’s dresses from “Gone With the Wind” and a pair of ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.” She paid $300 for an off-screen test pair of the glittery shoes worn by Judy Garland that the studio had in its vaults. In 2011, Reynolds sold the shoes for $690,000 to a private buyer in an auction.

Meredith Monk’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ Moment Meredith Monk, 74, is a composer, singer and director who in 2015 was awarded the National Medal of Arts. She recently released her 16th album, “On Behalf of Nature” (ECM). She spoke with Marc Myers. “Across the boulevard was the Trylon movie theater, where I saw “The Wizard of Oz” in the mid-40s. After that, I was afraid Margaret Hamilton, the Wicked Witch, would come up my fire escape to get me. I believed the people I saw on the screen lived in the theater. In the early ’80s, I had a chance to meet Margaret Hamilton. She was working with my mother in the Veterans Bedside Network program at a hospital in New York. We spoke, and she turned out to be the sweetest person.”

Oz in the News 12.28.16

27f4aa3c2f65bb495374c33533a3cc3aCamera that shot ‘Wizard of Oz’ makes today’s cinema cams look like toys Today, we take it for granted that movies (and photos) are in color. But the creation of full-color motion pictures was an iterative process that took decades to perfect. The Wizard of Oz, while not the first full-color feature, is perhaps the most iconic example of early color cinematography. The Technicolor DF-24 Beam Splitter camera is what made it possible. The move in recent years to digital cinema has reduced costs and improved ease of use. But perhaps the most obvious difference between the cameras of today and the DF-24 is size. Mounted atop its wheeled sled, the Technicolor camera stood over eight feet tall. But the size and complexity of the Technicolor camera was worth it. The technological advance of color was about much more than adding eye candy. When The Wizard of Oz premiered in 1939, it provided moviegoers with much-needed escapism at a time when Americans were caught between the Great Depression and the growing threat of another war in Europe. Just as the awestruck Dorothy stepped out of her Kansas home into the magical world of Oz, so too did the audience get to leave its world behind — if only for a couple of hours.

Oz in the News 12.26.16

EMERALD CITY -- Season: 1 -- Pictured: (l-r) Roxy Sternberg as Elizabeth, Ana Ularu as West, Gerran Howell as Jack, Joely Richardson as Glinda/North, Stefanie Martini as Lady Ev, Jordan Loughran as Tip, Vincent D?Onofrio as Wizard/Frank, Adria Arjona as Dorothy Gale, Florence Kasumba as Wicked Witch/East, Mido Himada as Eamonn, Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Lucas, Isabel Lucas as Anna -- (Photo by: Michael Muller/NBC)

EMERALD CITY — Season: 1 — Pictured: (l-r) Roxy Sternberg as Elizabeth, Ana Ularu as West, Gerran Howell as Jack, Joely Richardson as Glinda/North, Stefanie Martini as Lady Ev, Jordan Loughran as Tip, Vincent D?Onofrio as Wizard/Frank, Adria Arjona as Dorothy Gale, Florence Kasumba as Wicked Witch/East, Mido Himada as Eamonn, Oliver Jackson-Cohen as Lucas, Isabel Lucas as Anna — (Photo by: Michael Muller/NBC)

Emerald City Preview Video Released Vincent D’Onofrio, who plays the Wizard in Emerald City, talks about the show’s premise, which he sees as a mirror of the modern day world (via Yahoo). “Our story is a reflection of society today, through the point of view of Dortohty, and our Dorothy is fantastic.” Dorothy is played by the talented Adria Arjona, who can’t wait for people to see the show in its final form, and their unique take on the characters. “I’m really excited for people to see the reality that every character has in this version. It’s very different from the original.” “I play the equivalent of the scarecrow” says Jackson-Cohen. “Dorothy saves him his life, so he will forever protect her. Our version of Oz, magic has been banned, and the wizard is controlling Oz through science, and so all the witches have been made redundant. Glenda runs an orphanage, West runs a brothel.”

Oz in the News 12.24.16

imageREVIEW: Wizard show takes you over the rainbow The arrival at the Emerald City was camp, glitzy and glamourous, and you’d expect nothing less from a dance number lead by the island’s very own stage star Gary Chatel who plays the Wizard. My own children loved the panto, they laughed a lot at the jokes and booed and hissed in the right places. The ‘Mastermind quiz’ scene with the Tin Man with the Emerald City Guard was a particular favourite. The Wicked Witch of the West, played by David Dawson was a cross between an evil witch and a glamourous drag queen, and he played the part of the ‘baddie’ extremely well. The flying monkeys were almost as scary as I remember from the original movie. There was great music throughout the show, with classic tunes merged with pop such as ‘Ease on down the road’ leading Dorothy to The Emerald City. They even incorporated tunes from other musicals like ‘Pure Imagination’ from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ as well as updating more iconic songs such as ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’.

Oz in the News 12.21.16

sevhsvztpxbrdamepkutMazM: The Wizard of Oz  Everybody loves musical and theatrical adaptations of all-time classics, so why not turn them into an interactive game content that grownups and kids can both enjoy?  MazM is a series of classic literature reinterpreted into mobile adventure games, accompanied by beautiful illustrations and music. It’s a new, more immersive way to enjoy your favorite stories.  The Wizard Of Oz is the first installment part of Project MazM. Join Dorothy and her crew on their quest for the first time or reconnect with the magical world of adventure, wisdom, and courage! Based on your choices, you can even unlock the hidden mystery episodes that were not told in the original novel. With beautiful visuals and heartwarming score, the Korean version of the game received an impressive 4.9 stars on Google Play. Your support will allow us to develop English, German and French versions so we can offer even more people a chance to retrace their steps down the Yellow Brick Road.


Oz in the News 12.20.16

ozrun1OZ 5K Run – CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) The Oz Run is a unique, fun and challenging 5K Run/Walk and Half Marathon. Organizer Tess Morgan joined Tyler Mickelson to talk about the event. She says they offer an experience like no other that people of all fitness levels will enjoy!  Fans of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” will enjoy the Oz inspired decorations and beautiful scenery in Irvine Park. Emerald City awaits triumphant finishers; they’ll celebrate with music, food and drink. Munchkin Land for the kids has a petting zoo, face painting, and games. Awards will be given for the fastest runners and winners of the Oz themed costume contest!

Oz in the News 12.19.16

landscape-1482142290-screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-101127Wizard of Oz revamp Emerald City finds a home in the UK – here’s how you can watch  Emerald City – a dramatic reinvention of the Wizard of Oz story – will be hurtling its way to the UK early next year. 5STAR has announced it will air the 10-part series – starring Adria Arjona (Pacific Rim 2) as Dorothy and Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil) as the Wizard – in 2017. Put aside memories of Judy Garland and cheerful musical numbers – this is the Oz stories revamped as a Game of Thrones-style fantasy epic.  “We’re thrilled to be bringing Emerald City to 5STAR in 2017,” said Katie Keenan, Head of Acquisitions for Channel 5 and VIMN UK. “Our viewers will love this retelling of a classic story for a contemporary audience. The series is a fantastic addition to 5STAR’s growing slate of successful drama acquisitions.”

“Secrets Of Oz” is the 5th visual off of William Cooper’s sophomore album “God’s Will” which has been awarded “Independent Album Of The Year” at The Underground Music Awards and features guest appearances from Rah Digga, Sean Price, Ill Bill, Killah Priest, Sticky Fingaz and more. “God’s Will” is available worldwide on CD and all digital formats. When speaking to William Cooper about the video he said, “This is by far my favorite song/video I have ever released to this point in my career. This is a very heavy song that may have went over many listener’s heads so I am excited to have such an amazing visual to project the song’s brilliance. I hope my die hard supporters will really enjoy this one.”

Oz in the News 12.16.16


New book offers fond memories of N.C.’s Oz “Most theme park souvenir maps were designed to help people navigate their way around the property, but the Land of Oz map was intended to be more graphically attractive than functional,” Hollis writes. “It is by no means drawn to scale. It also shows things that were not usually part of the experience and leaves out other things that were. But if readers so desire, they can use it as they proceed through the following pages and see if they can make sense out of it.” The Oz idea was conceived in 1966, by North Carolina tourism moguls Grover, Harry and Spencer Robbins — men who wanted to utilize their new ski facilities atop Beech Mountain during the summer. They brought in associate Jack Pentes, who created the “Wizard of Oz” theme, planned and developed the park. Still, the park did not quite resemble the famous movie or the Oz as depicted in L. Frank Baum’s book. Instead, Pentes interpreted his own vision of Oz — with a comical Wicked Witch and a wizard who did not turn out to be a fake.

Oz in the News 12.14.16

stickleylodge7fbdb8cf86b1c4323a62efb36114977f8-001The Name Was Dorothy  When MRS. DOROTHY JACOBS was a little girl in Grand Rapids her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Willard Martindale had a cottage at Macatawa Park. At that resort the little girl Dorothy won the friendship of L. Frank Baum, author of “The Wizard of Oz,” and in fact came to personify the heroine of the famous writer’s stories. The little girl who as a real-life Dorothy was an inspiration to Mr. Baum has grown up into an attractive woman. She is the wife of Lodowick C. Jacobs and the mother of three sons, Robert, 16; Bruce, 14, and Albert, 10. Her husband, connected with the state highway department, was formerly of Pontiac, but now they all make their home at Stickley Lodge, deep in the woods near Watersmeet in the northern peninsula.

NBC ‘Emerald City’ Air Date, Cast News & Latest Updates: Producer Contests ‘Game Of Thrones’ Comparisons Because There’s No Sexual Violence In Show The show’s executive producer, David Schulner, commented about the comparisons between the two and said, “We’re the same genre – adult fantasy – but I hope that our show is beautiful and less bleak and 100 percent less rape-y.” He explains that the reason why Emerald City doesn’t have any sexual violence is because of the source material in itself, in this case L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, is known for female empowerment. Additionally, the author’s mother was one of the first suffragettes in history and L. Frank Baum is known to be a feminist, along with his wife, Maud Gage Baum. It would be against the spirit of the original material to add anything along the lines of sexual violence, as Schulner adds that “There’s a strength and an outlook in Oz that is completely antithetical to that.”