Monthly Archives: April 2017

Oz in the News 4.28.17

Interview: We talk to Lucy Penrose about playing Judy Garland in a new West End production “My favourite song that I sing in the show has got to be ‘Over the Rainbow’. It’s my lucky song and it was my grandma’s lucky song as well. It was the first song I ever sang in public as a five year old. I sang it for the audition for this and I’ve sung it for loads of other auditions. My favourite Judy song that’s not in the show is ‘Everybody Sing’ from Broadway Melody of 1938. It was one of her first ever films and it’s the first ever role that she said – apart from the first line – she really liked herself in. She sings this great song and she’s 13 years old just belting out a jazz standard, which is incredible. If I could convince Ray to put any song in the show it would be ‘Everybody Sing’”

Judy Garland’s upcoming remembrance ceremony at Hollywood Forever The month of June 2017 is an especially heartfelt one in Hollywood. Not only is it the month of Ms. Garland’s birth, and death, but the movie star’s remains will be placed at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, at her family’s request, after a move from Ferncliff Cemetery New York. While a private memorial will take place, a public remembrance ceremony is ahead, too, to honor the star’s Hollywood resting place. And while the ceremony isn’t yet officially on the cemetery’s schedule, a representative says a day in June is most likely.

Oz in the News 4.27.17

Julien’s Auctions and Cunard Showcase the Largest Collection of Judy Garland Costumes Julien’s Auctions, the world record breaking auction house to the stars and Cunard, the cruise line known around the world for glamourous ocean travel, will pay homage to Hollywood icon Judy Garland when flagship Queen Mary 2 showcases highlights from the largest collection of her costumes to ever go to auction on the August 12-19, 2017 Transatlantic Crossing, departing out of New YorkJulien’s Auctions will exhibit highlights from Michael Siewert’s renowned Judy Garland Collection for guests to view and place bids on prior to the Icons & Idols: Hollywood auction in Los Angeles in September, 2017. Siewert is known as one of the foremost authorities on Judy Garland and has the largest collection in the world of items from her life and career. This collection is comprised of extraordinary film costumes, personal items such as props, signed contracts and photographs, and a piece of luggage Judy used when she traveled on a Cunard ocean liner in the late 1940s.

Oz in the News 4.26.17

Wizard Of Oz GOOD WITCH / BAD WITCH Enamel pins Once again I’ve combined my love of pins and musicals to make another pin homage to THE WIZARD OF OZ, this time it’s about the Witches! The GOOD WITCH Pin will be; A whopping 45mm high (approx) / Hard Enamel / Gold plated metal finish / Blue Coloured Rubber Clutch on reverse / Will come affixed to an illustrated backing card. The BAD WITCH Pin will be; A whopping 45mm high (approx) / Hard Enamel / Gold plated metal finish / Pink Coloured Rubber Clutch on reverse / Will come affixed to an illustrated backing card. The BOXED PIN SET will be; Available in limited numbers / In Wizard of Oz themed GOOD WITCH/BAD WITCH boxes, designed to be more of a statement gift – or to spoil your self. 5 will contain both the GOOD WITCH and BAD WITCH pin. A further 5 will contain both the GOOD WITCH and BAD WITCH pin and the RUBY SLIPPER PIN from my earlier campaign.

Man spellbound by the Wizard of Oz Joe Shipbaugh, 29, has lost count of exactly how much he’s splurged on his collection, but knows he’s spent tens of thousands of pounds and has no plans to stop. It was love at first sight when Joe first watched the 1939 musical – which sees protagonist Dorothy, played by Garland, swept away from Kansas to the magical world of Oz – when he was two.

Wizard of Oz Convention to Meet in Portland, Oregon Wizard of Oz enthusiasts from across the USA and several foreign countries will gather in Portland, Oregon, from Friday, June 30 to Sunday, July 2, 2017. The 53rd annual OzCon International will be held at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel on NE Airport Way. The 3-day event is an opportunity for Oz enthusiasts to share their love for the world created by L. Frank Baum in all its many forms. Guests include Doug Aberle, John Fricke, and Inanna McGraw.

Oz in the News 4.24.17

The Tin Man before and after

CNY ‘Wizard of Oz’ signs get makeovers: See before, after photos As the village of Chittenango’s 40th annual Oz-Stravaganza approaches, festival organizers realized their two iconic “Wizard of Oz” figures that welcome people were in bad shape. A Scarecrow sign greets visitors entering the eastern side while a Tin Man sign welcomes travelers on the west side of the village. Both figures have been there for more than two decades, and were weather-beaten, said Colleen Zimmer, one of the festival organizers. The paint had faded, and they were in sad shape, she said.

‘Dorothy can keep it’: Sell-out ‘Wizard of Oz’ Primark dress fails to impress Huddersfield Primark may have sold out of this £15 ‘Wizard of Oz’ style dress. But ‘Dorothy can keep it’ as far as you’re concerned. The old-style gingham dress, which is selling for up to £45 on Ebay, did not impress Examiner readers. It had drawn favourable comparisons to the dress worn by Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz – or school summer dresses from a bygone era. But Examiner readers said it looked more like a tablecloth.

Rosie Brocklehurst commented: “Dorothy can keep it.”

Diane Hobson added: “Looks like a tablecloth.”

And Chrissie Oxley commented: “It’s horrible. They wouldn’t have to fight me for it – they can have it with pleasure.”

But some readers rather liked the now sold-out item. ‘Joanne Joanne’ comment: “OMG. This is the dress I have been looking for for ages.”

Oz in the News 4.23.17

Go Behind The Scenes Of Judy Garland Musical JUDY! A series of three short documentaries are being released prior to the official opening of the poignant biographical musical Judy!.Charting the turbulent life of acclaimed chanteuse Judy Garland, the show opens this May at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End. With narration by musical theatre legend Elaine Paige, and interviews hosted by leading theatre critic Mark Shenton, the documentaries follow the show’s journey from a 60-seat theatre in Fulham to the Arts Theatre, as well as exploring the design process and providing cast interviews. Writer and director Ray Rackham said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been given the opportunity to explore the journey of the play. It really has been a dream come true, taking the show – and almost all of the cast who originated the roles – from the studio space at London Theatre Workshop in December 2015 to the Arts Theatre, West End, in May 2017. I’m so grateful to Elaine and Mark for being part of this process.”

Oz in the News 4.14.17

To Preserve Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, Smithsonian Relies On Custom Q-Tips And A Lot Of Cash The shoes that magically transported Dorothy from the Land of Oz back to Kansas are now about to take a trip of their own — to a conservation lab at the Smithsonian. The National Museum of American History is getting ready to take the ruby red slippers from The Wizard of Oz off display for preservation. Dorothy’s slippers will be spending a lot of time in a basement laboratory after they go off display April 23. “We’ll be doing pretty much all the work underneath the microscope, going sequin by sequin,” says conservator Dawn Wallace. The ruby slippers aren’t actually covered in rubies. The shoes are decorated with plastic sequins, which were fairly advanced material in the 1930s. Analyzing the condition of each and every sequin could take a while, Wallace says — there are roughly 2,400 of them per slipper. Cleaning the shoes requires special Q-Tips that are custom made at the museum. The shoes also must be housed in a highly sophisticated display case to prevent light from fading their color. Although the shoes looked gleaming red in Technicolor, in person they’re a tamer burgundy. All these preservation efforts require extensive research and time — and money. But according to the museum, it’s what must be done to ensure visitors enjoy the slippers for decades.

Wizard of Oz shoes which Latchingdon man bought for shoe-crazed wife go on sale for charity In March, Latchingdon resident Andy Walker bought a 14ft long and 7ft high pair of red slippers – previously used for a Wizard of Oz display in Harrods, London – to satisfy his wife’s obsession with shoes. The shoes became a local sensation overnight with many residents and neighbours noticing them when passing by the house in Cold Norton Road. With the excitement somewhat subsided, Andy has decided to put the shoes up for sale on the auction website eBay, with all proceeds going towards Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. The shoes were put on the site this week, with the auction running until Bank Holiday Monday. So far, bidding has increased to £112. Andy added: “It’s been incredibly popular since it went live, the page has already had 15,000 views and I’ve had people message me from America asking how much it would cost to ship them over there.

American Gods: Gillian Anderson talks Judy Garland “It was a curious process into Judy because there’s something very specific about her and an aspect of her personality that is kind of uncopy-able,” says Anderson. “And for a long time that I was working on her, I was struggling with that, working in my own space, trying to figure out what it was that was quintessentially her. I came to the conclusion that, actually, I might be barking up the wrong tree. [Laughs] Whereas with other characters, there were things I could hook onto that felt like [I] was tapping into an essence of some kind, I found Judy actually the most elusive or the most challenging to bring an element of her to the picture. So I had to ultimately make different decisions about how to represent her.”

Oz in the News 4.12.17

‘The Great and Terrible Wizard of Oz’ lands back at the House in time for a dark family spring break Dorothy — who now is played, and with the right mix of vulnerability and resilience, by Kara Davidson — is very much a recognizable teenager in this version. Instead of all of the characters in her dream operating as farmhands, as they do in the movie — they represent a school board rejecting Dorothy from one of their programs, a program that she thinks might save her, because she does not seem sufficiently sure of what she wants to do. Not everything in the piece is as telling or emotionally resonant, although AnJi White does not mess around as The Witch of the West (the wickedness is in the beholding) and Joey Steakley, who plays Toto (as he did years ago) packs a lot of emotional wallop into manipulating a little, loyal dog.

All hail the great and powerful ‘Oz,’ the king of American novels “There’s no question that it’s at the top,” said renowned literary scholar Michael Patrick Hearn, who has written extensively about Baum. “ ‘Huckleberry Finn,’ ‘Little Women’ and ‘Tom Sawyer’ certainly have affected American life, but not like ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.’ Probably the only thing you can compare it to these days is the Harry Potter madness.” The difference, of course, is that Baum’s novel was published 117 years ago, yet it still casts a spell as powerful as anything J.K. Rowling has conjured.

Oz in the News 4.11.17

Filmation’s “Journey Back to Oz” (1974) on Record How does the soundtrack to Filmation’s seminal animated feature connect with Frank Sinatra’s Rat Pack, Astro Boy, a Congo airline and a plate of bad shrimp? Journey was only shown in eleven theaters between 1974 and 1975, using the “four wall” system of self-distribution that made millions for such low-budget films as Billy Jack and The Adventures of the Wilderness Family. The initial box office results for Journey Back To Oz were disappointing. In 1980, Texize sponsored a TV broadcast of the film, hosted by Milton Berle. Texize made the soundtrack album available as a premium. The LP is described as a “Musical Story Album” on the cover, but the disc contains songs, music and short dialogue excerpts rather than a complete narrative.

Oz in the News 4.6.17

The Secret Jewish History Of Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers Adrian, who when he deigned to go by two names went by Gilbert Adrian, was born in Connecticut with an astonishing three names: Adrian Adolph Greenberg. His grandparents on his father’s side were Russian immigrants, while his mother’s parents had come to the United States from Bohemia and Germany. Best known in his life for his opulent gowns, most memorably displayed in an originally-cut, now-restored fashion show in the 1939 film “The Women,” Adrian’s work of most lasting significance was those ruby slippers. The final look was simultaneously demure and excessive, a midwest-appropriate Mary Jane positively overrun with sequins: Each shoe, supposedly, sported 2,300.

Oz in the News 4.4.17

‘Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure’ Snags Five Daytime Emmy Nominations Tokyo-based Polygon Pictures announced that its animated feature Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure has received five nominations for the 44th annual Daytime Emmy Awards, including outstanding children’s animated program, outstanding casting for an animated series or special, outstanding writing in an animated program, outstanding sound mixing – animation and outstanding sound editing – animation. Lost in Oz: Extended Adventure is a special feature from the Lost In Oz original animated series by Amazon Prime Video and the Bureau of Magic, which was released on Dec. 2, 2016, on Amazon Prime Video.

Todrick Hall on his new Tour, RuPaul, and, of Course, The Wizard of Oz “I wanted to tell the story of my life. I was a kid who grew up different in Texas, much like Dorothy feels in Kansas. She wanted to go somewhere else. But in life we often feel like we need other people, even in relationships or in business, we think we need other people to give us permission to do things instead of taking matters into our own hands. I’m not gonna wait for some wizard, who doesn’t really have the power to help me anyway, to give me what I need when I can get it myself. That’s basically what I’ve done my whole career on YouTube, but for some reason it didn’t apply to recording music. I wanted to move to L.A. to become a recording artist, but everyone said no to me. “You’re not going to be able to chart on the pop charts.” I don’t have a record deal or whatever. But I put my song out that I self-produced on iTunes and now RuPaul and I are in the top 20 of the pop charts. We’re the number 4 top album today.”