Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz: Boomerang Launches Comedy Fantasy Series Boomerang launched the world premiere of the new, original series Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz from Warner Bros. Animation. The uplifting comedic fantasy series transports audiences to the magical land of Oz and follows the ruby slipper adventures of its brave and feisty princess protagonist. The first thirteen episodes are now live on the service. To further celebrate Boomerang’s first original series the service is offering all Kansas residents a special 30-day free trial to those who sign up beginning Thursday, June 29 thru Tuesday, July 4, 2017. For more details visit: Boomerang.com/Dorothy.
Old-Time Radio Performance Highlights Wizard of Oz Convention The 53rd annual OzCon International arrives in Portland on Friday morning and runs through Sunday afternoon. The 3-day event brings together Wizard of Oz enthusiasts of all ages from around the world to share their love for Oz books and movies, to swap Oz collectibles, display Oz crafts, listen to guest speakers, and talk about all things Oz. The highlight of this year’s OzCon is a live performance re-creating episodes of NBC’s Wizard of Oz radio program originally broadcast nationally in 1933-34. Actors from the Portland area and southern California will give the convention audience an authentic old-time radio experience using original radio scripts accompanied by appropriate music and sound effects. Period microphones, simple costumes, and commercials for original show sponsor Jell-O are sure to enhance the authentic feel of the 1930s. For more information and to buy single-day or 3-day tickets for OzCon see the website at ozconinternational.com
Liza Minnelli Gushes Life With Mom Judy Garland Was Like Living in a “Land of Dreams” “[It was like living in] the land of dreams,” Liza, 71 — whose father was Judy’s second husband, Vincente Minnelli — said of being raised by her famous mom. “She was really amazing,” Joey, 62, told Closer. “And she loved all of us a lot.” “As long as Mama was there, everything would be fine,” Lorna, 64, added. “If she was happy, she wasn’t just happy. She was ecstatic. And when she was sad, she was sadder than anyone. There were no middles,” Liza said.
Recording registry honors ‘Over the Rainbow’ Earlier this spring, the Library of Congress designated Garland’s 1939 version of “Over the Rainbow” as an aural treasure worthy of preservation on the National Recording Registry. The library said the recording is one of best-known ballads of all time, expressing a poignant yearning for escape. “It represents everyone’s wondering why things can’t be a little better,” Garland explained in a 1967 interview, two years before her death. Lyricist E. Y. “Yip” Harburg settled on the image of the rainbow as the “only colorful thing” Dorothy had ever seen in her life — until she found herself in the Land of Oz.
Emerald City’s Adria Arjona on playing a Hispanic Dorothy: “Oh man, it was a huge deal and I think it was an even bigger deal because, yes, it’s an iconic American character but also I am Hispanic,” Arjona says, from China where she is filming Pacific Rim: Uprising.’ “It was also a big realisation moment for me that the world was changing, that people did want to see Hispanics that weren’t only prostitutes or drug dealers or maids or cops. The opportunity to play an American icon as a Hispanic, it was such an honour. I had multiple bruises from this show, ridiculous amounts, but I took such great pride in them. I never looked at it as a complaint; it was more like, ‘I’m kicking ass’. I flaunted them to everyone. I have two or three scars from the show and they’re like my little gems. I love them.”
For These Kansas City Puppeteers, Finding Something New In ‘Oz’ Means Toto Has To Go “Being in Kansas — holy crap — we just get inundated,” says Matt Hawkins, the puppet designer for Paul Mesner Puppet Theater’s production of The Wizard of Oz. “Every truck stop is full of Wizard of Oz.” So why would Mike Horner, the company’s artistic director, bother with yet another production of the story? “We look for titles people want to see and are familiar with. So, The Wizard of Oz, everybody knows it. And it lends itself well to adaption in puppetry,” Horner says. “When you can make a Tin Man that looks robotic and obviously isn’t some guy in a shiny suit, that’s part of the magic of puppetry.” Hawkins is a Kansas City paper sculptor who has created 3-D cardboard Star Wars puzzles for Costco and high-end art for Walt Disney World galleries. This was his first foray into puppet design. The Paul Mesner Puppet Theater’s The Wizard of Oz, June 20 through July 9 at Musical Theater Heritage at Crown Center, 2450 Grand Blvd, Suite 301, Kansas City, Missouri, 64108.
Georgia man plans “Wizard of Oz” themed proposal A Georgia couple is ecstatic about starting their journey down the Yellow Brick Road. On Friday, 30-year-old Brandon Cross pulled off the proposal of a lifetime. Well, at least it was to his now fiancé, 26-year-old Tiffany Woodard. And Cross knew he had to make his proposal special, so he decided to take a trip to Woodard’s favorite Hollywood hangout, the Land of Oz. “I was on Facebook and saw the ad for Land of Oz and it clicked,” he said. “I remembered her telling me that the “Wizard of Oz” was her favorite movie, and it just so happened that there were three tickets left for June 16. I knew I had to have them.” So, Cross bought the tickets, dressed up like the Tin Man and gave his Dorothy his heart. “I was beyond nervous, not only was rain in the forecast but upon arriving, I found out I was going to be the Tin Man and singing in front of a group of strangers,” he said. “We went through the tour and once we arrived at the wizard he asked me if I would like to give my heart to anyone. Then I called up Tiffany, the only person I could ever imagine holding my heart again.” With a huge smile and a few tears, Tiffany said “yes.”
A Visit to Wamego, Kansas, the Center of the Wizard of Oz Universe These fantastical items are on permanent loan from Friar Johnpaul Cafiero, a Franciscan priest based in Chicago whose family has been collecting related items for decades. You’ll find W.W. Denslow’s color illustrations from the first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, as well as translations of the original story into other languages—including mock German (Der Wizard in Ozzenland). The rooms are packed with memorabilia from the 1939 film, including miniature flying monkeys, character masks, and cast photos and trivia. Also among the treasures is a dress worn by Judy Garland in the movie (did you know her shirt was pink, not white?) and a pair of ruby slippers that were covered with Swarovski crystals by artist Jeffery Merrell in commemoration of the musical’s 50th anniversary.
Judy Garland enshrined in Hollywood mausoleum Judy Garland has been laid to rest in a mausoleum named for her at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. A spokeswoman for Garland’s estate says her family and friends held a private memorial service for the actress on Saturday, which would have been Garland’s 95th birthday. She was buried in the Judy Garland Pavilion. Garland’s children, Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joe Luft, wanted to bring their mother’s remains “home to Hollywood” from her original burial site at New York’s Ferncliff Cemetery, publicist Victoria Varela said. They attended the service, along with Garland’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In a statement released to The Associated Press, they offered gratitude to their mother’s “millions of fans around the world for their constant love and support.”
Fanciful garden of ‘ahhhs’ An avid gardener and garden writer, Mackey sought to instill a love for gardening in her two young children, daughter Annie Rose and son Jacques, all those years ago. Thanks to Annie Rose’s enchantment with Baum’s Oz books written in the early 1900s, a plan took shape for her little patch of wonder back in 1995. Baum wrote 14 books, including the most well-known, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” chronicling Dorothy’s adventures with the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Lion. “We read all the Oz books,” says Mackey, whose personal favorite was “Glinda of Oz.” “(Annie’s) dad read them aloud to her. He does all the best voices. He was the best reader in the family.” It’s no wonder Annie liked the books, Mackey reflects when describing her daughter’s strong sense of independence. “They’re full of really strong female characters. We’re talking the 1900s … everybody else is a princess getting saved. But not these women. They’re remarkable.” There was plenty of territory for Annie Rose to draw from, but when the shovels hit the dirt, she chose the simple, classic circle-in-a-square garden design, loosely following an illustrated map of Oz and its surroundings first published as endpapers in one of the books, “Tik-Tok of Oz.”