Monthly Archives: October 2017

Oz in the News 10.31.17 Special All Music Edition!

From the creators of the “Waving Through a Window” trio comes a new music video in celebration of Wicked’s 14-year Broadway anniversary. “The Oz Medley” weaves together “One Short Day,” “Popular,” “Dancing Through Life,” “As Long As You’re Mine,” and “Defying Gravity” from Wicked;“Ease on Down the Road” and “Home” from The Wiz; and “If I Only Had a Brain” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz. With an arrangement by David Rowen, the medley was originally created for the a cappella group The Overtones at James Madison University. White at JMU, Rowen was commissioned by the American Heart Association to arrange a medley of music from the three Ozian tales for The Overtones to perform at Oz-themed galas hosted by the association. Now, Rowen has revamped the arrangement and filmed this official music video.

Take a peek behind the scenes of “The Oz Medley.” Meet the cast, listen to interviews, and hear cuts of the medley’s track list!

Trey Anastasio Band Opens Las Vegas Show With A Tribute To Mass Shooting Victims Over the weekend, the Trey Anastasio Band played two nights at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas, offering up several new originals alongside tried and true classics. On opening night at the Bowl Friday evening, TAB delivered a stirring candle light tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, covering the iconic “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” made famous by Judy Garland  in the 1939 film, The Wizard Of Oz. You can watch some pro-shot video of TAB playing “Over The Rainbow”. TAB continues on with their mini-fall tour Halloween night at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA.

OKC Philharmonic to premiere ‘The Wonderful Music of Oz’ as Pops season opener “I was just really intrigued by having music from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘The Wiz’ and ‘Wicked’ and the pop songs like ‘Rainbow Connection’ from ‘The Muppet Movie’ and ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ and all those songs that sort of take that original L. Frank Baum novel as their source material, how that simple story that he wrote has lasted so long and affected people in so many different ways,” said singer, arranger and director Scott Coulter. “But most importantly, I think (about) how the music has captured that story and allowed it to live on forever.” Inspired by the rich musical terrain of Baum’s fantasy land, Coulter is the mastermind of “The Wonderful Music of Oz,” which the Oklahoma City Philharmonic will debut Friday and Saturday at Civic Center Music Hall. Not only will the show launch the orchestra’s 2017-18 Pops season, but the OKC Philharmonic also will be the first to perform Coulter’s new concert concept.

Oz in the News 10.30.17

The annual Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium gala took on a “Wizard of Oz” theme on Oct. 28 at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota The “Wizard of Oz” theme was also evident beyond just the ballroom, because as guests mingled outside in the foyer during cocktail hour they heard the cackling of a wicked witch dressed the part, running around with a broom in hand. Inside, guests were greeted by the ‘Great Cros,’ AKA President and CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory Michael P. Crosby, on the video screen. “There’s no place like Mote!” he assured guests.

Wizard of Oz themed Halloween hay sculptures set alight The Tin Man and Wicked Witch sculptures were part of Derry City and Strabane District council’s Halloween Hay Sculpture Trail. Police said they were set alight at about 20:00 GMT on Sunday. The Halloween Hay Sculpture Trail has been created by local Young Farmers clubs and community groups.  The witch and tin man had been located alongside the town’s iconic ‘Tinnies’ sculptures, on the roundabout beside Lifford Bridge. A spokesperson for Derry and Strabane council said the sculptures have been “extremely popular particularly with families. There is a sense of real disappointment following the damage and we would encourage people to remember that the sculptures are there for everyone to enjoy, and to bring the Halloween festivities right across the city and district”.

Oz in the News 10.29.17

Wicked Witch of the West not always a fright sight Every year at Halloween, I’m reminded of a few certain episodes of Fred Rogers’ iconic educational series which are still etched in my memory, because they included guest appearances by actress Margaret Hamilton. Forever remembered for playing the Wicked Witch of the West in the 1939 classic MGM film “The Wizard of Oz,” Hamilton not only appeared as herself, she also played her pointed hat witch character for scenes and storylines with Rogers’ puppet friends in “The Neighborhood of Make-Believe.” There was a specific purpose for the three episodes of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” during the 1975 and 1976 seasons which featured Hamilton. Fred Rogers wanted his young viewers to understand that Hamilton’s green and mean alter-ego was only an imaginary character and much less scary from the images of the movie screen, as a way to help alleviate fears. Hamilton was a former school teacher who became a popular film and TV character actress and she was also a mother, with one son from her short marriage in the 1930s. For her appearances on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” when Hamilton did her scenes in the guise of her witch character, she did not wear her full green make-up, instead opting for just her black cloak, cape and pointed hat. However, for a guest appearance on “Sesame Street” earlier in 1976, Hamilton appeared in her full-green make-up and witch’s costume, and the show’s producers were flooded with letters from parents saying it was too frightening for children.

Oz in the News 10.26.17

Lexington bloodstock agent’s own bloodline includes iconic ‘Oz’ author You’d really have to know what you’re looking at to see the clue: Hanging in Lexington bloodstock agent John Donaldson’s office is a print by Maxfield Parrish, “Three Wise Men of Gotham,” which illustrated the story of the same name in the book “Mother Goose in Prose” by Donaldson’s great-grandfather L. Frank Baum. He also has first editions of a number of Baum’s books, with handwritten dedications to Baum’s son, Kenneth Gage Baum, Donaldson’s maternal grandfather, and copies of some of Baum’s original longhand manuscripts. The originals were given to the Library of Congress. The books were split among heirs of the Baum family, including his cousins Dorothy and Craig, children of his aunt Ozma, who Donaldson says was enthusiastic about preserving the family legacy.

Oz in the News 10.24.17

Renee Zellweger to Play Judy Garland in London-Set ‘Judy’ Renee Zellweger (“Chicago”) will star as Judy Garland in a new movie about the show business legend’s final concerts in London. Pathé and Calamity Films are behind “Judy” and principal photography is set for next February, in London. Opening in the English capital in the winter of 1968 as Garland arrives for a five-week run of sell-out concerts, the movie will also recount the icon’s battles with management, and relationships with musicians and fans. As the concerts get underway the star of stage and screen is 47 and exhausted, fragile, and wanting to be at home with her kids, casting into doubt whether the shows, at the Talk of the Town nightclub, can go on. “Judy” is based on a script written by Tom Edge (“The Crown”) and will be produced by BAFTA winner David Livingstone (“Pride”) for Calamity Films. British stage director and Tony nominee, Rupert Goold, will direct. The producers said the movie will feature some of Garland’s best-known songs.

The Oz Index & Daily Ozmapolitan Contest: Enter to win Arlen and Harburg’s Over the Rainbow

The Daily Ozmapolitan & The Oz Index have teamed up with Oxford University Press to give away five (5) copies of the new book Arlen and Harburg’s Over the Rainbow. 

In Arlen and Harburg’s Over the Rainbow, author Walter Frisch traces the history of this song from its inception during the development of The Wizard of Oz‘s screenplay, to its various reinterpretations over the course of the twentieth century. Through analysis of the song’s music and lyrics, this Oxford Keynotes volume provides a close reading of the piece while examining the evolution of its meaning as it traversed widely varying cultural contexts. From its adoption as a jazz standard by generations of pianists, to its contribution to Judy Garland’s role as a gay icon, to its reemergence as a chart-topping recording by Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, “Over the Rainbow” continues to engage audiences and performers alike in surprising ways. Featuring a companion website with audio and video supplements, this book leaves no path unexplored as it succeeds in capturing the extent of this song’s impact on the world.

To enter the contest go to The Oz Index and find three books that have the word “rainbow” in the title and email your answers to Winners will be chosen randomly from correct responses.

Contest deadline is midnight EST on October 31, 2017


Oz in the News 10.20.17

Virtro Entertainment Releases “Run Dorothy Run” for Sony PlayStation VR .Virtro Entertainment – the female-led VR indie game studio out of Vancouver, Canada, today announced the release of  Run Dorothy Run – an immersive endless-runner and rhythm VR game, with a cheeky take on the classic novel, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” The game is being released on Sony PlayStation VR in the Fall of 2017, with other platforms to follow shortly after. Run, jive, and bop your way through the world of Oz to an electro-swing soundtrack while the story unfolds. Explore fantastical lands in your journey through the Emerald City, the Scorched Plains, the Wicked Witch’s castle, and more. Clash with enemies, collect magic crystals, and activate power-ups, all to an irresistible dance beat. Unravel the curious alliance Dorothy makes with the Wizard of Oz to settle a score with the maybe-not-so-Wicked Witch. But don’t take yourself too seriously—navigate the crazy plot twists with your tongue firmly in your cheek. “Right from the early days of development, we brought in play-testers each week to give us insights we could use to evolve the game into the rich story and immersive experience we have today,” said Jordan Brighton, Virtro’s cofounder and CEO. “We’ve had hundreds of play-testers, ranging from total newbies to VR aficionados. They loved the actual VR experience, but just as importantly, they loved the zany story-telling. Let’s just say ‘Ozzy’ and ‘Effy’ – who we know from the book as the Wizard and the Wicked Witch – emerge as you never imagined.”

Oz in the News 10.17.17

Giant Wizard Of Oz ruby slippers centrepiece for Porthleven School firework fun day Inside a barn, somewhere in Cornwall (or possibly Kansas), something very strange and wonderful is taking place. A fresh lick of ruby red paint is being liberally applied to a pair of giant 7ft tall slippers. The giant (and possibly magical) shoes will form the centrepiece of a Wizard of Oz themed firework display and family fun day in Porthleven next weekend. It will be held with the grounds of Porthleven School and also raises money for the village primary school. The tornado-like force behind the event is local mum Leigh Yates, here in the guise of the Wicked Witch, and follows on from past events at the school which have included a medieval and Harry Potter days. Leigh said: “We’ll be showing the film on a giant cinema screen and we will have all the characters and quite a few show-stoppers. It’s going to be a really great evening.”

Hotel del Coronado: San Diego’s luxury landmark for 129 years Since its opening in February 1888, Hotel del Coronado has been a San Diego landmark, its silhouette rising from the coastline like a sandcastle reaching for the sky. The Del, as the resort is affectionately known, quickly became known for its setting and was touted in contemporary brochures as the “unrivaled Queen of seaside resorts … this enchanting spot has no equal in America … or the world.” In that era, wealthy guests traveled from the East Coast for a week or more by train and stayed at the resort for months at a time, enjoying San Diego’s mild temperatures and year-round sunshine, especially in the wintertime.


Oz in the News 10.15.17

With Dorothy & Alice, Netflix Is Making Crossover Fanfics Into Movies “Haunted by nightmares of Oz’s impending destruction,” the summary reads, “Dorothy Gale finds herself in a home for others like her with troubling, vivid dreams. While she is there, she meets a mysterious girl, Alice – who involves her in a perilous quest to not only save the worlds of imagination — those which we come to realize are real and not just dreams — but the world as we know it.” The script was written, fittingly, by an English teacher from Santa Monica named Justin Merz. He previously worked on Disney’s live-action movie about Snow White’s sister, Rose Red, so he’s no stranger to adaptations of old stories. According to Deadline, multiple studios were bidding on the project, including “a number of producers who were after it for its franchise potential.”

Oz in the News 10.14.17

Oz at the South Carolina State Museum Get ready for a month-long Halloween adventure as the South Carolina State Museum becomes the Museum of OzTravel to Oz with daily showings of, The Wizard of Oz 4-D Experience™, enjoy special OZ themed events all month long and follow the Yellow Brick Road from a Kansas farm all the way to the Emerald City. Enjoy tales of epic adventure in Oz told as a constellation myth, using imagined patterns of stars in the night sky. We’ll also take a quick look at the current night sky from here at home in Columbia.