Monthly Archives: April 2018

Oz in the News 4.28.18

Halifax heads for Oz There’s no place like home for Dorothy, stranded in Oz, but rather than turning to the famous wizard for help, L Frank Baum’s heroine and her loyal friends are forced to call on Halifax colleague Greg, in the bank’s latest advertising campaign. Unlike the bank’s last campaign where Scooby Doo found himself in a high street branch, Halifax worker Greg is immersed in Oz. The advert was filmed in a London studio and then superimposed on to original film footage from the 1939 film. Moneywise hopes the new campaign goes down better than a recent GoCompare advert for home insurance that featured a money-gobbling animated creature called ‘Monster Bill’. The money-eating monster was created to represent expensive home insurance renewals and encourage home owners to shop around. However, one viewer made a complaint to the Advertising Standards Agency after it prompted their four-year-old child to swallow coins.

Oz in the News 4.27.18

Book Beat has a party on Independent Bookstore Day, April 28 Book Beat Bookstore in Oak Park is celebrating the third National Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, April 28, with local authors signing their latest books, an author-recommended shelf, and special book-related goodies available only on that day, including a limited edition “Read, Think, & Create Tik-Tok of Oz” book bag free with a purchase. Independent Bookstore Day is a one-day national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the country on the last Saturday in April. Every store is unique, and every party is different. Book Beat is a great example of what an independent can do, with curated collections, artworks and emphasis on local authors and artists. It hosts special events and book signings, working with other community groups. Book Beat owner/manager Colleen Kammer says Independent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers. Small businesses like hers are the heart of the community, supporting residents with residents supporting them. This special day is a way of connecting with the people and having fun, too. “We will be celebrating with some of our favorite local writers and artists who all have newly published books,” Kammer says. “They will be autographing their new titles and sharing some of their favorite books with the public, just ask!”

Oz in the News 4.24.18

Wicked Witch’s iconic gazing ball visits Cornell library The crystal ball from the movie “The Wizard of Oz” – one of Hollywood’s most iconic objects – is coming to Cornell University Library this spring. On view alongside an exhibition of Cornell’s witchcraft collection, the famous film prop has been equipped with technology to recreate the movie’s effect of conjuring images on within its surface. The crystal ball has been loaned to the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections by Jay Walker ’77, chairman of Walker Digital and founder of Priceline.com. “We are honored to host this spectacular artifact, and grateful to Jay Walker for making this loan possible. This is the first time the crystal ball has been displayed outside of the Walker Library of the History of the Human Imagination and we hope students and the community at large will enjoy it,” said Katherine Reagan, Cornell’s curator of rare books and manuscripts. The crystal ball will be on view in the Kroch Library rotunda, Level 2B, from April 30 until June 25. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday May 5, the exhibit is free and open to the public.

Theatre review: The Wizard of Ōtāhuhu There’s a quartet of gender-fluid witches who are “wicked” in every sense of the word; rainbow-attired munchkins who hang out, appropriately, at Rainbow’s End and a feisty Dorothy (Irene Folau) who leads her dog Koko (Aaron Ryan), the brainless scarecrow (Josephine Mavaega), heartless tinman (Bob Savea) and the cowardly lion (Rokolani Lavea) to meet the Wizard of Ōtāhuhu (Torie Pickering) who hangs out at WINZ (Wizards in New Zealand). They’re pursued by Dorothy’s aunts (Luse Sua-Tuipulotu and Unaloto Funaki) who elicit the most laughs when they’re sniping about whether Manu Samoa or the ‘Ikale Tahi Tongan Rugby team are the best. Remarkably, nearly every character gets a humorous backstory enlivened and made relatable by dance (Parris Goebel, who was in Saturday night’s audience, should be proud of the work her protege Elvis Lopeti has done with the choreography), song and topical wit. The humor runs the gamut from physical comedy to sharp social commentary. There are jokes about privacy and social media; the prevalence of type 2 diabetes, and its links to fast food, and running rivalry between Samoa and Tonga. Other Pasifika cultures come in for some gentle ribbing, too; music, dances and costumes are used to reference them.

Oz in the News 4.20.18

Rare ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Replica Displayed In Alexandria A replica of the slippers Judy Garland wore in “The Wizard of Oz” are on display at the new Comfort One Shoes store at 200 King Street. The original pair is being restored Smithsonian American History Museum. The store secured the replica through a donation aiding the restoration of the original ruby slippers. Shoppers can take a look at the ruby slippers while browsing the new store. Comfort One Shoes opened the new location this year directly across from its flagship location at 201 King Street. The new location focuses on casual shoes, while the original location offers more dressy options.

Life On The Grid: ‘Emerald City’ at K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong Inspired by L. Frank Baum’s illusory city, K11’s first in-house curated show looks to the hidden forces structuring how we see the world. In Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), visitors to the Emerald City are required to wear green-tinted lenses. It’s a ruse by the Wizard, who claims that the glasses offer protection from the city’s brightness, though, in reality, it isn’t green at all. At the heart of Baum’s metropolis – especially when reading its glinting green tint through early 20th-century American anxieties over ‘greenback’ paper currency and the skyscraper boom – is the fear of living a shared illusion. ‘Emerald City’ – a group show curated by Venus Lau at Hong Kong’s K11 Art Foundation – aspires to scrape away this invisible ordering of our vision. The exhibition commands an international set of artists to confront the geometric grids and cells of our exterior and interior lives.

Oz in the News 4.19.18

Karen Jonas is premiering her song “Yellow Brick Road” Taking obvious inspiration from The Wizard of Oz, Jonas got the idea for “Yellow Brick Road” while reading the classic book written by L. Frank Baum with her daughters. In its pages, she found some interesting parallels to her own experiences as an artist. “Dorothy takes a long walk down the Yellow Brick Road and hinges her fate on the Great and Powerful Oz. He’s a likable enough character, but a fraud,” Jonas tells The Boot. “I was in the middle of particularly unproductive conversations with some music industry folks, and I found a lot of relevance there.” According to Jonas, “Yellow Brick Road” is a song about choosing your own path: “[It’s] about deciding to do things your own way, seeing through the farce and not waiting for someone to come do the hard work for you,” she says. Originally the first song that Jonas recorded for her forthcoming album, Butter, “Yellow Brick Road” took two takes to get right. After initially opting to cut the song from the album, Jonas decided to re-record it — and, that time around, thought it was a perfect fit.

Oz in the News 4.8.18

The Wizard of Ōtāhuhu The Wizard of Ōtāhuhu is an outrageous twist on the children’s story The Wizard of Oz, performed with a South Auckland flavour. Alison Quigan and Troy Tuua have co-directed a new production each year, this time bringing a 50-strong cast and crew together to prepare yet again a spectacle of dance and music at the Mangere Arts Centre. Actor Braddy Peeti says the production provides aspiration for Māori and Pasifika artists to pursue careers in not only acting but stage production. Peeti says, “Just pursue it one hundred percent but work hard- that’s what this industry needs.  Hard-working- especially Māori and Pacific Island- talent.” Alison Quigan and Troy Tu’ua are the co-directors of the production and since 2014 have directed a new production each year, thanks to funding from the Māngere-Ōtāhuhu local board. This time it’s the Wizard of Ōtāhuhu. Peeti says, “Just the sheer talent that everybody provides to this show, especially from the youngest ones.  There’s children in the show all the way up to working professionals and together it’s just a match made in heaven. “South Auckland has just been my aid.  I started off with Manukau performing arts and I just love performing to my people.”

 

Oz in the News 4.16.18

You’ll Soon Be Able to Own Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers From ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (If You Have $6 Million!) No word on if you’ll be able to return home just by clicking your heels together three times, but you will soon be able to own Dorothy’s ruby-red slippers from The Wizard of Oz… if you can amass the right sum! The iconic shoes from the 1939 musical film are hitting the auction block with a seven-figure starting price. Technically, there are multiple pairs of ruby-red slippers floating around. One pair was acquired by the National Museum of American History, for example, while actress Debbie Reynolds owned another. And yet another pair was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids, MN, and remains missing. Moments in Time dealer Gary Zimet calls these shoes “the holy grail of movie memorabilia.”

Oz Museum Although L. Frank Baum didn’t think his 1900 novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” would be a success, its persistent endurance over a century has proved him soundly wrong. “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” has spawned film adaptations, theater adaptations, prequels, sequels, and generations of little children waltzing around in glittering slippers. The Oz Museum, in Wamego, Kansas, pays homage to “all things Oz,” from the original novel to movies to plays to board games. Come with us as we stay very much in Kansas and talk to the Executive Director of the Oz Museum, Clint Steuve, about the history and contents of the museum and the story that inspired it.