Monthly Archives: December 2019

Oz in the News 12.26.19

What’s Up With ‘The Wicked’ Movie, Based on The Broadway Musical? The new release date was set for almost two years later, on Dec. 22, 2021. So there’s still a long way to go, unfortunately. Fans fantasy casts of the roles, which include Lea Michele, Ariana Grande, Dove Cameron, and as Elphaba and Galinda. But there really is no way to know just yet who will play the tragic best friends. In the meantime, though, you can get excited about new songs. Stephen Schwartz, who was the lyricist and composer for the original Broadway musical, revealed at San Diego Comic-Con in 2016 that three new songs and one unused tune would be a part of the film. This, of course, was reported in 2016 by Playbill when the movie had a 2019 release date still, so things might change by the time 2021 rolls around. Regardless, it’s good to know that some progress was made.

Oz in the News 12.23.19

Kaiser Permanente’s 2020 Rose Parade® Float Celebrates the Courage to Reimagine Kaiser Permanente’s float theme, Courage to Reimagine, draws its inspiration from the book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” written by author L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W.W. Denslow. This classic tale, first published in 1900, is a story that was written with an innovative lens to transcend stereotypes and reimagine what the world could be if imagined differently. The 2020 float will consist of the memorable characters Dorothy, Tin Woodman, Lion, Scarecrow and the Great Wizard of Oz. These reimagined characters symbolize a vision of health, expert medical care, the power of imagination and demonstrate how partnering together leads to the road of bright futures.

Oz in the News 12.21.19

Wizard of Oz festival returning home to the Region after eight years After a seven-year absence, the wildly popular Wizard of Oz festival is returning to the Duneland community in May to mark the 81st anniversary of the beloved film, according to its new Missouri-based organizer Jackson Bishop. The festival, which was celebrated in Chesterton for all but a couple of its 31 years in Porter County, once drew huge crowds and even surviving Munchkins from the original film. There are no longer any original adult Munchkin actors alive, but the six child Munchkins have been invited and a confirmation has been received from 99-year-old Mary Ellen St. Aubin, who was married to the late Munchkin actor Parnell St. Aubin, Bishop said. “She has many, many stories to share about the Munchkins,” he said. “She’s just a delight, just like a walking source of information.” The event, scheduled for May 22 and 23, will return to its original name of Wizard of Oz Days and will be held within and just outside the Duneland Falls Event Center located between Portage and Chesterton on Ind. 149.

Oz in the News 12.19.19

BE A LION RETURNS…BETTER THAN EVER! With Tim Bradley in the lead role, as “The Cowardly Lion”, with his trusted sidekick, Miles, The Mouse (Danius Jones) and his love interest, LaDawn (K. Alana Jones), we journey on a colorful quest, while encountering red flying crabs, a betraying squirrel, and a dark, evil witch named Damneesha (Melody Williams) to restore the fictitious kingdom of Oz, which has been left in shambles after the departure of the fraudulent ruler, The Wizard. The Lion seeks the assistance of his friends: Dorothy (Kayla Ferguson) The Scarecrow (Jessika Johnson), and The Tin Man (Graham Williams) to help him become the next ruler and king of Oz.

Oz in the News 12.16.19

A Christmas Carol’ adaptation spotlights Syracuse culture, history Ebenezer Scrooge, played by The Love Boat star Fred Grandy, meets infamous Syracusians including an indicted mayor, a Syracuse University three-sport team captain, the mastermind behind one of the most successful children’s stories, and the inventor of modern air conditioning systems. It’s set in the heart of Syracuse, where Scrooge dines on chicken riggies, folks are bundled in SU gear and Clinton Square glows with holiday spirit. Benjamin Howes is the actor of utility on this project as he almost matches stage time with Grandy as he inhabits the roles of the ghosts who visit Scrooge as former Syracuse mayor Lee Alexander, “Oz” author L. Frank Baum, and “Twilight Zone” creator Rod Serling, among others.

Oz in the News 12.15.19

Judy Garland Earns First Top 10 on a Billboard Chart Since 1945 With ‘The Man That Got Away’ Late legend Judy Garland graces the top 10 of a Billboard songs chart for the first time in 74 years, as “The Man That Got Away,” with remixer Eric Kupper, bounds 15-10 on Dance Club Songs (dated Dec. 14). “My father was a huge Judy Garland fan, and I grew up loving her voice,” Kupper tells Billboard. “To be able to work on one of her recordings, especially this song, is such an honor. Also, the technical challenges involved with remixing this older recording were actually quite fun!”

Oz in the News 12.10.19

NEW UK TRAILER RELEASED FOR DOCUMENTARY SID & JUDY The new UK trailer for Sid & Judy has landed; this fascinating and moving documentary from director Stephen Kijak (We Are X), on the passionate and turbulent relationship between Judy Garland and her manager and husband, Sid Luft. The film features the voices of Jon Hamm (Mad Men, Baby Driver) and Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight, Annihilation) as Sid and Judy respectively. The film will be released on digital on 16 December. Sid & Judy tells the story of Judy Garland’s phoenix-like rise from the ashes to the absolute heights of fame, driven by her great and turbulent love affair with Sid Luft, her third husband, who managed her through triumphant highs and crushing lows, during the course of their 13 year marriage. It is the story of how The Star became The Legend.

All Rise episode 11 spoilers: ‘The Wizard of Joy’  “The Joy From Oz” – Amid holiday parties, Lola must defend herself before the Commission on Judicial Performance after a complaint is made against her. Also, Judge Lisa Benner enlists Sara, Emily and Luke in staging a “Wizard of Oz”-themed mock trial for the children of Hall of Justice employees, in which Dorothy is on trial for killing the wicked witch, on ALL RISE, Monday, Dec. 16 (9:00-10:00 PM, ET/PT), on the CBS Television Network.

Oz in the News 12.8.19

INTERVIEW: Oz is rebuilt by The Builders in new multimedia theater experience “This show started because we were looking at escapist entertainment and the idea that in troubled times people turn to great stories to get away from where they are,” said director Marianne Weems. “Of course, The Wizard of Oz is at the apex of the definition of escapist entertainment and was actually written during the Depression of the 1890s, and then, of course, the MGM musical was a huge part of the Depression of the 1930s. So it seemed like a shoo-in to start with that material.” Three performers re-create different scenes from the Judy Garland epic, all while a narrator offers up juicy details on the making of the film, according to press notes. The original novel comes into play, and audience members are even asked to take out their smartphones and take part in some augmented reality. Throw in YouTube testimonials, critical studies and fan theories, and the work is both a celebration and dissection of the most famous movie of all time. “There are lots of ways to enjoy the show, lots of things rolling out so that you can get into it in several different ways, but the main elements are the audience gets to see us making or remaking our version of the film,” the director said. “So it’s certainly not the film. It is more like a very rough homage to the film, but you get to see a camera crew and actors in front of the camera. And the whole thing about shooting is that the shooting script is out of order, and then when you reassemble it to play it back in order, obviously it’s a very different experience. So the audience gets to see all that, and it’s quite fun to see it all being created and then have it played back as if it were the movies.”

The costume designer that brought ‘Judy’ to life is getting Oscar buzz With two highly anticipated films opening within the next 12 months, multi-award-winning costume designer Jany Temime has had a busy year. Best known for working on the “Harry Potter” films, Temime recently focused her efforts on bringing Renée Zellweger’s Judy Garland to life in the critically acclaimed “Judy.” Temime has always been a fan of Garland and pointed out that the late actress was a huge fashion icon. “She [had] been dressed by the best designer[s] from age seven,” Temime said. The costumier conducted a lot of research in order to pay homage to Garland’s fashion sense, especially for the dresses featured in her shows. The costume designer also expressed her enthusiasm about working with Zellweger again: “I had been working with Renée on ‘Bridget Jones’ many years ago. It was very emotional for me to see her again 10 years later.” With a relatively small budget and tight production time frame, Temime loved the challenges the film presented. Despite the numerous costumes featured in the film, Temime said she only had two months to design the apparel and get it approved by the director.

Dell’Arte’s Return to Oz After battling high winds on State Route 299, I was braced for Dell’Arte’s 2019 holiday show, Return to Oz, and the on-stage hurricane that carries Dorothy away from the world where Auntie Em, Uncle Henry, and everyone at school think she’s a little crazy and back to a version of L. Frank Baum’s Oz. As the dust settles, Dorothy (Sara Kei Wegmüller) is delighted to find she’s back in Oz (and therefore not crazy for continuing to believe in it) and that her beloved pet chicken has turned into a human-sized walking, talking, blue-ribbon-winning egg layer Billina (H. Veenadari Lakshika Jayakody). But Oz looks broken down and desolate. No cheery munchkins singing or bluebirds flying over the rainbow, just litter and abandoned buildings.