Monthly Archives: January 2020

Oz in the News 1.25.20

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Journeys to a Hellish Oz by Way of Dante’s Inferno The team first meets a scarecrow … or rather, a field of crucified people being eaten by crows, and they speak to one – Theo’s uncle. At the same time Lilith – the former Madam Satan and current queen of Hell – is doing her best version of the Wicked witch of the West. Her minion is dressed like a flying monkey and Sabrina’s boyfriend Nick, with Lucifer inside him, is her Toto. In a scene that best blends Dante and Oz, the gang enters the “Forest of Torment” full of talking and moaning trees. They get attacked by an evil tin man, which makes the Oz stuff pretty obvious.

Oz in the News 1.24.20

oZe Four dancers tell a tale on courage, failure, destiny and tolerance in oZe, a new dance production for youth showing this weekend at Maison des arts. Produced by by Destins Croisés and aimed at children aged 6 and over, oZe is inspired by L. Frank Baum’s epic and classic The Wizard of Oz, feeding on and drawing inspiration from the multiple levels of the story and its themes, adapted to contemporary realities through the bodies of a quartet of versatile dancers. The show runs 45 minutes and offers a reflection on acceptance of self and others, while addressing the notions of risk and loss of control. oZe explains to young and old that everyone hides in him a lion, a scarecrow or a magician in search of their courage, heart or path. Destins Croisés’ creations explore the interweaving of genres and physical characters in a desire to break boundaries and create with differences. With choreography by Ishmael Mouaraki and the collaboration of performers Audrey Bergeron, Charles Brécard, Charles-Alexis Desgagnés, Bailey Eng and José Flores, the show is followed by a free workshop for families.

Oz in the News 1.16.20

‘Land of Oz’ announces 2020 event dates This year, which is the 50th anniversary of the park’s opening, the festival will be held over two weeks in the fall, according to a Facebook post from the park. Guests will be able to attend Sept. 11-13 and Sept. 18-20, the post says. The park will also offer its “Journey with Dorothy” event over the summer, it says. Guests will be able to take part in the interactive experience on June 12, 19 and 26 and July 2 and 3, the post says. During the experience, guests have the chance to dress up as characters from the “Wizard of Oz” movie as Dorothy leads them through the original park, the park’s website says. Tickets for these events aren’t available yet and their “launch dates” will be announced in the spring, the park says.

THE WIZARD OF OZ ARENA SPECTACULAR Embarks on an Australian Tour Beginning This Month The Wizard of Oz Arena Spectacular will embark on a tour of Australian, kicking off at the Qudos Bank Arena on Saturday 25th January 2020 for two shows only. This all-new arena production of THE WIZARD OF OZ brings one of the most beloved fantasy tales of all time to life like you’ve never seen it before, featuring over 700 performers on stage. The stage for the show is the size of three basketball courts (large enough to hold the 700-strong cast) and the entire set has a 9-metre high LED screen wrapped around it where wall-to-wall animations will bring the land of Oz to life in vivid colour unlike any other production of THE WIZARD OF OZ has done before. Tickets for The Wizard of Oz Arena Spectacular are now available through


Oz in the News 1.15.20

‘Aladdin’ Scribe John August to Write ‘Toto’ Musical For Warner Animation August has a strong track record in writing fantastical movies, co-writing with director Guy Ritchie the Aladdin live action film that grossed $1 billion worldwide last year, and before that films that include Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and The Nines. Toto becomes the second high-profile musical for August, with the Grease prequel Summer Nights in development at Paramount Players. August is also the author of the international best-selling middle grade fantasy trilogy of novels Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire, Arlo Finch in the Lake of the Moon and Arlo Finch in the Kingdom of Shadows.

Oz in the News 1.11.20

On the 81st Anniversary of the Most-Watched Movie of All Time, 1500 Students in 24 School Districts Produced The Wizard of Oz, as an Animated Movie The participating students wrote scripts, drew storyboards, cast their fellow students into the character roles, acted each role, recorded the voices, sang and recorded the songs, and used their own drawings to create beautiful backgrounds. What began as a dream, culminated with a national premiere at the famed Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard. Local premieres of each school’s interpretation of Oz will take place in 24 cities throughout the nation including: Dallas, Texas; Chicago, Illinois; Long Island, New York; Lancaster, California; Boise, Idaho; Columbus, Mississippi; Wilson County, Tennessee and Ballard, Iowa.

Dracula, King Arthur And The Wizard Of Oz’s Dorothy All Star In This Bookish Metroidvania Launching on Nintendo Switch later this month is Bookbound Brigade, a side-scrolling action-platformer starring a cast of historical figures both real and fictional. Described as a “literary Metroidvania”, Bookbound Brigade has you taking charge of a team which includes the likes of King Arthur, The Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy Gale, Dracula, Queen Victoria, and more. You’ll need to harness each character’s special abilities to defeat enemies, overcome obstacles, and master their formation-swapping movements to progress.

Oz in the News 1.6.20

Oz: The Complete Collection Wonderful Wizard/Marvelous Land Review The biggest takeaway is Young’s art which is gorgeous. The world is like a sea with sharp impossible hills and winding creeks at every turn. It has a Dr. Seuss feel to it that makes it all the more magical. The design of the characters is quite fun too and Young does an exceptional job bringing life to tricky less emotive creatures. The flying monkeys are particularly interesting as they’re not that scary, but still have an edge to them. Really everything about the visuals is interesting and a feast for the eyes. Young is backed up by color artist Jean-Francois Beaulieu who smartly subdues the colors a bit. This isn’t a super bright cartoon of positivity. There’s a darker edge to everything and an almost worn look throughout. This is a world that’s lived in. It’s fantastical, but the colors don’t go too far at any one moment. Another major draw to read this series is how it diverges from the film. Yes, it does follow the film quite closely but it infuses it with new additions. I haven’t read the source material so I’m not actually sure if it’s brand new to this comic or simply scenes left out of the film, but the additions make the narrative quite a different experience. The flying monkeys, in particular, get an interesting backstory that humanizes them, but also adds a new layer of magical fairy tale wonder to the narrative. There are a few other wrinkles, but it’s better to experience those on your own. The Marvelous Land of Oz was brand new to me featuring a story with Scarecrow and Tin Man that plays off the opening story very well.

Oz in the News 1.3.20

Fighting Tree installed at ‘The Wizard of Oz’ exhibit The City of Holland installed its latest addition to the Pieces of Oz project Thursday. A sculpture of the Fighting Tree that the author of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” personified was delivered to Holland from Minnesota. The over 12-foot statue now stands outside the Herrick District Library as part of the city’s project that commemorates the book-turned-to-movie author, L. Frank Baum, who is believed to have written some of it in Muskegon. The executive director of the Holland Area Convention & Visitors Bureau said the installation of “The Wizard of Oz” famed characters’ statues have been in the works for five years, but the city isn’t done with the project yet. Sally Laukitis said a statue of the Wicked Witch of the West will join Dorothy, Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, and the Fighting Tree outside of the library in April.

Mary Steenburgen Drew on ‘Wizard of Oz’ When Co-Writing ‘Wild Rose’ Song “Glasgow” “One of my dearest friends, who is really like a sister, lived with our family for 18 years as my [family’s] nanny. I was 30 years old and she was 20. We sort of grew up together. Now she lives in England, but she’s originally from Glasgow. I really wanted to go to Glasgow, but since I couldn’t hop on a plane and go, I called her and made her talk to me about Glasgow to have a sense of it. I would also ask Tom Harper questions about the set to get a sense of what the look of the film would be, because production designers and art directors and costume designers are a part of every performance that I ever give. So we landed on “the stones in front of your doorstep,” and that was the first little key into it. Then that made us think, “What are the stones like in Oz?””

Oz in the News 1.2.20

Kaiser Permanente’s 2020 Rose Parade Float Wins Wrigley Legacy Award This year, Kaiser Permanente’s float theme drew 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, was written with an innovative lens to transcend stereotypes and depict what the world could be if imagined differently. The float also honors Kaiser Permanente’s 75th anniversary, highlighting the founders’ vision to reimagine a world with endless possibilities. This year, 12 float riders represented the medical innovation and excellence Kaiser Permanente provides across the nation. Additionally, 24 “out-walkers” alongside the float included Kaiser Permanente employees, physicians and members who embodied the float’s theme. These riders played memorable characters such as Dorothy, Tin Woodman, Lion, Scarecrow and the Great Wizard of Oz. These reimagined characters symbolized a vision of health, expert medical care and the power of imagination, and demonstrated how partnering with each other leads to a road of bright futures. More than 400 Kaiser Permanente employees and their families helped decorate the 75-foot-long float, designed and built by Fiesta Parade Floats. The float brought the Emerald City to life with colorful blossoms amid quaint shops and buildings that included a library, a vegetable stand for heart-healthy foods and a school. Beyond the village was the entrance to the Emerald City. The Wizard of Oz waved from the balcony as Toto floated high above in a hot air balloon.

Oz in the News 1.1.20

Collingswood baker back on TV with a ‘Wizard of Oz’ challenge Host Ian Ziering (“90210’’) will welcome four cake bakers to reconstruct a scene from “The Wizard of Oz,’’ in honor of the classic film’s 80th anniversary in a chance to win $10,000. Unlike many Gen-X kids, DiBartolo did not grow up watching “The Wizard of Oz.’’ “It was different then,’’ he says of his childhood. “It was only on TV once a year, and I was really into G.I. Joe and the Rambo movies, so it wasn’t really my bag. But I did develop a big appreciation for the movie as a dad because my daughter was fascinated by it. And to see it with adult eyes, to appreciate the story itself if you look past the campiness of it, it’s actually genius. I can see why it lasted so long. I watched it tons of times as a parent, so I knew it good enough.’’ In the first challenge, teams had to create confections depicting what Dorothy’s ruby slippers would look like in modern times. A subsequent challenge involves recreating an entire scene from the film that incorporates those “slippers.” “We were able to put our little spin on it too, which is what I liked.’’