Monthly Archives: September 2020

Oz in the News 9.28.20

The Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy Lands on SINoALICE’s Global Servers The dark storybook mobile game overseen by Yoko Taro brings new versions of classic characters to The Library: a world of nightmares and grand battles, where fictional heroes fight for the right to resurrect their authors. Appearing so far in the game have been famous characters including Snow White, Cinderella, the Little Mermaid, and the recently-added Three Little Pigs. This version of Dorothy, voiced by Rie Takahashi (Megumin in KONOSUBA), is especially curious and into research. As for her plans for her author? It seems the tornado-riding heroine has plans to put L. Frank Baum’s brain in a jar…

Experience Oztober at state museum This “OZtober” the South Carolina State Museum will once again invite guests to enjoy a month of exciting OZ themed shows and activities. From daily showings of “The Wizard of Oz 4-D ExperiencE” to exciting planetarium shows and virtual programs, “OZtober” offers families the perfect destination for Halloween fun both on site and online. Plus, the giant 30-foot long x 12-foot high witch’s legs will return outside the museum’s entrance and the planetarium dome will once again ‘glow’ like a jack-o-lantern after dark each night. “Our Oz themed shows and activities are always very popular with families during Halloween,” said State Museum Public Programs Manager, Lydia Salais. “We have revised our usual plans to incorporate health and safety measures and, with our spacious building and exhibit galleries, we are able to offer guests a location to enjoy socially distant fun with friends and family.” The State Museum will have health and safety precautions in place, including managing capacities in the museum’s galleries, planetarium and 4-D theater to facilitate social distancing, as well as frequent cleaning throughout the building and between shows. Per Governor McMaster’s executive order, guests aged 3 and above are required to wear a face covering while visiting state buildings.

Oz in the News 9.24.20

Oz Munchkin ‘by marriage’ celebrates century birthday Mary Ellen St. Aubin still lives in Chicago and celebrated her 100th birthday Sept. 21. Still spry and active, St. Aubin (as I reported a year ago) at age 99, trekked to Lowell, to greet fans and guests of all ages as a special guest star at an October 2019 weekend “Wizard of Oz” mini festival at Harvest Tyme Park and Pumpkin Patch. During the decades before the annual Wizard of Oz Festival in Chesterton disbanded in 2012, Mary Ellen St. Aubin was one of the favorite “little people,” who would travel to Northwest Indiana each year to greet fans. Mary Ellen enjoyed her birthday this week at her Chicago home, where she is cared for by her personal assistant Christine Lascody. Mary Ellen received well wishes and birthday greetings from around the world via social media.

Oz in the News 9.14.20

5 Midwest Cities Where You Can Discover ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ There’s no place like home — unless it’s one of the Wizard of Oz-related attractions in the Midwest. Written by L. Frank Baum and published in 1900, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was based on stories Baum told his children and continues to resonate with the public. And the film version of The Wizard of Oz has been a favorite with kids of all ages since it premiered in 1939. A visit to the Land of Oz is every fan’s dream, and these five Midwestern cities can help make that dream a reality.

Oz in the News 9.9.20

Wicked’ star headlines Kravis Center’s socially distanced video of ‘Over the Rainbow’ Talia Suskauer, who plays Elphaba in the tour scheduled to visit the Kravis Center in February, had a chance to put her stamp on the song in the Kravis Center’s remotely produced video of the song. The video highlights Suskauer and features 44 other singers and instrumentalists. You can watch it for free at Michael Feinstein, impresario of the Kravis Center’s pops orchestra series, introduces the video. Suskauer begins the song with its less familiar opening verse. Then members of the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches, The Broadway Artists Intensive, DeGeorge Academy for Performing Arts, Dreyfoos School of the Arts alumni and members of the Kravis Center Pops Orchestra chime in.

Oz in the News 9.8.20

Animal Crossing Player Recreates Dorothy and Oz on Their Island Redditor Wilbos_World shared a charming little video of a player going above and beyond to recreate the classic 1939 film in the sales juggernaut of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The creator of the video was twitter user Meg Mol (@megtannahill) who has actually been working on the project for some time, with early images going back to July. The video was finally uploaded on September 2, and it definitely demonstrates a dedicated project. The 15-minutes long video was uploaded by WilbosWorld and is a delight to watch with an incredible amount of effort put behind it. WilbosWorld explores the New Horizons island created by Meg Mol and shows off the wonderful setting. Meg Mol actually escorts WilbosWorld around the island, dressing up as the appropriate character as they explore each section on the Yellow Brick Road.

Oz in the News 9.5.20

Once Upon a Time: The Collection of Justin Schiller Ltd. What connects ruby slippers to a glass slipper, Peter Rabbit to the White Rabbit, Munchkins to Nutkins, Aesop’s Tortoise to the March Hare, Aunt Annie to Aunt Em, the Ugly Duckling to Jemima Puddle-Duck, or Beatrix Potter to Harry? The answer is Justin Schiller, owner of America’s oldest continuously operating antiquarian book firm devoted to children’s literature. Schiller is the world’s primary scholar on L. Frank Baum and a leading expert on the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Beatrix Potter, Lewis Carroll, Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak and all luminaries punctuating the genre’s evolution. Schiller recalls when asked about his formative years – from age 8, when his mother gave him an Oz book (which he recalls ruining by reading in the bathtub), to a climax in 1956, the centenary of L. Frank Baum’s birth, by which time Schiller had acquired a formidable Oz collection, mainly from scouring New York’s “Book Row” on lower Fourth Avenue, and developing his eye and essential dealer contacts.Events that year included a comprehensive exhibition at the Columbia University library, for which 12-year-old Justin supplied rare volumes, and a CBS TV taping of actor Bert Lahr reading from a first edition of The Wizard of Oz. Guess who supplied the copy? Sitting as a guest on the Cowardly Lion’s knee was little Justin. The other knee was occupied by a 10-year-old girl sent to the studio by her mother, who was invited but unable to attend. Justin remembers her well and sometimes wonders if Liza Minnelli remembers him?

Oz in the News 9.3.20

Timothy Graphenreed Dies: ‘The Wiz’ Song Composer Was 68 Chiefly composed by Charlie Smalls, with a book by William F. Brown, The Wiz included several musical numbers by others, including Graphenreed, who wrote, with George Faison, the dance numbers “Emerald City Ballet (Pssst)” and, with Harold Wheeler, “Tornado.” Graphenreed also did the dance arrangements for the musical. (The Luther Vandross composition “Everybody Rejoice/A Brand New Day” was performed in both the Broadway and film versions; the Graphenreed numbers were not included in the film, directed by Sidney Lumet with a cast headed by Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.) As an accompanist and/or musical arranger, Graphenreed collaborated with performers including White, LaChanze, Jennifer Holliday, Phylicia Rashad, Melba Moore, Valerie Simpson and Nick Ashford, Darlene Love, Morgan Freeman, Ben Vereen and Peobo Bryson, among many others.

Online gala offers locals an escape from a drab reality to the Emerald City  Just in time for Halloween, The Source LGBT+ Center will be holding an online fundraising gala on Oct. 17. Themed “Escape to Oz,” guests of the gala will be emailed a link for the live “secret” broadcast, and the event will be available to the public the next day on Facebook, at The Source’s page Event details are at Follow the yellow brick road for an evening to somewhere fantastic, including catered food, drinks, music, prizes, surprise celebrities, live entertainment, auctions, Halloween contests, and Oz-themed escape room puzzles all from the comfort of your own home. Those interested in participating in the online event can register to raise funds as an individual or as part of a team. Reach a minimum of $125 per person and you’re off to see the Wizard at the “gayla.” Keep fundraising to earn even more amazing prizes and other “little pretties!” Sign up by clicking here: