Monthly Archives: January 2021

Oz in the News 1.29.21

Why everyone’s going Dizzy for new version of hit retro video game Dizzy – an eight-bit video game back in the 1980s – was seen by many as the UK’s answer to Mario and Sonic. Created by the renowned Oliver Twins, the series became a firm favourite with retro gamers. Now, after fans pleaded for new games to be created, Wonderful Dizzy was released for ZX Spectrum last month. It is inspired by L Frank Baum’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Jarrod continues to design games in his spare time and has been working on his own creation for the past decade. He said: “Designing 2D games is an art form. You work with much less memory than modern computers, eking out every last byte and so every pixel counts. I enjoy the challenge.” Wonderful Dizzy can be played for free at www.WonderfulDizzy.com.

The Yellow Brick Road leads to Sonoma Andy Warhol is credited with coining the phrase about everyone having 15 minutes of fame. Sonoma’s Betty Ann Bruno, one of the last surviving Munchkins, has had more than her share. She writes about it in “The Munchkin Diary,” a memoir detailing her journey from “The Wizard of Oz,” to Stanford University, to working for the CIA, to being a civil activist in Oakland, to a career in television. “I never intended to write about my life,” Bruno, 89, told the Index-Tribune. “Then I thought my kids would like to hear about being on the set with Judy Garland, the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow and a whole bunch of little people. That story led to many more.” Bruno was born in Hawaii to a Hawaiian mother, her father from Texas. The family moved to Hollywood when she was quite young. Living across the street from the Twentieth Century Fox studios, it seemed only natural that Bruno would go into show business. And the timing was perfect. “The elaborate Oz movie set with all those big colorful plastic flowers, the playhouse-like thatched huts and that famous yellow brick road was magical. It was a 7-year-old’s dream,” Bruno said. Only later would she realize the significance of being part of the 1939 Hollywood classic, one of the most famous movies of all time.

Oz in the News 1.7.21

WandaVision’s Wizard of Oz Easter Egg Explained WandaVision’s latest trailer features an Easter egg connected to The Wizard of Oz, and it might provide a hint to the show’s villain. Featuring the return of Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany in their respective Marvel Cinematic Universe roles as Scarlet Witch and Vision, the Disney+ series is setting up to become a reality-bending adventure presented through nostalgic sitcom tropes. Aside from explaining Vision’s return following his death in Avengers: Infinity War, WandaVision will presumably introduce a handful of new concepts, including the MCU’s multiverse. WandaVision, created by Jac Schaeffer, will officially launch Phase 4 of the MCU. Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff, and Vision find themselves living the ideal suburban life. As the decades go on, the pair start to realize that not everything in the town of Westview is as it seems. Aside from Wanda and Vision, the series will feature an adult Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris), a nosy neighbor named Agnes (Kathryn Hahn), and the return of MCU characters Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) and Jimmy Woo (Randall Park).

Oz in the News 1.5.21

Celebrate More Than 45 Years of The Wiz on Broadway The Wiz, Charlie Smalls’ musical adaption of The Wizard of Oz, opened at the Majestic Theatre January 5, 1975. The production played 15 previews and 1,672 performances before closing January 28, 1979. The musical earned eight Tony nominations, winning 7 including best musical. The original production starred Stephanie Mills as Dorothy, Tiger Haynes as the Tinman, Ted Ross as the Lion, Hinton Battle as the Scarecrow, Clarice Taylor as Addaperle, Mabel King as Evillene, André De Shields as the Wiz, and Dee Dee Bridgewateer as Glinda alongside Tasha Thomas, Phylicia Ayers-Allen, Leettie Battle, Danny Beard, Phillip Bond, Leslie Butler, Pi Douglass, Ronald Dunham, Wendy Edmead,Frank Floyd, Rodney Green, Sam Harkness, Eugene Little, Eleanor McCoy, Frances Morgan, Joni Palmer, John Parks, Howard Porter, Jozella Reed, Kenneth Scott, Evelyn Thomas, Andy Torres, Carl Weaver, and Ralph Wilcox. Rounding out the cast were Butterfly McQueen and Arnetia Walker as standbys and Cynthia Ashby and Otis Sallid as swings.