Monthly Archives: May 2021

Oz in the News 5.27.21

Behind-the-Scenes of The Wizard of Oz’s Land of Oz (VIDEO) The Wizard of Oz theme park was developed by two brothers in 1970. Land of Oz unfortunately closed in 1980, but the park now hosts Journey with Dorothy weekly in June and the Autumn at Oz festival in September. See what makes this Beech Mountain, NC gem so secretly awesome.

Oz in the News 5.25.21

BWW Interview: Rachel Landon, Carly Lafferty, And Stacey Werner of OVER THE RAINBOW: THE SONGS OF JUDY GARLAND at Open Stage One of the moments they are particularly looking forward to sharing with the audience is “Over the Rainbow”. Often, it’s forgotten that “Over the Rainbow” has an introduction. As Landon comments, “when Nick begins that song on the piano, they’ll know what’s coming. But then we’ll start the introduction to the song, which may be one of the less familiar pieces they’ll hear. It’ll be so wonderful to hit the comforting, familiar, well-loved part of that song and to experience how the audience reacts to it.” Audiences may also hear some of the songs in a new way. Among the pieces that the performers love are “After You’ve Gone”, “The Trolley Song”, “Smile”, and “Make Someone Happy”.

Oz in the News 5.21.21

Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s Famous Medley Added to National Recording Registry On Thursday, we celebrated the 62nd birthday of the late, great Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole, better known to many of us as Bruddah Iz. The legendary Hawaiian singer and musician left an indelible mark on fans, and the Hawaiian music industry. While nearly all of his songs are treasured by the people of Hawaii, one song in particular brought him worldwide recognition. That 1993 song, “Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What A Wonderful World,” is a medley of the Judy Garland and Louie Armstrong classics, but still it’s distinctly Iz. The song was first recorded in an impromptu 3 a.m. session with Milan Bertosa, who was at the end of a long day in his Honolulu recording studio. This year, the song received the distinction of being added to the Library of Congress National Recording Registry along with 24 others recordings “worthy of preservation for all time based on their cultural, historical or aesthetic importance in the nation’s recorded sound heritage.” “Taken from Iz’s album “Facing Future” — the first Hawaiian album ever certified platinum — this single was an international hit, and it has had a sustained life through its use in motion pictures, television programs and commercials,” the National Recording Registry said.

Oz in the News 5.18.21

Massive ‘Wizard of Oz’ Memorabilia Collection Shown in TikTok Video “One of my friends owns one of the United States’ probably largest collections of ‘Wizard of Oz’ [memorabilia],” Dani Jo said in the video. The TikTok user mentioned that the friend was moving: “And so, he’s moving, so today we’re going to pack some stuff up.” The video panned around the rooms and showed what appeared to be thousands of pieces of memorabilia in the “Wizard of Oz” collection. “You don’t even understand,” Dani Jo said.

Oz in the News 5.14.21

St. Louis Escape offers seven rooms to challenge escape artists in St. Louis You are trapped in a dark cellar with several other victims, and you have one hour until the serial killer returns. What do you do? The more family-friendly experience lies in the Wonderful Wizard of Oz Escape. This room is suitable for all ages and has an escape rate of 81%. Based on the novel by L. Frank Baum, this attraction features the Tin Man, Munchkins and the Evil Witch. You can find out at St. Louis Escape, an experience that offers seven escape rooms: Cellar, Dracula, Frankenstein, Haunted Hotel, Pirate’s Curse, The Mummy and Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The escape rooms are complete with special effects, immersive details, story lines, animatronics and puzzles. The Cellar, designed for teams of four to 12, contains six rooms filled with puzzles and mysteries. Only 55% of participants manage to escape.

Exploring the Impact of The Wizard of Oz – From Disney World to Technicolor Rather unsurprisingly, The Wizard of Oz has been a major influence on video games with several games based on the film. The first major video game-based on the Wizard of Oz was titled simply ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and was released in 1993 for the Super Nintendo System. The game is a side-scrolling game which was common at the time and received generally good reviews at the time. However, in recent years, the game has been ranked by numerous outlets as one of the worst film-based video games of all time.

Oz in the News 5.8.21

Puppetworks Presents Marionette Production of THE WIZARD OF OZ Nicolas Coppola, PUPPETWORKS’ Artistic Director, has adapted it to the Marionette stage, featuring an original Country/Western score for the famous Oz characters to sing and dance to, and special effects such as the Tornado, the Great Oz mask, and the melting of the Wicked Witch of the West. Running May 8 through August 1, 2016 at Puppetworks – Park Slope. For Reservations (suggested) call (718) 965-3391 or visit

Oz in the News 5.5.21

Wicked to Become the First National Tour to Resume Performances When It Hits Dallas in August Dallas Summer Musicals and Broadway Across America have announced that Wicked will resume its national touring production this summer, becoming the first national tour to do so since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered theaters. Wicked will play the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas, Texas from August 3 through September 5. The musical kicks off the 2021-2022 Germania Insurance Broadway Series presented by DSM. Tickets go on sale May 21. “We couldn’t be more honored and thrilled to present Wicked, not just as a return engagement in Dallas, but also as the first Broadway show to resume performances in the U.S.,” said DSM president Ken Novice in a statement. “It’s a poignant moment for our industry, our organization, and audiences that we will always cherish, coming out of such a challenging year as this past one. Wicked shows us there’s no place like home—and we can’t think of a better way to welcome home our Broadway shows at the Music Hall than with this long-running, award-winning fan favorite!” At the time of the shutdown, Wicked was led by Talia Suskauer as Elphaba, Allison Bailey as Glinda and Curt Hansen as Fiyero. Full casting will be announced soon.