Monthly Archives: September 2021

Oz in the News 9.30.21

‘They changed my ending, I felt aghast’: how we made Wicked “I’d played with the story of The Wizard of Oz since my childhood in the US when I would arrange theatrical events in our back yard. I was the impresario. My brothers, sisters and friends were assigned roles and we’d have The Wicked Witch of the West fall in love with Captain Hook.

When I moved to London in the early 1990s, I was rather lonely and isolated. Then the terrible murder of James Bulger happened and it was discovered that children had killed him. Everyone was asking: how could those boys be so villainous? Were they born evil or were there circumstances that pushed them towards behaving like that? It propelled me back to the question of evil that bedevils anybody raised Catholic.

No one says how The Wicked Witch of the West became as she was. She’s just bad. I decided to tell her life as if Dickens was doing it. My novel would start with her birth, end with her death and have a 19th-century moral urgency. Within the first couple of days I got her name. I wanted to pay homage to The Wizard of Oz novelist L Frank Baum: LFB – Elphaba! It’s clean and simple, but not pretty, and with connotations of otherworldliness. Even though I didn’t anticipate that Wicked would become a musical, I thought Elphaba had to be able to sing in the novel. When writing, I cast the characters in my head so I could picture them: for Elphaba I cast kd lang.”

Oz in the News 9.26.21

Kansas Is More Than Cornfields: Visit A Replica Of Dorothy’s House In Liberal, Kansas Today the house that Dorthy realized there was no place like home is restored and preserved in the Seward County Historical Museum in Liberal, Kansas, and is open to the public. Admission is cheap and affordable, so if one is traveling across the United States through Kansas, be sure to stop by and see one of the most iconic and innocent movies ever made.

Oz in the News 9.25.21

Pav’s Creamery in North Canton has a sweet new, Instagram-ready mural The mural shows three retro icons — Marilyn Monroe, Bob Marley and Judy Garland, as Dorothy with Toto — with colorful ice cream cones. The icons are in grayscale. Don Hill said he wanted the mural to showcase a diversity of legends; a mixture of movies and music, men and women, black and white, and age differences. He chose Monroe because she is “the most recognizable” retro icon. “To add some multiculturalism, it was either Jimi Hendrix or Bob Marley,” said Hill who picked Marley because of his own love for reggae music. He said Garland was for “the kids.” Hill believes the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz” remains popular with today’s youth. “I wanted to keep it retro and landed on (Garland’s) Dorothy,” he said. He even painted a red ruby ice cream cone, like Dorothy’s slippers. Monroe received a blue cone and Marley has a green one.

Oz in the News 9.23.21

Judy Garland’s Wizard of Oz shoes and a Jaws model are among iconic props displayed at LA’s new film museum unveiled by Tom Hanks who says ‘it celebrates everything this town has brought to the world’ ‘We all know that films are made everywhere in the world, and they are wonderful films. And there are other cities with film museums. ‘But with all due respect, a place like Los Angeles, created by the Motion Picture Academy… this museum has really got to be the Parthenon of such places.’ The 30,000-square-foot venue – built at a reported cost of 482 million dollars (£352 million) – is based in Los Angeles at the eye-catching Saban Building, instantly recognisable for its Art Deco golden rotunda.  It serves to celebrate over a century of filmmaking in Hollywood – starting out as nothing more than an adobe hut before becoming its own community, and then a safe haven for independent move makers seeking creative freedom on the West Coast. Upon opening, the museum – run by the Oscar-awarding Academy – will be the largest film-dedicated museum in North America.

Oz in the News 9.19.21

The Wizard of Oz: A breathtaking new edition of a classic story THE Wizard of Oz is one of a rare group of stories that by the time of reaching adulthood, most will have read or know in some capacity. There is great importance in the stories and ideas we are exposed to as children, as content made for those just beginning to pick up narratives and comprehend them is clearer, more direct and far less subtle than in books written for adults. There is always a message, a moral lesson to learn and these are the lessons that perhaps more than any others, shape the foundations of the way in which we grow to understand the world, our place in it and how to treat others. It is for this reason that I believe in the sharing and adapting of these tales for new generations, passing on what we know about life and how to live it through the medium of plots filled with magic, adventure and of course, morals. One of the newest and certainly the most striking way to do so with children is the MinaLima Classics. MinaLima Studio was started in 2001 by Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima who worked together to build the graphic world of The Harry Potter films, going on to sell art prints from this project and moving on to create beautiful books.

Oz in the News 9.17.21

MY WITCH: Margaret Hamilton’s Stories of Maine, Hollywood, and Beyond! is a one-woman world premiere play about America’s greatest character actress.  Enjoy a magical visit with Margaret as she spins stories of a life and career where the Wicked Witch is only the beginning!  If you love Maine…if you love The Wizard of Oz…if you love the theater and all things Hollywood, this show is a valentine to them all. Find out how a gentle kindergarten teacher from Cleveland became the most iconic WITCH of all time, and yes, scared the living daylights out of every last one of us!

Oz in the News 9.16.21

A ‘Wizard of Oz’ Trademark Forced a Maryland Brewery to Change the Name of its Flagship Beer Rockville, Maryland, brewery 7 Locks has changed the name of its flagship beer, a rye pale ale formerly known as “Surrender Dorothy,” after multimedia giant Turner Entertainment deployed its legal team to defend a Wizard of Oz trademark like so many winged monkeys. Co-founder Keith Beutel tells Washington Post columnist John Kelly the brewery shortened the name of the beer to “Surrender” after Turner filed an opposition to a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that argued 7 Locks was deliberately causing confusion and attempting to profit of the iconic film starring Judy Garland. The original name of the beer was a reference to a graffitied phrase painted on a Beltway overpass with a view of Mormon Temple, which invites comparisons to the Royal Palace of Oz with dramatic, sharp spires. Ahead of Inauguration Day, 7 Locks also put out a special release of “Surrender Donald” cans.

Check Out Photos Inside the Broadway Return of Wicked After an 18-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wicked resumed performances on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre September 14. The evening also welcomed the return of HamiltonThe Lion King, and Chicago as well as the first performance of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Lackawanna Blues.

Oz in the News 9.13.21

The road to the hit Broadway musical ‘Wicked’ But Schwartz like the song “Popular,” and he knew he wanted actress Kristin Chenoweth to sing it. She recalled: “Stephen Schwartz says, ‘I got this part. It’s one song, you come in and kill it. Just come for the reading. It’s with you in mind. I can’t hear anybody else.’ “I walked in and I sang ‘Popular’ for the first time. And I went, ‘I’m in. I’m in!’” Chenoweth went on to become the show’s original good witch, Glinda; and the title role of the Wicked Witch went to Broadway veteran Idina Menzel, who said at first she was a little bit shaky. “I was always afraid I was gonna get fired,” Menzel said. “They were rewriting things all the time, and I wasn’t great at cold readings, so I couldn’t always deliver the new lines perfectly. Just like a mad little student with my loose-leaf script and ripping out pages. And Kristin was so beautiful and so Glinda. Like, just perfection. She always just, her first take on everything was just so funny and so right. And I was just the opposite. I just felt like a big mess.”

Oz in The News 9.11.21

VIDEO: WICKED on Broadway Prepares to Return to Oz As Rehearsals Resume The Broadway blockbuster Wicked will resume performances on Tuesday, September 14 at 7PM at Broadway’s Gershwin Theatre (222 West 51st Street). The Broadway company will include Lindsay Pearce as Elphaba, Ginna Claire Mason as Glinda, Alexandra Billings as Madame Morrible (Kathy Fitzgerald will play the role from 9/14 through 9/26), Michael McCormick as The Wizard, Sam Gravitte as Fiyero, Riley Costello as Boq, Mili Diaz as Nessarose, and Michael X. Martin as Doctor Dillamond. The standbys are Jennifer DiNoia (Elphaba) and Brittney Johnson (Glinda). Mili Diaz will be making her Broadway debut in the role of Nessarose. All other principals were playing their roles when Broadway shut down in March 2020.

Oz in the News 9.9.21

Postcards from Holland Sept. 8 After a few days off around the Labor Day holiday, it’s back to pounding the pavement (or hitting the bricks over the snowmelt) in downtown Holland on Wednesday (Sept. 8, 2021). This time, it was a relatively short jaunt down (or south) Central Avenue to Centennial Park. First stop was the Holland OZ Project displays.