Monthly Archives: November 2021

Oz in the News 11.19.21

Rico Nasty and Flo Milli Are All About Their “Money” In the Wizard of Oz-inspired “Money” music video, directed by Roxana Baldovin of “Tia Tamera,” they’re traveling down the yellow brick road, robbing old, white businessmen who’d be better off writing them into their wills and passing away. Jumping from set to set, they look like models as they rap, perched on fluffy clouds and drenched in gold jewelry. “Money” was produced by German EDM DJ Boys Noize, upgrading the old-school jam for a genre-bender like Rico Nasty. 

Oz in the News 11.11.21

Theater Review: ‘My Witch’ is ‘robustly theatrical, sublimely warm and richly satisfying’ The setting for “My Witch” is a small cottage on an island in an inlet off the coast of Brunswick, Maine, which was Hamilton’s retreat from the world at large. A storm is raging outside the cottage. Lightning flashes behind a shadowy figure standing in the doorway as the play begins; a ghostly figure wearing cone-shaped headgear. As the lights begin to come up, the figure, Margaret Hamilton (Jean Tafler) screams, shrieks at the sight of us, the audience. As the door slams shut behind her on its own, the confused Hamilton realizes the reality of where she is; a place she feels most at home. “Oh,” she says. “I’m onstage. Hello dears … Yes… I’m talking to you. This is the theater, not the movies, we are all together in one big room. I can see you and hear you.” And so, for the next 90 minutes or so, this down-to-earth woman — a kindergarten teacher who wound up scaring thousands, millions, of children over the years in her signature role, the green-faced, cackling, ruby-slippers-coveting Wicked Witch of the West, opens the door to a life lived “without scandal” since her birth in 1902 in Cleveland, Ohio; no skeletons in the family closet, she notes.

Oz in the News 11.10.21

Kids pictured getting first COVID-19 vaccines calmed by Wizard of Oz characters The display has all of the characters of the beloved 1939 classic movie musical – with the exception of the Wicked Witch of the West. Cooper University Health Care and county officials hope Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion and Scarecrow will help to turn the experience of administering the vaccine into a fun ride to cut down on the anxiety some kids may feel before they get their shot and distract them from dwelling on the injection.

Oz in the News 11.9.21

Petition to bar James Corden from Wicked film passes 50,000 signatures The actor and TV host, an accomplished stage star who had widely panned roles in film adaptations of Cats and The Prom, is the target of an online petition calling for him to be barred from Wicked. It states: “James Corden in no way shape or form should be in or near the production of Wicked the movie. that’s pretty much it.” Signatories cited reasons for adding their names including “we’ve suffered enough” and “he must be stopped”. Corden, a household name in the US thanks to his The Late Late Show, is yet to publicly respond to the petition.

Oz in the News 11.6.21

Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo cast as leads in ‘Wicked’ movie adaptation Grande will play Galinda, aka Glinda the Good Witch, the role originated by Kristin Chenoweth on Broadway; Erivo will take on Elphaba, the green-skinned future Wicked Witch of the West, and thus also the musical’s iconic Act One finale number, “Defying Gravity”. Idina Menzel, who played Elphaba in the original run, joked (we think?) to Variety in 2019 that she should be digitally de-aged to continue the role in the film: “I mean I love you, Ariana, but I still am relevant here.”

Woman revamps Wizard of Oz art tribute Known for its yellow brick road and as the home of Dorothy, the town of Liberal has paid tribute to the Wizard of Oz with statues of Dorothy placed around town. However, the time has taken its toll on the statues. Julie Parsons is cleaning up her equipment to get ready for the next time she paints. With help from Kelsey Flowers, Parsons is re-painting these Dorothy statues with different themes to give the town of Liberal a revamped look because there is no place like home. Julie hopes to have all the statues done by next spring.

Oz in the News 11.4.21

On Eve Of Judy Garland’s 100th Birthday, Grand Rapids Museum Showcases Star’s Memorabilia A northern Minnesota town is the childhood home of a movie star legend. Judy Garland would have turned 100 years old next year. In this week’s Finding Minnesota, John Lauritsen followed the Yellow Brick Road to the Judy Garland Museum in Grand Rapids. The Grand Rapids house Garland lived in still has the original hardwood floors and staircase, and the basement below holds a treasure trove of Garland artifacts. Much of what you find downstairs are donations that curator Kelsch does his best to keep up with. That includes 200 of Garland’s personal audio tapes, many of which have never been listened to. “We have 10, 20 years of work to do here with this collection,” said Kelsch, adding it doesn’t feel like work. “That’s the fun part.”

Oz in the News 11.3.21

L. Frank Baum’s Cautionary Tale About the Gifts of Electricity The book plays up both the promise and the perils of what was still a very new technology. The protagonist is a young boy named Rob Joslyn, who was loosely based on Baum’s 15-year-old son, Robert. Both boys, real and fictional, were enthusiastic electrical experimenters. And Baum himself, who was 45 years old when the book was published, had witnessed the dawn of the great electrification of America. Born in 1856, Baum was raised in upstate New York, in homes lit by candles and gaslight. As an adult, he and his wife, Maud, and their young children lived briefly in the drought-stricken Dakota Territory, in Aberdeen, before they settled in Chicago in 1891. It was an exciting time to be in America’s second largest city, a place seemingly fueled by ambition and audacious dreams. Twenty years after the Great Chicago Fire destroyed most of the city, it was preparing to host the World’s Columbian Exposition. On 1 May 1893, U.S. president Grover Cleveland officially opened the extravaganza by pressing a golden telegraph key that symbolically switched on 100,000 incandescent lights. Among the other electrical inventions on display were hot plates, fans, bells, bed warmers, radiators, and a complete model electrical kitchen, according to Hubert Howe Bancroft’s 1893 Book of the Fair.