Monthly Archives: February 2022

Oz in the News 2.25.22

Permit Margaret Atwood to explain ‘The Wizard of Oz’ “The Emerald City of Oz is a utopia. Everybody in it is happy. But it’s based on an illusion. OK. Let’s look at the male people in the book. They are the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow. They go with Dorothy because each of them feels he lacks something. One of them lacks courage, one of them lacks brains, and one of them lacks heart. So we have three deficient male characters going to see the Wizard, hoping that they will get these things, but the Wizard turns out to be a fraud. [laughs] So actually none of the male characters in the book have any real magic powers. The Wizard has only succeeded in keeping the bad witches at bay by making people think he has magic powers. Don’t you think that’s interesting? I certainly do. [laughs] So is this turn-of-the-century insecurity about gender roles? I would say it is. Early on, when I was writing my thesis for Harvard in supernatural female figures in fiction, naturally I was interested in these witches. In 19th century fiction particularly, they always have to do with what they called “the woman question.”

Oz in the News 2.24.22

RAVENSBURGER OPENS ‘ADVENTURE BOOK’ ON ‘THE WIZARD OF OZ’ The second title in the company’s Adventure Book Game series, The Wizard of Oz is a fully cooperative game based on the famous film inspired by the book by L. Frank Baum.  Acting as Dorothy, the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion, the players must work together to overcome challenges in order to advance to the next page in the story.  Along the way, they can encounter Glenda the Good Witch and confront the Wicked Witch of the West as they seek the Wonderful Wizard and a way to get back to Kansas. The game includes a storybook board, a half dozen sculpted miniatures representing the characters, and game cards.  It is intended for 1 to 4 players, ages 10 and up.  MSRP is $29.99.

New Wizard of Oz-Themed Coffee Shop in Tempe Embraces Community Like Dorothy famously said in The Wizard of Oz, “There is no place like home.” Growing up, The Wizard of Oz was one of Hagen’s favorite movies, but Brick Road’s namesake has a deeper meaning. “It’s just that self-realization journey and that self-acceptance journey,” Hagen says. “We used to ask people if they were gay by asking, ‘Are you a friend of Dorothy?’ and there’s the flying monkey reference. I felt like I was the flying monkey, so it’s almost reclaiming that.” Brick Road Coffee is decorated with murals painted by Tempe artist Paige Reesor and Los Angeles-based artist Corrie Mattie. “Art speaks to what the community is about,” Shank says. At Brick Road Coffee, it is important that both the LGBTQ+ and Tempe communities are represented, he says. Reesor’s mural is a nod to The Wizard of Oz, incorporating mostly gray elements and a big burst of color at the end to mirror the movie. Mattie’s is near the gender-neutral bathrooms, and it incorporates the colors of the transgender flag. “(Art) was a great way to make sure that we were supporting both communities that really mattered to us,” Hagen says.

Oz in the News 2.16.22

Cursed Films season 2 will cover The Wizard of Oz, & more During the recent Television Critics Association winter virtual press day for AMC Networks, it was confirmed that a second season of the documentary series Cursed Films will be coming to the Shudder streaming service on April 7th – and the titles of the five films that will be covered in Cursed Films season 2 were also revealed! Over the course of the season’s episodes, we’ll be hearing stories of the curses that supposedly surround the Roman Polanski film Rosemary’s Baby, Andrei Tarkovsky’s Stalker, Wes Craven’s The Serpent and the Rainbow, Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust, and the 1939 musical version of The Wizard of Oz, directed by Victor Fleming.

The Oz Museum Is Your One-Stop Shop for Movie Memorabilia THE FAÇADE OF THE BUILDING in downtown Wamego is a rich green, trimmed in a yellow that pops. Large picture windows give a glimpse of what’s inside: a cartoon lion peeking out from one; Tin Man cheesing in another. But if that’s enough to give it away, just take a gander at the sign in big gold letters, hanging like an oversized belt buckle: Oz Museum. Crawling around it are four life-sized flying monkey sculptures, gray and menacing, by Kansas artist Daniel E. Ney. But that’s not all: Behind you, on the other side of Lincoln Avenue, there’s a yellow brick road—an actual yellow brick road, with its own matching gold sign (it says… “Yellow Brick Road”). The walls lining the walkway are painted with murals from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the L. Frank Baum book that became the movie: “True courage is facing danger when you are afraid,” it says under an illustration of a sobbing cowardly lion, and “Toto did not really care he was in Kansas or the Land of Oz so long as Dorothy was with him,” under a Good Witch tableau.

What is SOMEWHERE OVER THE BORDER? We’ll just let Playwright Brian Quijada tell you himself how he was inspired to write a musical “mash up” of his mother’s border crossing story with The Wizard of Oz. And, he even gives a peek at the music in the show. Join us for this world premiere musical, February 23 – March 13, 2022: https://www.syracusestage.org/showinf…

Oz in the News 2.14.22

Broadway’s most popular role will finally be played by a Black actress For Brittney Johnson, the latest Good Witch on the Great White Way, it’s good to be seen. Back in 2019, the actress made history as the first woman of color to play Glinda in the hit production, going on as the understudy. Now, she’s poised to break barriers again, taking over full-time as the show’s first Black leading lady beginning Feb. 14. “I’m really excited for people to be able to see someone who looks like them onstage, wearing the crown,” said Johnson, who has used her platform to address representation and equity issues on Broadway. “As soon as I put that crown on — and there’s something about wearing a crown — it’s very special. It’s fun.” Johnson said she is thrilled to be part of that creative community, as well as a Broadway trailblazer. The triple threat — also a songwriter and screenwriter — dreams of originating a starring role that would showcase her vocal talents and other strengths. And she hasn’t ruled out developing projects herself. “We do this, because we love it,” she said. “It’s a really privileged position. I’m grateful.”

Oz in the News 2.12.22

Musician Analyzes Judy Garland’s Isolated Vocals on the 1939 Recording of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ Musician Fil Henley of Wings of Pegasus quite adeptly analyzed the brilliant isolated vocals of a 17 year old Judy Garland performing the 1939 recording of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Henley was really impressed with Garland’s natural ability to slide from one note into another through the use of glissando. He also compared her voice to an instrument, noting how accurate her use of vibrato captured semitones within the song. He also pointed out her amazing vocal control at such a young age. “Another thing I want you to look out for is her voice, how it sounds in relation to her age. She was seventeen when she recorded this. This does not sound like a 17 year old’s voice. It sounds mature, it is so controlled. It sounds like someon who as been singing for 30 years or 40 years because of the level of ability that we can when it’s isolated – It’s just on a totally different level that any other 17 year old’s voice.”

Oz in the News 2.11.22

Wolf Among Us 2 Trailer Teases Wizard Of Oz Inspired Characters The Telltale Games team shared a brand new trailer for The Wolf Among Us 2 on Twitter this week, highlighting new characters and offering hints as to what Bigby will be up to in the sequel. The trailer opens with Bigby talking with an anger management therapist and describing his new career as a private eye. While it’s unclear the exact details of the case Bigby is working, darker versions of The Wizard of Oz‘s Scarecrow and Tin Man characters can be seen fighting with him. The therapist refers to his boss as “Ms.White,” implying Snow White may have taken a new job as well. The voice actors for Bigby and Snow White will reprise their roles in the game alongside new characters. The sequel will have more polished visual experience – unlike its predecessor, TWAU 2 will utilize the Unreal EngineThe Wolf Among Us 2‘s first episode is slated to release sometime in 2023.

Oz in the News 2.8.22

‘Marionette Land’ Pulls Strings on Disc Feb. 8 Winner of Best Documentary at the 2021 Omaha Film Festival, “Marionette Land” will take you behind the curtain of the Lancaster Marionette Theatre and its eccentric owner Robert Brock, who lives above the tiny theatre with his 85-year-old mother, Mary Lou. Brock has created his own world where he is in total control. He adapts and performs classic family shows like Peter Pan and Wizard of Oz but at the age of sixty-two he decides to bring back his grown-up cabaret show, “Divas and Dames.” The grown-up show features Brock dressing up and performing as Judy Garland, Liza Minnelli, Carol Channing, and other famous Hollywood stars of the past alongside a few marionettes. The film chronicles Brock’s unique relationship with his mother and the revival of his grown-up show while trying to prepare for the puppet theatre’s big 30th anniversary. But unforeseen circumstances threaten the charismatic puppeteer’s plans.