Category Archives: Judy Garland

Oz in the News 2.21.17

kansascollection_thekey4New Immersive Play Makes You Pick A Side In The Battle For Oz Speakeasy Society’s The Kansas Collection takes place after Dorothy’s departure and focuses on the unrest that grips Oz now that the Wizard has been exposed for a fraud. The Scarecrow and his camp are firmly anti-magic, believing the smoke and mirrors that surrounded the disgraced wizard are the root of Oz’s strife. Unfortunately, this means the new regime has also cracked down on good magic, which, as you recall, was a key element of the witches of the north and south. The audience is left to learn about each faction jockeying for power, and to choose whom they will pledge their allegiance. It can be confusing at times, and there seem to be multiple points at which one can decide to be a double agent. Adding to the disarray is the fact that time flows differently in Oz, meaning you might not be able to trust when you are, let alone who you are with. If starring in your own cloak and dagger, fantastical spy movie sounds appealing to you, you might want to jump on The Kansas Collection before the story progresses too far. Each show lasts about 15 to 20 minutes, but offers space to hang out, socialize, have a glass of wine, and glean information from other guests, who may be on a different path than your own. At $15 a ticket, it’s a deal. If you’re just getting started, you can do a few things. You can read this spoiler-filled recap of The Key here, though this account is only one possible track. If you go, you may have a different outcome. Or, you can wait for Speakeasy Society to re-stage The Key and The Axe, which they are planning to do in March. Get tickets here, or follow them on Twitter for the latest updates here.

What song did John F Kennedy ask Judy Garland to sing to him on the phone? A new memoir by “The Wizard of Oz” star’s third husband Sid Luft, which was crafted from notes Luft left unfinished before he died in 2005, tells how Garland was introduced to JFK by Peter Lawford and his wife Patricia, Kennedy’s younger sister, when Kennedy was a junior senator from Massachusetts. “JFK was young, lanky and extremely outgoing,” writes Luft in “Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland.” “He asked Peter and Pat to introduce him to ‘Dorothy’ in the flesh.” Garland and Kennedy struck up a friendship, and as Luft wrote: “In the coming years, JFK would ring Judy from either the White House or Camp David and ask her to sing to him over the telephone.” “He’d request ‘Over the Rainbow,’” continued Luft. “Judy was located somewhere in New York and obliged the President with several renditions of his favorite melodies.”

Oz in the News 2.7.17


THE JUDY GARLAND SHOW Channel Comes to StreamNet.TV ft. Streisand, Minnelli & More LAStreamNet.TV is adding 26 one hour episodes of THE Judy Garland SHOW Channel to its platform. This historic collection of 26 one-hour-long episodes includes an unprecedented list of guests including Barbra Streisand, Mickey Rooney, Count Basie, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Ethel Merman, Bob Newhart, Donald O’Connor, Peggy Lee, Steve Allen, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, Vic Damone, Jack Jones, and Garland’s daughter Liza Minnelli, among others. Judy Garland also performed solo concert performances as part of this amazing, wonderful TV show. In 1962, the CBS Network won the right to broadcast Judy Garland‘s musical variety show in an unheard-of pact worth $24 million. From June 1963 through March 1964, the one-hour episodes were videotaped at CBS’ Television City in Hollywood, California. There are once-in-a-lifetime musical pairings and duets between Garland and her guests. This collection is the only remaining audio/video in existence of the legendary diva at her physical and vocal peak.

Oz in the News 1.28.17

EMERALD CITY -- "Everybody Lies" Episode 105 -- Pictured: (l-r) Stefanie Martini as Lady Ev, Vincent D'onofrio as Wizard -- (Photo by: David Lukacs/NBC)

EMERALD CITY — “Everybody Lies” Episode 105 — Pictured: (l-r) Stefanie Martini as Lady Ev, Vincent D’onofrio as Wizard — (Photo by: David Lukacs/NBC)

‘Emerald City’ throws a respectful nod to Pink Floyd & ‘Dark Side of the Rainbow’ For decades people have been obsessing over what is collectively known as “The Dark Side of the Rainbow.” In Friday night’s episode, “Everybody Lies,” Dorothy (Adria Arjona) walks into the the wizard’s castle, and hears Pink Floyd’s music playing. But this isn’t just a wink to the knowledgeable fan, or a nod to the dubious environment — it also demonstrates the great and powerful ruler’s link to the mortal realm. “There are many nods to other pop culture Oz-ian things in the show outside the 1939 movie musical,” Cassidy says. ” We couldn’t get ‘Oh Wee Oh Wee Oh,’ but we paid an insane amount of money for Pink Floyd. And I just think that’s awesome.”

Please Stop Remaking The Wizard Of Oz The Wizard of Oz is like a Rorschach test. Everyone sees in it what they want and then, if they’re writers, they go ahead and write the story. Which is how we’ve got Wicked, a dark and gritty reexamination of the Wicked Witch’s origin story. And Oz the Great and Powerful, a dark and gritty reexamination of the Wicked Witch’s origin story. And Once Upon a Time, a television show which had a plot where they did a dark and gritty reimagining of the Wicked Witch’s origin story. There was also 2007’s Tin Man, which was a science fiction take on The Wizard of Oz that really was all about just renaming things. Oz became the O.Z. — the outer zone. Dorothy Gale became D.G.; Toto became Tutor, a shapeshifting magic teacher; a “tin man” became the name for police officers. And so on. And now we’re stuck with Emerald City which, to its credit, is at least doing more with the rest of Oz lore than most of these adaptations. But like Tin Man, it has created a plot that is extremely hard to keep track of.

Judy Garland’s Body Moved from New York to Hollywood Judy Garland is no longer in New York … confused? Garland, who died in 1969, has been ensconced in a mausoleum in Hartsdale, New York ever since. We’ve learned the remains of the ‘Wizard of Oz’ star was removed from the cemetery last Thursday and placed in the cargo hold of an American Airlines flight Tuesday night from JFK to LAX. We’re told the body will be interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery at the behest of Judy’s daughter, Liza Minnelli. It’s unclear why Liza ordered the move nearly a half-century after her mom’s death. Hollywood Forever has a slew of celebs who call it home, including Cecil B. DeMille, 2 of the Ramones, Bugsy Siegel, Rudy Valentino, Fay Wray, and Jayne Mansfield. Also buried there … Mickey Rooney, with whom Judy did several movies.


Oz in the News 1.19.17

judy-garland-home-exterior-832x468Judy Garland’s Childhood Home Is for Sale—and It’s Not in Kansas There’s no place like Judy Garland‘s childhood home, which, surprisingly enough, is located in Lancaster, CA, a good hour-and-a-half drive northeast of Los Angeles. Although the Antelope Valley town is a bit remote, and not one of the Golden State’s more glamorous locales, you just can’t brush the stardust off the property that’s currently on the market for $550,000. Garland was born Frances Ethel Gumm in 1922 in Grand Rapids, MN, and her family headed west in 1926. In search of the limelight, the budding star and father Frank, mother Ethel, and older sisters Mary Jane and Virginia settled in Southern California in the late 1920s. Although Garland’s childhood home, built in 1915, has been expanded and remodeled, some of the original features it had when she lived there still exist. You can gaze out the same windows, brush against the same moldings, and dance across some of the same floors (many of them, however, have been resurfaced with newer wood and tile). Some of the cupboards and cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms are also original, and likely held Garland’s belongings in the past.

Oz in the News 11.30.16

panel-of-tiles-on-eberle-street-300x300Wizard of Oz theme lights up town Liverpool’s LGBT quarter has undergone a complete revamp inspired by the Wizard of Oz movie. The improvements in Eberle Street are part of a £1.6m scheme funded by the Liverpool BID Company and Liverpool City Council to improve the commercial district and the pedestrian connections linking it to the retail sector. The district now boasts two bespoke designed Eberle Street signs along with LED lighting across the thoroughfare to compliment unique hexagon shapes displaying a yellow brick road and Emerald City from the iconic film.

Judy Garland Musical Weighs Post-Goodspeed Options Producers of the Judy Garland musical biography Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz are weighing their options after a ten-week run at Goodspeed Musicals before a hoped-for Broadway transfer. New York-based producer Tina Marie Casamento Libby told, “We are exploring all options, and we will let you know once we have plans firmed up. For now, we are enjoying the aftermath of a very successful run at the Goodspeed.” Libby had previously said that the show is aiming for an eventual Broadway opening.

Oz in the News 10.20.16


Puppet People present ‘Wizard of Oz’ at Doctorow Center for the Arts in Hunter on Oct. 22 Join puppeteers Mark Carrigan and Michelle Smith-Carrigan as they travel to The Emerald City and beyond in the magical Land of Oz and bring to life this literary classic. Watch Dorothy, The Scarecrow, The Tinman and The Cowardly Lion learn about home, courage, heart and smarts. This puppet fantasy features marionettes, shadow puppets, rod puppets, a large parade puppet and more. The Puppet People present “The Wizard of Oz” on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 3:30 p.m. at the Doctorow Center for the Arts, 7971 Main St., Hunter. Visit for tickets or more information.

Michael Siewert shows us the world’s largest private Judy Garland collection If you are a Judy fan, you’re in for a big treat: Michael Siewert, who owns the world’s largest private collection of Judy Garland memorabilia, is with us. You’ll see pieces from his collection which will be on exhibit in London this month!  Some of the gowns and from Michael’s exhibit, “Judy Garland: the Dressing of a Legend,” include costumes from her most iconic films, “Meet Me in St. Louis,” “Easter Parade” and this show-stopper from “In the Good Old Summertime.” Michael has been collecting Judy Garland dresses for 20 years. He says it’s been a privilege to be the steward of a piece of history.  You can learn much more about his collection at

A Judy Garland Hologram Will Tour the World in 2017 Alki David, Hologram USA’s C.E.O., worked with her son, Joey Luft, to create a hologram version of the star, with her performances drawn largely from The Judy Garland Show, which aired on CBS from 1963 to 1964. “It will be a one-hour attraction in the style of a Broadway show,” David explains. “There will be a lot of narrative and a lot of music.” The details of the show and the tour are still in the works, but David promises “a completely digital Garland,” accomplished via its established hologram technology as well as work with new real-time motion capture, which will allow actors onstage to be transformed into Garland’s body. It’s the same technology used for the hologram of Tupac Shakur at Coachella in 2013—and all based on an old carnival trick called Pepper’s Ghost—but with a constantly evolving high-tech twist. “Every show is a little different,” David explains. “We have different technologies other than just the projections, certain novel animation techniques, voice modulations, things like that that sort of make the projection really as spectacular as possible.” He continues, “They will see a real life Judy Garland onstage performing her life story, her trials and tribulations, her greatest songs, and it will be a celebration of her life in a very entertaining, witty, musical.”

What a world, what a world: Ruby slippers still missing from Minnesota’s Judy Garland Museum Last year, on the 10th anniversary of the theft, an anonymous fan put up a $1 million reward, hoping to secure their return. An Itasca County sheriff’s dive team searched a watery quarry for them last summer, chasing a tip that local kids might have broken into the museum as a prank and tossed the shoes away in a panic. The searchers found nothing, and the reward expired without anyone stepping forward to collect. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences snagged another pair at auction for $2 million for a museum it is building in Los Angeles. The Smithsonian’s Kickstarter page seeking donations for slipper restoration raised more than $80,000 in its first day. Why all the fuss for some 80-year-old movie props? Kelsch gets that question a lot. “France has the Mona Lisa. America has ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ ” he said. “It’s our national masterpiece, so much a part of the American experience.”

An Update On How the Wizard Came To Oz With Producer RAMstar studios and film producer BJ Plott are off and running on their plans for a prequel to the Wizard of Oz. Based off a 1991 book “How the Wizard Came to Oz” by Donald Abbott, this film of the same name follows the backstory of Oscar Diggs, exploring his early life on through his introduction to the world of Oz. RAMstar has high aspirations on who they want start this franchise with, having spoken to representatives for such actresses as Amy Adams and Margot Robbie (as the good and wicked witches respectively), and are in pursuit of trying to sign Nathan Fillion as the wizard himself.

“There are a lot of actors that would best suit the role. But for me, I feel Nathan is the best choice. I love his show Castle. That character is similar to the wizard.”

Also, to better match the content of Abbott’s book and to expand its audience, Plott and RAMstar have decided to go with a PG-13 rating. With that said, they’re clearly going for a darker version of Oz within its mystical nature. “As for being dark, we’re thinking something similar to Harry Potter or the Gotham TV show,” Plott pinpointed.



Oz in the News 10.18.16


Smithsonian Launches Kickstarter for “The Wizard of Oz”’s Ruby Slippers Conservation The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is heading down the Yellow Brick Road on a Kickstarter campaign to fund the conservation and display of Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, made famous by the official landmark 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. The Ruby Slippers have become one of the most iconic artifacts in film history and one of the most asked about objects at the Smithsonian. They have been on view at the museum for three decades, and as a Smithsonian cornerstone, they are deserving of special care and attention as a beloved icon to so many. Launching Oct. 17, the museum’s Kickstarter goal is $300,000. The funds will be used for immediate conservation care and a new, state-of-the-art display case designed to protect them from environmental harm and slow their deterioration. Future plans call for the Ruby Slippers to move into a new exhibition on American popular culture, scheduled to open in 2018. A successful campaign will ensure that millions more people can enjoy the Ruby Slippers for many generations to come. The public can back the project on the Kickstarter page,, and can follow the campaign on social media using the hashtag #KeepThemRuby. The campaign ends Nov. 16.

Ruby Slipper Rescue! Smithsonian Launches Kickstarter to Help Restore, Conserve Famed Shoes Movie props generally aren’t made to last past the end of filming, the Smithsonian’s Kickstarter says. Now the red shoes are fading, and some of the threads holding the once-glittering sequins have broken. Urging donors to #KeepThemRuby, the campaign page explains that the money raised will be used not just to restore the ruby slippers, but also to protect them from future environmental harm. They’ll be conserved in a state-of-the-art display case to slow deterioration. While the Smithsonian is federally funded, federal appropriations provide funding only for the Smithsonian’s operating budget and to “support core functions, such as building operations and maintenance, and safeguarding the collection,” according to the Kickstarter page. The Kickstarter will be live for just 30 days. The deadline is in place to ensure the slippers will be ready to be displayed in the new multimedia exhibition titled “On With the Show” in 2018, according to the site.