Category Archives: Judy Garland

Oz in the News 1.11.19

Ruby Rakos, Andrew Keenan-Bolger, Karen Mason, More Are Part of Chasing Rainbows Workshop An industry presentation of Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz, a new musical about the early life of Judy Garland, from her vaudeville sister act through her rise at MGM to win the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, is presented January 10 in New York City. Chasing Rainbows is the first stage, film, or television property about the life of Judy Garland to receive the endorsement of the Garland Estate. The musical utilizes tunes from the Sony Music/Feist Robbins catalog, including “Over the Rainbow,” “You Made Me Love You,” “Everybody Sing,” “In Between,” and “Dear Mr. Gable.” The production was conceived and created by actor, director, and teacher Tina Marie Casamento. Garland historian John Fricke, author of The Wizard of Oz: An Illustrated Companion to the Timeless Classic, is a consultant on the project.

Oz in the News 12.16.18

Original Wizard of Oz script sells for $1.28 million at Profiles in History The original handwritten script for The Wizard of Oz has sold for $1.28 million during an auction of classic movie memorabilia at Profiles in History on December 11. The script had been described as “perhaps the most important manuscript in Hollywood history”, and was part of an historic archive documenting how the classic 1939 film was adapted for the silver screen from L. Frank Baum’s original books. The first draft of the screenplay was written in April 1938 by Noel Langley, who was one of three writers credited with the final script (although many more went uncredited throughout the troubled production). Fans of the film also had the chance to bid on the hat worn on-screen by Margaret Hamilton in her iconic role as the Wicked Witch of the West. The hat, which featured straps to hold it in place as she flew on her broomstick, sold for $102,400.

Marc Almond’s survey of Judy Garland’s life and afterlife (Passions, Sky Arts, Monday, 9pm) is more enthusiastic than enlightening, given its stated aim to “separate the real Judy from the mythical Garland”. But he finds some rewarding interviewees, and some glamorous backdrops against which to set them. The first sections of the programme whisk us through the familiar story biography, from Benzedrine-addicted child star shackled to MGM to the faded, frail figure of later years who was still capable of stunning an audience. This game quality clearly endears her to the Soft Cell singer, himself no stranger to life’s turbulence. The most interesting part of the programme deals with her afterlife. Almond chats to writer Matthew Todd about the significance of The Wizard of Oz to the gay community, at a time when “you couldn’t be out” and phrases such as “a friend of Dorothy” were vital codes. If Garland continues to resonate, especially to younger gay men, it’s through the timing of worldwide Gay Prides, which commemorate the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York, which themselves coincided with Garland’s funeral. A police raid on a gay bar on that day of all days was seen as outrageous provocation.

 

Oz in the News 12.6.18

‘Wizard Of Oz,’ ‘Ben-Hur,’ ‘Shawshank,’ ‘Alien’ And ‘Field Of Dreams’ Headline TCM’s 2019 Classics The 14 movies returning the movie theaters as part of the 2019 TCM Big Screen Classics series have been revealed. The year-long event, in partnership with Fathom Events, gives film fans the chance to revisit, or enjoy for the first time, classic movies on the big screen. The first gem out of the gate in 2019 will be The Wizard of Oz. A critical success on its 1939 release, it actually didn’t make a profit for MGM until the 1949 re-release, earning only $3.02 million at the box office against a budget of $2.8 million – it was the most expensive production ever for the studio at the time. Thanks to various reissues, unadjusted for inflation, it has finally made $23.3 million. The Wizard of Oz will be in select theaters January 27, 29, and 30, 2019.

‘The Wizard of Oz’ secrets you probably haven’t heard “The Wizard of Oz” is still captivating viewers nearly 80 years since it first premiered in theaters. In fact, according to a recent research conducted worldwide, the classic musical has had the most impact in audiences than any other Hollywood masterpiece, including 1960’s “Psycho” and 1977’s “Star Wars.” Historians and collectors Jay Scarfone and William Stillman aren’t surprised by the findings. They’ve written several books on “The Wizard of Oz” and earlier this year they released “The Road to Oz,” which features interviews with several of those involved with the production of the 1939 film and surprising anecdotes from personal archives. The Oz experts spoke with Fox News about some of the surprising facts they found as they researched for their new book

Oz in the News 12.5.18

‘Wizard of Oz,’ Miyazaki to star in LA Motion Picture museum An immersive “Wizard of Oz” exhibit will greet visitors to the Motion Picture museum in Los Angeles when it opens after a long delay in late 2019, organizers said on Tuesday. A pair of the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the classic 1939 musical, along with costumes, props and exhibits about the behind the scenes making of “The Wizard of Oz”, will be installed in the lobby of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Hundreds of other movie memorabilia on show in the main “Where Dreams Are Made” exhibit will include a pair of doors from Rick’s Cafe from the movie “Casablanca” and the typewriter used to write Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.” The 300,000-sq-foot museum, with two movie theaters and sweeping views of the Hollywood Hills, is now expected to open in about a year, museum officials said on Tuesday. The work of Japanese master animator Hayao Miyazaki will be the subject of the museum’s first temporary exhibit, followed by one on African-American cinema from 1900 to 1970 that is scheduled for the fall of 2020.

People demand refunds after utterly ‘sloppy’ performance of ‘The Wiz’ Dorothy forgot her lines, the Cowardly Lion looked more like a bear and the magical land of Oz was displayed on a laptop projector. A subpar performance of “The Wiz” put on by a concert promotion agency this past weekend at the Brown Theatre has caused dozens of Louisville customers to call and demand refunds, according to an employee at the Kentucky Center For the Performing Arts. Helen Barnett, who spent $65 for seats, said she was a fan of “The Wiz” because of its all-black cast. “It was terrible,” Barnett said. “Dorothy was wearing a Walmart dress. They forgot their dialogues … at one point Dorothy said she wanted to go back to Texas!” (In “The Wiz,” Dorothy is from Harlem while Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz” is from Kansas.) Tasha McGhee, who went to the 7 p.m. show, said the actor playing the Cowardly Lion didn’t have a tail or a mane on his costume. He was missing one of his paws and was wearing one black sock instead. It went downhill from there. McGhee said there were several times the cast and crew set the wrong scene and needed to turn off the lights to reset it. “It was really sloppy,” Tasha McGhee said. “The backdrop was a projected image of a cornfield and a barn. But then laptop notifications kept popping up on screen. They were projecting it off of someone’s computer.”

Oz in the News 12.4.18

Rhys Thomas’ Ruby Slippers Book Offers New Insights On FBI Recovery Of Stolen Shoes Rhys Thomas at first thought the call from the FBI was a joke. The author and documentary filmmaker listened to the phone message again and jotted down the return number. “Could this be a crank call?” he wondered. “Am I a person of interest in some investigation I know nothing about?” Calling the number in Minneapolis, he got FBI public affairs officer Michael Kulstad on the phone. “May I ask what this is about?” Thomas asked, still a bit wary. “May we speak confidentially?” the FBI official asked. “Yes,” Thomas replied. “Mr. Thomas, this is about the ruby slippers.” “We’d like to invite you to a press conference,” the FBI official told Thomas over the Labor Day weekend. “Do you think you could attend?” “Can you tell me anything more about this?” Thomas asked. “What about the shoes?” After a long pause, Kulstad said: “I can tell you that we have recovered the ruby slippers.”

The Wizard of Oz is a grotesque predictor of Trump’s America Oz is first wondrous and revelatory, then sinister and suspect, a good trip that goes wrong, swerving from the vivid Ikea yellow of the munchkins’ brick road to the scorched red-and-black tableau of the wicked witch’s eyrie. It’s this lurking inner wrongness, the darkness at its edges and the emptiness at its core, that speaks to me now. The US of The Wizard of Oz is not so far from the US of today. The supposedly great man living in Trump Tower – I mean Emerald City – turns out to be a con artist, a bloviating coward who relies on self-aggrandisement and empty shows of power to cow the people. The film’s chaotic momentum, in which events roll luridly from one rococo set-piece to the next, with Dorothy’s destination and the purpose of her trip moving in and out of focus, seems strangely familiar. And the central reveal about the hollowness, cynicism, opportunism, egotism and fakery of our leaders is chillingly apt.

Oz in the News 11.30.18

Before Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, there was Judy Garland. In a new book, her star is reborn “It was real emotional because it was at the Shrine and my mom’s first scene in her version was at the Shrine. Then Bradley Cooper got up and said (from the stage), “In 1954, Judy Garland sat in this seat to watch ‘A Star Is Born,’ and now, Lady Gaga.” I was so thrilled. Then the movie starts and she sings the first eight bars of “Over the Rainbow.” I was so taken aback and so grateful. Then I met her and she was so gracious. She’s incredibly smart, she’s funny, she’s grounded. I’m one of her biggest fans. And Bradley Cooper was generous and kind and a gentleman. I loved his version. They’ve taken one of the greatest love stories ever told and not only brought it to two or three generations who may not have seen the others, but they’ve kept the quality of the story. I’ve always said I think the reason “A Star Is Born” keeps getting told is because it’s not about Hollywood. It’s about human nature and love, and watching someone’s star rise and watching someone’s star fall. But, in the end it’s about someone who triumphs.”

This queer film festival reveals the asexuality allegory in The Wizard of Oz This year’s programming for Scottish Queer International Film Festival couldn’t be more diverse and involves a retelling of The Wizard of Oz. Kicking off on 5 December, the five-day festival highlights include LGBTI films from all over the world, challenging mainstream perspectives. The Wizard of Oz, particularly, questions the story seen as Dorothy’s lesbian awakening. The festival’s reimagining of the popular children book by L. Frank Baum and the even more popular 1939 movie adaptation starring Judy Garland, in fact, revolves around asexuality. ‘We have always wanted to do an event around asexuality at SQIFF,’ festival programmer Helen Wright told Gay Star News. They explained that they came across this asexuality theory while talking to a member of the asexual community. Wright researched further and found ‘an asexual reading of The Wizard of Oz online, posted on The Asexual Visibility & Education Network in the US by a user called Spoofmaster.’ ‘The reading riffs off a film academic called Alexander Doty’s interpretation of The Wizard of Oz as a lesbian story, with the Wicked Witch of the West being a butch lesbian and Glinda the good witch being the femme. Dorothy is caught between them discovering her lesbian sexuality during her adventure to Oz.’

Oz in the News 11.15.18

There’s no place like home for ‘Ruby Slippers’ production “Ruby Slippers,” a creative collaboration through the University of Minnesota Theatre Arts and Dance Department, explores what happened the night Judy Garland’s ruby slippers were stolen from a museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. The production will run Nov. 19 and 20. “I was trying to find a new story to develop and I did a Google search of the three … oddest things … that have happened [in Minnesota], and up pops this article about these ruby slippers that were stolen from the Judy Garland museum in Grand Rapids, Minnesota in 2005,” said Luverne Seifert, the director of the show and a senior teaching specialist in the theatre arts and dance department. And so the idea for “Ruby Slippers” was born. The collaborators had six weeks to write the show and then six weeks to stage it. They drew heavily from the film “The Wizard of Oz,” as well as the TV series “Fargo” because of its focus on mystery and crime in Minnesota. They also tried to capture the grief of the community in Grand Rapids, like dialogue from an email written by a woman in Grand Rapids who was angry over the stolen slippers.