Category Archives: Judy Garland

Oz in the News 2.23.18

Imagineear creates multimedia guide for Louis Vuitton Legendary Trunks exhibition Legendary Trunks – The Exhibition includes exquisitely-crafted luggage created by Louis Vuitton for Hollywood icons Judy Garland and Lily Pons. It was created by Dutch theme attraction company Jora Vision. Appropriately enough, it is a travelling exhibition. Following its highly-acclaimed debut in Amsterdam, the exhibition now moves to Gothenburg. Over 300 pieces are showcased, all belonging to a private Swedish collector, with some dating back as far as 1850. Collectively, they provide a snapshot of the style and glamour of the golden age of travel. Stories associated with the trunks are woven through the interactive, immersive attraction, and reveal secrets of celebrity ownership, powerful personalities, exotic travel, elegance and adventure. Legendary Trunks – The Experience now moves to Galleri Fredstan in Gothenburg, Sweden and opens from March 16th to August 19th 2018.

We’re not in Kansas anymore: ‘The Good Place’ takes the yellow brick road to philosophical salvation “Best Self” is probably the episode that most spells it out, with nods like the aforementioned hot-air balloon, a reference to “Dr. Oz,” Jason ending his meandering story about one of his experiences in life by saying “it was all a dream,” and Michael echoing a famous Oz theme by saying the “Good Place was in the Bad Place all along.” Vulture also picked up several other subtler Oz homages. But it was the moment I saw the hot-air balloon in the first scene of “Best Self” that made me suddenly realize all the characters perfectly. But why all the Wizard of Oz references? And to what end? While an undergraduate at New York University, I took a class called “Individuals and Society,” a kind of introduction to Philosophy and Political Science rolled into one. My professor, James Colaiaco, posited an interesting interpretation to The Wizard of Oz, where the Yellow Brick Road represented the 8-Fold Path of Buddhism. He likened the Oz characters discovering they possessed that which they sought the whole time to the teachings of the Buddha.


Oz in the News 2.16.18

‘Judy’: Finn Wittrock, Jessie Buckley Join Garland Biopic Led By Renée Zellweger American Horror Story’s Finn Wittrock has been set to play Mickey Deans, the fifth husband of Judy Garland, in Judy, the true story of the singer and actress’ final concerts in London. Also joining the cast s Beast‘s Jessie Buckley as Rosalyn Wilder, the production assistant who looked after Garland during those performances. Renee Zellweger is playing the legendary singer/actress. From Pathe and Calamity Films, Judy will be helmed by British stage director and Tony nominee Rupert Goold. The film is based on a script written by Tom Edge (The Crown) and will be produced by BAFTA winner David Livingstone (Pride) for Calamity. Pathé will distribute Judy in the UK, France and Switzerland and is handling sales throughout the rest of the world. It will screen footage for buyers in Cannes after shooting March-May. Set in winter 1968, the story takes place 30 years after Garland played the iconic role of Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz. When she arrives in Swinging London to prepare for a sell-out run at The Talk of the Town, she battles with management, charms musicians and reminisces with friends and adoring fans. Even her dreams of romance seem undimmed as she embarks on a courtship with Deans. And yet Garland is fragile. After working for 45 of her 47 years, she is exhausted; haunted by memories of a childhood lost to Hollywood and gripped by a desire to be back home with her kids. The film will feature some of Garland’s best-known songs, celebrating her voice, capacity for love and the pizzazz of “the world’s greatest entertainer.” Zellweger notably showed off her pipes in 2002 musical Chicago, for which she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar.

‘Cabaret’ costume among vast Liza Minnelli collection for auction Liza Minnelli’s signature “Cabaret” bowler hat, boots and halter top vest is going up for auction in a sale of more than 1,000 lots belonging to the singer, her mother Judy Garland and movie director father Vincente Minnelli. California auction house Profiles in History announced on Wednesday that the “Love, Liza” auction in May, the first from Minnelli’s vast personal collection, would also include her 1971 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow as well as her hand-annotated shooting script for “Cabaret.” The Judy Garland memorabilia includes an MGM studio paycheck that was issued when she was 13, before she appeared in her first film, along with a green tramp clown tailcoat she wore for a 1956 photograph by Richard Avedon.

Oz in the News 1.27.18

Book a Trip to See Literary Maps Should your travels bring you to Cambridge, Massachusetts, this spring, chart a path toward Harvard’s Houghton Library, where Landmarks: Maps as Literary Illustration opened last week. Curated by Peter X. Accardo, the exhibition showcases sixty literary maps that bring to life such imagined places as More’s Utopia and Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood. Included is Professor Wogglebug’s Map of the Marvelous Land of Oz, attributed to L. Frank Baum. From: L. Frank Baum, Tik-Tok of Oz (Chicago, 1914). “This first printed map of the Marvelous Land of Oz presents its four counties in their official colors, but reverses the position of Munchkin and Winkie Counties. The inconsistency is also reflected by the map’s compass points, where East unusually is to the West, and West is to the East.” Credit: Houghton Library, Typ 970.14.1955 – Presented in honor of Dennis C. Marnon, 2018.

Alumni bring Oz collection to Fort Hays State Fort Hays State University alumni Larry and Lyn Fenwick, Macksville, are sharing their collection of Wizard of Oz artifacts with the Hays community. The Fenwick Oz Collection is now available for viewing through Friday, March 16, on the main floor of Fort Hays State University’s Forsyth Library. The collection features rare and unique Wizard of Oz artifacts that match author L. Frank Baum’s vision for the land of Oz and that explore details of the well-loved Kansas story. Characters displayed in the collection are consistent with descriptions given in the book and honor Baum’s original ideas. An exhibit viewing and reception will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, in Forsyth Library. The Fenwicks will present briefly at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Garland in Word and Song Opens Tonight at the Willow Theatre When Judy Garland stepped out onto the stage at Carnegie Hall on April 23, 1961, the raucous standing ovation that greeted her was just the start of what has been called “the greatest night in show business history.” Actress/singer Jody Briskey portrays Garland and recreates that night’s iconic performance at The Willow Theatre at Sugar Sand Park in Boca Raton, Florida, January 26 – February 11, 2018.

Oz in the News 12.24.17

There’s no place like … the Butler Building Who wouldn’t want their name on a brick for a yellow brick road that will be created next to the Butler Building, home of the Aitkin Opera House, where Judy Garland performed as a youngster? Just launched this month is the Yellow Brick Road Campaign, giving fans of Judy Garland and the Wizard of Oz and members of the community, the chance to help build their very own yellow brick road while preserving a place in American history. In tribute to the history of the building’s turn-of-the-century opera house, notably the first venue where a young Garland, known then as Baby Gumm, got her start on stage in 1925, owners of the building are creating an opportunity for those to help protect the legacy of this important part of entertainment history by helping to build a yellow brick road around this 1903 building. Funds raised through the purchase of each golden brick will go to help bring the opera house back to its original grandeur, allowing the building to be inducted into the National Historic Registry, officially claiming its place in history.

Oz in the News 12.7.17

Local music teacher to host launch event for new children’s book Randy L. Schmidt, a music teacher at Adkins Elementary School in Lantana, has written his first children’s book, “Becoming Judy Garland,” a biography he has dedicated to the students of Adkins Elementary. The book explores the early life and career of Garland — originally named Frances Gumm — as she went from vaudeville to movie stardom to the “role of a lifetime” in “The Wizard of Oz,” according to a news release. “I wrote this book because I feel Judy Garland is still relevant to children, even after all these years,” Schmidt said in a prepared statement. “The timeless appeal of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ speaks to today’s kids in the same way it has for nearly 80 years. The Library of Congress says it’s ‘the most watched film ever,’ so most kids know Dorothy’s story, but not necessarily Judy’s. This book brings her extraordinary talent to life again for a new audience of adoring fans.” All Adkins students, their families and the community are invited to the upcoming book dedication and launch party, where Schmidt will read from his book and discuss his love of reading, research and writing. The event is scheduled for Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. in the Adkins Library Learning Center. For more information about Schmidt and his books, click here.

Oz in the News 11.6.17

New Children’s Book ‘Becoming Judy Garland’ Explores The Young Life Of ‘Miss Show Business’ On The Road To Oz Becoming Judy Garland (Tribal Clef Books; November 2017) is the new children’s book from bestselling author Randy L. Schmidt. Readers will discover how Frances Gumm, this “little girl with the BIG voice,” went from vaudeville to movie stardom and landed the role of a lifetime. “I wrote this book because I feel Judy Garland is still relevant to children, even after all these years,” said Schmidt, a longtime music educator. “The timeless appeal of The Wizard of Oz speaks to today’s kids in the same way it has for nearly 80 years. The Library of Congress says it’s ‘the most watched film ever,” so most kids know Dorothy’s story, but not necessarily Judy’s. This book brings her extraordinary talent to life again for a new audience of adoring fans.” A limited-edition hardcover book/CD set is available now through the author’s website. The CD features the audiobook, narrated by Grammy-nominated children’s musician Judy Pancoast, as well as rare recordings by the Gumm Sisters, two “lost” test recordings of Judy at age 12, and a live radio performance of “Over the Rainbow.” For more information or to order the limited-edition set, visit the bookstore at

Oz in the News 10.24.17

Renee Zellweger to Play Judy Garland in London-Set ‘Judy’ Renee Zellweger (“Chicago”) will star as Judy Garland in a new movie about the show business legend’s final concerts in London. Pathé and Calamity Films are behind “Judy” and principal photography is set for next February, in London. Opening in the English capital in the winter of 1968 as Garland arrives for a five-week run of sell-out concerts, the movie will also recount the icon’s battles with management, and relationships with musicians and fans. As the concerts get underway the star of stage and screen is 47 and exhausted, fragile, and wanting to be at home with her kids, casting into doubt whether the shows, at the Talk of the Town nightclub, can go on. “Judy” is based on a script written by Tom Edge (“The Crown”) and will be produced by BAFTA winner David Livingstone (“Pride”) for Calamity Films. British stage director and Tony nominee, Rupert Goold, will direct. The producers said the movie will feature some of Garland’s best-known songs.