Category Archives: Judy Garland

Oz in the News 5.2.19

Bonham’s Auction Designed by Adrian. Kelly green hip-length felt coat with symmetrical cream-colored appliques, forest green trim, and large cream-colored buttons on either side of the front, attached together with a horizontal applique with hook-and-eye closures, with puffed shoulders and wide bell sleeves, bearing an interior green-lettered “Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer” label inscribed, “38” in ink. Adrian, who was MGM’s top costume designer in the 1930s, allowed his imagination to soar in the unforgettable costumes worn by all of the characters throughout The Wizard of Oz. His use of geometric shapes, oversized accoutrements, and brilliant colors brought the Land of Oz and Emerald City to dazzling life, and he is best remembered for his work on this film. Accompanied by a framed vintage re-release photo (R1970) showing a citizen of Emerald City wearing the coat in the scene where the witch spells out “Surrender Dorothy” with her broom.

Celebrating the Centennial of Children’s Book Week, Library of Congress Launches a Unique Online Collection of 67 Historically Significant Children’s Books Published More Than 100 Years AgoIn celebration of the 100th anniversary of Children’s Book Week (April 29 to May 5), yesterday the Library of Congress launched a unique online collection of 67 historically significant children’s books published more than 100 years ago. Drawn from the Library’s collection, Children’s Book Selections are digital versions both of classic works still read by children today and of lesser-known treasures. Highlights of the collection include examples of the work of American illustrators such as W.W. Denslow, Peter Newell and Howard Pyle, as well as works by renowned English illustrators Randolph Caldecott, Walter Crane and Kate Greenaway.

The Case of the Stolen Ruby Slippers It seemed incredible that two of the biggest thefts of Americana — the Rockwell and ruby slippers burglaries — had both taken place in Minnesota. And as it turns out, Bruce Rubenstein told me that, in December 2018, several months after the shoes were recovered, Chris Dudley — the FBI agent in charge of the ruby slippers case — showed up unannounced at his condo building outside Minneapolis wanting to discuss the identity of the thieves behind the Rockwell heist. Rubenstein says that he later continued the conversation at FBI headquarters in Minneapolis. s for the slippers, they aren’t home yet — wherever home winds up being. They remain in evidence with the FBI. For the Grand Rapids police, though, it feels like a conclusion. “Our goal was to get the shoes back,” Mattson says. “And we did that.”

Oconomowoc, the site where ‘The Wizard of Oz’ had its premiere 80 years ago, will create a yellow brick road The city of Oconomowoc is gearing up for the 80th anniversary of the world premiere of “The Wizard of Oz.” The plan is to create a plaza dedicated to the film that debuted in Oconomowoc on Aug. 12, 1939, according to Oconomowoc Director of Economic Development and Tourism Bob Duffy. On April 16, the common council approved the purchase of six life-sized statues of the main characters from the movie to help commemorate the occasion, which will take place in August. The statues will feature Dorothy with Toto, The Tin Man, Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion, The Wizard of Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West. The cost of the statues was estimated at $28,500. Duffy said $22,500 has been raised through private funding.

Puppetry brings Dorothy’s dog, flying monkeys to life Nicholas Mahon’s work as a puppet and theatrical designer has taken him everywhere, from Sesame Street to the 2018 Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea. So, when the yellow brick road led him to the world of ballet, the Canadian-born, Emmy-nominated designer jumped at the opportunity to create almost 20 puppets for Septime Webre’s The Wizard of Oz. Indeed, puppets proved critical in the execution of some of The Wizard of Oz’s more surrealistic moments. Take the harrowing flying monkeys scene, for example. Three sizes of puppets were created to make a “field of monkeys,” with larger ones in the foreground and smaller ones in the distance. “You really get a sense of perspective, that there’s this giant cloud of these monkeys,” Mahon says. The physical monkeys, combined with all the other production elements, including music and projections, make for a tense scene that Mahon promises will leave audience members on the edge of their seats. “I’m very proud of how (the puppets) integrated into that scene,” he says. A puppet is an obvious solution for Dorothy’s little dog, too. Casting an actual dog as Toto would have be distracting as well as impractical — having a wiggly pup underfoot of the corps de ballet seems like a sprained ankle waiting to happen. But an inanimate prop dog wasn’t ideal, either. “Toto is a very important character for Dorothy,” Mahon says. “We really want to believe their connection. Toto is all she has in this strange world. He’s her anchor and her link back to home and who she is. Having that emotional connection resonate and read for the audience is important.”

Oz in the News 4.5.19

Musical developed by Rider professor on track for Broadway Watching Judy Garland sing “Over the Rainbow” as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz is a moment Adjunct Theatre Professor Tina Marie Casamento will never forget. Having lost her own mother at a young age, Casamento questioned where Dorothy’s mother was as she watched the film. She remembers finding comfort in the idea that Dorothy’s mother was somewhere over the rainbow too. The connection to the movie’s protagonist remained strong as Casamento fostered a growing interest in Garland’s life throughout her childhood and teenage years. This fascination led her to develop a concept that would eventually become the full-length musical Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz which is set to premiere at the Paper Mill Playhouse on Sept. 26.

The ‘Perfectionists’ Season 1 Episode 4 Promo Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, the truth about Taylor Hotchkiss’ life is about to spill over. In the promo for April 10’s “The Ghost Sonata,” snippets related to Nolan’s mysterious sister continue to pop up. Ava (Sofia Carson) and Dylan (Eli Brown) appear to find an old copy of Ozma of Oz, a later addition to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz book series, that belonged to Taylor. Taylor crossed out the names of countries in the book’s map of Oz, replacing them with “Hotchkiss Land” and “McDevitts.” After Alison muses about whether Taylor ever found the Emerald City, she seemingly visits the cabin again, picking up another Oz book as something causes her to spin around and look behind her.

 

Oz in the News 3.31.19

Exclusive: Interview with Author Michael Selsman on His New Book ‘Lost on the Yellow Brick Road’ “She was a true talent. Everyone knows Garland had outstanding credits to her name—The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St. Louis, A Star Is Born—but it’s a rarity when someone knows the true Judy Garland. Besides drugs and alcohol, Judy received solace from men. Not the sex or physical aspect—proven by her marrying several gay men throughout her life—but the love, the adoration, and most of all, the attention she so desperately needed since she could walk. “Judy had her heart broken into too many pieces.” Judy brought the house down with her soaring, booming voice; her parents were in show business long before she was born, with a stage mother that was as ruthless as the Wicked Witch of the West; MGM took her in as its own at the age of thirteen, where she made countless classic films yet consequently grew up to be excruciatingly insecure and unequipped to deal with life on life’s terms. Her short forty-seven years was an inspiring voyage. Hollywood’s cruelty lies just beneath the surface. Just like today, the public is morbidly fickle. Until she died. Then the stream of “stunned” and “sad” celebrity comments started flowing. “Everybody loves you when you’re dead,” Judy said.  The Wizard of Oz is identified as the most influential film of all time in a study published in the journal Applied Network Science.”

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.”