Category Archives: Oz Events

Oz in the News 8.19.17

Pumpkins, Squash and Gourds, Oh My! Autumn at the Arboretum Fall Festival Returns with “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” Theme For the 12th year, Autumn at the Arboretum includes the nationally acclaimed Pumpkin Village featuring pumpkin houses and creative displays utilizing more than 90,000 pumpkins, gourds and squash, along with hay bales and cornstalks. Themed “Pumpkins, Squash and Gourds, Oh My!”, the Pumpkin Village takes each visitor on a trip highlighting the beloved book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Guests travel through Pumpkin Village on an actual yellow-brick road, spiraling through Pecan Grove with stops at each major occurrence in the story of Dorothy and her adventures in the “Land of Oz”–reimagined with pumpkins, squashes and gourds. Vignettes include “Auntie Em’s house,” the “Scarecrow’s Garden,” the “Enchanted Forest” with the “Tin Man” and “Cowardly Lion,” “Munchkinland,” “Emerald City” showcasing the carriage pulled by “A Horse of A Different Color,” and the “Wicked Witch’s Castle” including the Hay Bale Maze mimicking the castle walls. “Munchkinland” is also the home of the Tom Thumb Pumpkin Patch offering pumpkins for purchase and children’s activities. Photo-opportunities also abound throughout the village.

Wizard of Oz Days to be held Aug. 26-27 in New London When it comes to “Wizard of Oz” festivals, Clarksville’s loss is New London’s gain. Clarksville hosted a popular Day in Oz festival in 2015 and 2016. However, last week Clarksville officials abruptly announced that the town’s 2017 festival, initially scheduled for Aug. 19, was canceled for various reasons. Then on Tuesday, promoters announced that a new event — the “Wizard of Oz” Days — will be Aug. 26 and 27 in New London, featuring many of the same activities previously offered in Clarksville. What’s going on? You’ll have to ask Jackson Bishop, the former marketing director of the Clarksville Community Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the city’s Day in Oz festival. Bishop moved to New London some months ago, and he apparently decided to take Dorothy and the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion with him. And Toto, too.

Oz in the News 8.10.17

‘Wizard of Oz’ fest takes Southland down yellow brick road “Dorothy’s story is a journey that everyone can relate to,” said Ryan Jay, a film critic and Oz historian who hosted interviews on stage at the event. “No matter how much the world changes in terms of technology, her experience remains universal.” He said it’s appropriate for the Wizard of Oz Fest to be held in the Chicago area because it’s where L. Frank Baum wrote “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” which was first published in 1900. Besides the 1939 film based on the novel, Jay said the Oz stories continue to spawn different adaptations, including an upcoming film based on the popular Broadway show “Wicked.” Baum went on to write 13 more novels based on the Land of Oz, including “Return to Oz,” which was adapted as a live action film by Disney and released in 1985. Emma Ridley, one of the stars of that film, was at Odyssey signing photos of the character she played, Princess Ozma. “It’s so great seeing the next generation of Oz fans,” she said. The British-born actress said she has had fun being part of the Oz family and traveling to conventions around the country. Also at the event was Mary Ellen St. Aubin, whose late husband, Parnell St. Aubin, starred as one of the 124 “munchkins” in the 1939 film. “It’s been very interesting,” St. Aubin, 96, said of representing her husband during Oz events. “I get to meet new people every year.”

New musical adaptation of ‘Wizard of Oz’ Munchkins and monkeys and mice, oh my! These creatures and more fill the Orinda Community Center Park Amphitheater as the story of “Wizard of Oz” unfolds through Aug. 12. Presented by the Orinda Starlight Village Players, this show is a new musical adaptation by Malcolm Cowler, who also directs. The multitalented Cowler also wrote the lyrics for the 10 songs and created a three-dimensional land of Oz using RPG computer graphics. The clever graphics, which fill the backstage wall, add much to the production. Christopher Kula and Ray Christensen composed the music, while Jill Gelster and Marian Simpson did the costumes with help from East Bay Children’s Theater and Bay Area Stage.

 

Oz in the News 8.4.17

Repaving the Yellow Brick Road in ingenious “Bricklayers of Oz” There is something about “The Bricklayers of Oz,” dancer-choreographer Jessica Deahr’s ingenious new hip-hop dance-theater piece for Chicago Dance Crash, that is so imaginative, so playfully revisionist, so of the moment in its biting social commentary, and so superbly realized by all the artists involved, that it feels like an instant classic all its own. Sophisticated enough to please any adult, and propulsive and glittery enough to captivate young audiences, it should enjoy a life far beyond its current brief engagement through Aug. 5 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Info: http://www.chicagodancecrash.com

Wizard of Oz Fest returns to Tinley Park Activities will include performances by the Spirit of Oz costumed characters, talks by John Fricke, noted Wizard of Oz historian and author, an interactive talk titled “All About Oz” with Jane Albright, president of the International Wizard of Oz Club, pie-eating contests and singing competitions. Contestants can try their hand at imitating the Wicked Witch of the West’s distinctive cackle in one competition that will be held. Visitors can walk along a recreated Yellow Brick Road, and in the Dorothy Gale Farm Area there will be hay rides, pony rides and petting zoo. There will also be an opportunity to shoot, using an air cannon, stalks of corn at targets, or race rubber ducks.nThe fest offers a number of food and craft vendors, and costumed Wizard of Oz characters mingling with the crowd. More information is at midwestozfest.com.

Oz in the News 7.2.17

L. Frank Baum Play At The Coronado Library, July 5 Famed author L. Frank Baum will be the subject of J. D. Newman’s solo play “The Man Behind the Curtain” in the Library Winn Room on Wednesday, July 5 at 6:30 p.m. Baum is the main character in the play, best known as the author of “The Wizard of Oz” and 13 other Oz books. The play is set on the stage of the Hudson Theatre as one of Baum’s theatrical productions has been cancelled and the “Royal Historian of Oz” offers the audience his own story of how he found his way to “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Before finding his calling as a writer of children’s stories, Baum struggled to make his living as an actor, director, store-owner, baseball team secretary, small-town newspaper editor, reporter, and traveling salesman. In the play, Baum tells how each of his professions developed his abilities as a storyteller and how he transformed his dreams and nightmares into his best known story. His life intersects with American notables including author Charles Dickens, inventor Thomas Edison, and his mother-in-law and women’s suffrage leader, Matilda Joslyn Gage.

 

Oz in the News 6.30.17

Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz: Boomerang Launches Comedy Fantasy Series Boomerang launched the world premiere of the new, original series Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz from Warner Bros. Animation. The uplifting comedic fantasy series transports audiences to the magical land of Oz and follows the ruby slipper adventures of its brave and feisty princess protagonist. The first thirteen episodes are now live on the service. To further celebrate Boomerang’s first original series the service is offering all Kansas residents a special 30-day free trial to those who sign up beginning Thursday, June 29 thru Tuesday, July 4, 2017. For more details visit: Boomerang.com/Dorothy.

Old-Time Radio Performance Highlights Wizard of Oz Convention The 53rd annual OzCon International arrives in Portland on Friday morning and runs through Sunday afternoon. The 3-day event brings together Wizard of Oz enthusiasts of all ages from around the world to share their love for Oz books and movies, to swap Oz collectibles, display Oz crafts, listen to guest speakers, and talk about all things Oz. The highlight of this year’s OzCon is a live performance re-creating episodes of NBC’s Wizard of Oz radio program originally broadcast nationally in 1933-34. Actors from the Portland area and southern California will give the convention audience an authentic old-time radio experience using original radio scripts accompanied by appropriate music and sound effects. Period microphones, simple costumes, and commercials for original show sponsor Jell-O are sure to enhance the authentic feel of the 1930s. For more information and to buy single-day or 3-day tickets for OzCon see the website at ozconinternational.com

Oz in the News 6.20.17

For These Kansas City Puppeteers, Finding Something New In ‘Oz’ Means Toto Has To Go “Being in Kansas — holy crap — we just get inundated,” says Matt Hawkins, the puppet designer for Paul Mesner Puppet Theater’s production of The Wizard of Oz. “Every truck stop is full of Wizard of Oz.” So why would Mike Horner, the company’s artistic director, bother with yet another production of the story? “We look for titles people want to see and are familiar with. So, The Wizard of Oz, everybody knows it. And it lends itself well to adaption in puppetry,” Horner says. “When you can make a Tin Man that looks robotic and obviously isn’t some guy in a shiny suit, that’s part of the magic of puppetry.” Hawkins is a Kansas City paper sculptor who has created 3-D cardboard Star Wars puzzles for Costco and high-end art for Walt Disney World galleries. This was his first foray into puppet design. The Paul Mesner Puppet Theater’s The Wizard of Oz, June 20 through July 9 at Musical Theater Heritage at Crown Center, 2450 Grand Blvd, Suite 301, Kansas City, Missouri, 64108.

Oz in the News 6.10.17

Wizard of Oz Festival Gets Underway in Grand Rapids The 42nd annual Wizard of Oz Festival got underway in Grand Rapids on Thursday. Festivities began with a tea party and live music inside Judy Garland’s historic childhood home. Friday night, The Wizard of Oz will play outside on a jumbo screen on the Evergreen Terrace lawn next to the museum. Organizers say this event brings in people from across the country each year to remember Garland’s legacy and celebrate the timeless film. “France has the Mona Lisa, America has The Wizard of Oz,” says John Kelsch, director of the Judy Garland Museum. “It’s so much a part of our culture. It’s an American masterpiece.” The Emerald City Fest on Saturday will feature free carriage rides and games for kids. There are also some new exhibits at the museum featuring the ruby red slippers and the munchkins.

‘Over the Rainbow’: 10 things to know about classic American song It has been a classic in the Great American Songbook from the moment it was released on August 15, 1939. Today, thanks to pop star Ariana Grande, “Over the Rainbow” will forever be linked to the Manchester terrorist attack. Grande, whose concert on May 22 was followed by the deadly bombing which so far has claimed nearly two dozen lives, came back to Manchester this week to perform a benefit concert. And she built the show around the dreamy Somewhere, releasing the “Wizard of Oz” cover song as a single with all proceeds going to the victims. The song she chose to honor those who died and were injured in the bombing is a dazzling bit of emotion-laden songwriting. Here are some things Ariana Grande fans may not know about this true American beauty.

Review: Judy!, at Arts Theatre Each Judy stays in her time zone but all three will often share a number. Though they don’t set out to imitate Judy, some numbers do sound amazingly like her and all echo her spirit and vitality. The proscenium staging turns them more noticeably into performance numbers than in the earlier stagings and they are delivered with powerful emotion and theatrical panache.

Nostalgia with Craig Bennett – Judy Garland https://omny.fm/shows/george-and-paul/nostalgia-with-craig-bennett-judy-garland/embed?style=artwork