Category Archives: Oz Events

Oz in the News 2.27.21

American McGee Reveals Oz: Adventures, a Hybrid TV And Video Game Project Doom, Quake and Alice alum American McGee has revealed Oz: Adventures, a television series and video game project that has been picked up for development by Radar Pictures. The project is based on the Oz series of books, which began with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. McGee said on Instagram that he and his team “will be working to develop the Oz: Adventures concept for production as a TV series and video game. With luck, you’ll soon turn on one of your content providers (HBO? Netflix? Amazon?) and find ‘OZ: Adventures’ (Game and TV show) among your entertainment options,” McGee continues. McGee describes his version of Oz as “Running Man vs. Witches, Quadlings, and Munchkins. Characters are involuntarily pulled into Oz from all over the world and all through time.”

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Art Creates Strange Wizard of Oz Crossover The world of the Joestars is a strange one on its own, with JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure giving us some of the weirdest battles in the history of anime thanks to the Stands that appear frequently in the franchise, but one fan has decided to amplify the level of the bizarre by bringing the Hirohiko Araki characters into the world of The Wizard of Oz. This year is promising to be a big one for the anime franchise that continues to pick up steam across the world with each passing year and the future of the series seems bright.

What Song Is In The Army Of The Dead Trailer Among the flailing bodies and flying bullets, a timeless voice rises above the chaos. The Army of the Dead trailer is set to a slightly rejigged, slowed-down version of Judy Garland’s “Lucky Day.” The song was written in 1926 and recorded by various artists including Harry Richman and The Revelers, but perhaps the most famous performance (and the one Zack Snyder uses here) is Garland’s, first recorded in 1956.

Tell Me Something Good: ‘Finding Dorothy’ “Finding Dorothy” has been chosen as this year’s selection for the “Central New York Reads One Book” campaign, urging readers to read the book over the next few weeks and talk about it.  That’s something that really touched the author. “When you say that, I’m getting goosebumps,” Letts says.  “To have the community that I, as an outsider, came in and described a piece of, embracing my story and saying, hey we think you did a good job, that is incredibly validating for me.” As part of “Central New York Reads One Book,” Syracuse Stage will host Elizabeth Letts for a live Zoom conversation, next Thursday, March 4.  There’s no charge to participate, and you don’t have to have read the book.  But you do have to register in advance to get the Zoom link.  You can do that at https://www.syracusestage.org/syracusestories.php   And you can learn more about “Central New York Reads One Book” at https://www.cnyreads.org/.

Oz in the News 11.23.20

‘And your little dog, too!’: Moore College’s dark vision of Oz, America Jonathan Santoro may be an American oddity: he never saw “The Wizard of Oz” as a child. Nor did he see the classic movie while minoring in film studies as an undergraduate. Of course, he had been familiar with the story and he knew the songs, but he was well in his 30s before he watched the film from start to finish. His first impressions of the Technicolor fantasy were rooted in adult concerns. “It can be reduced down to an argument between neighbors over an untrained dog,” said Santoro. “Maybe Dorothy never leaves her home and it’s all a dream space, an anxiety dream of your neighbor where your neighbor becomes a witch.”

Oz in the News 11.10.20

Iconic Hollywood Props and Costumes Up for Auction from Profiles In History’s Icons & Legends Of Hollywood Profiles in History has announced Iconic Hollywood Props and Costumes Up for Auction from Profiles In History’s Icons & Legends Of Hollywood incredible costumes and props from Hollywood’s Classical, Golden and Modern Age at their next auction, Icons & Legends of Hollywood, November 12th & 13th in Los Angeles.

Highlights include:

  • A pair of signature wall torches from Margaret Hamilton “Wicked Witch of the West’s” castle from The Wizard of Oz. Estimated to sell for $20,000 – $25,000.
  • A “Munchkin” dress from The Wizard of Oz. Estimated to sell for $15,000 – $25,000.
  • A “Munchkin” jacket from The Wizard of Oz. Estimated to sell for $15,000 – $20,000.

Oz in the News 9.28.20

The Wizard of Oz’s Dorothy Lands on SINoALICE’s Global Servers The dark storybook mobile game overseen by Yoko Taro brings new versions of classic characters to The Library: a world of nightmares and grand battles, where fictional heroes fight for the right to resurrect their authors. Appearing so far in the game have been famous characters including Snow White, Cinderella, the Little Mermaid, and the recently-added Three Little Pigs. This version of Dorothy, voiced by Rie Takahashi (Megumin in KONOSUBA), is especially curious and into research. As for her plans for her author? It seems the tornado-riding heroine has plans to put L. Frank Baum’s brain in a jar…

Experience Oztober at state museum This “OZtober” the South Carolina State Museum will once again invite guests to enjoy a month of exciting OZ themed shows and activities. From daily showings of “The Wizard of Oz 4-D ExperiencE” to exciting planetarium shows and virtual programs, “OZtober” offers families the perfect destination for Halloween fun both on site and online. Plus, the giant 30-foot long x 12-foot high witch’s legs will return outside the museum’s entrance and the planetarium dome will once again ‘glow’ like a jack-o-lantern after dark each night. “Our Oz themed shows and activities are always very popular with families during Halloween,” said State Museum Public Programs Manager, Lydia Salais. “We have revised our usual plans to incorporate health and safety measures and, with our spacious building and exhibit galleries, we are able to offer guests a location to enjoy socially distant fun with friends and family.” The State Museum will have health and safety precautions in place, including managing capacities in the museum’s galleries, planetarium and 4-D theater to facilitate social distancing, as well as frequent cleaning throughout the building and between shows. Per Governor McMaster’s executive order, guests aged 3 and above are required to wear a face covering while visiting state buildings.

Oz in the News 9.5.20

Once Upon a Time: The Collection of Justin Schiller Ltd. What connects ruby slippers to a glass slipper, Peter Rabbit to the White Rabbit, Munchkins to Nutkins, Aesop’s Tortoise to the March Hare, Aunt Annie to Aunt Em, the Ugly Duckling to Jemima Puddle-Duck, or Beatrix Potter to Harry? The answer is Justin Schiller, owner of America’s oldest continuously operating antiquarian book firm devoted to children’s literature. Schiller is the world’s primary scholar on L. Frank Baum and a leading expert on the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Beatrix Potter, Lewis Carroll, Dr. Seuss, Maurice Sendak and all luminaries punctuating the genre’s evolution. Schiller recalls when asked about his formative years – from age 8, when his mother gave him an Oz book (which he recalls ruining by reading in the bathtub), to a climax in 1956, the centenary of L. Frank Baum’s birth, by which time Schiller had acquired a formidable Oz collection, mainly from scouring New York’s “Book Row” on lower Fourth Avenue, and developing his eye and essential dealer contacts.Events that year included a comprehensive exhibition at the Columbia University library, for which 12-year-old Justin supplied rare volumes, and a CBS TV taping of actor Bert Lahr reading from a first edition of The Wizard of Oz. Guess who supplied the copy? Sitting as a guest on the Cowardly Lion’s knee was little Justin. The other knee was occupied by a 10-year-old girl sent to the studio by her mother, who was invited but unable to attend. Justin remembers her well and sometimes wonders if Liza Minnelli remembers him?

Oz in the News 9.3.20

Timothy Graphenreed Dies: ‘The Wiz’ Song Composer Was 68 Chiefly composed by Charlie Smalls, with a book by William F. Brown, The Wiz included several musical numbers by others, including Graphenreed, who wrote, with George Faison, the dance numbers “Emerald City Ballet (Pssst)” and, with Harold Wheeler, “Tornado.” Graphenreed also did the dance arrangements for the musical. (The Luther Vandross composition “Everybody Rejoice/A Brand New Day” was performed in both the Broadway and film versions; the Graphenreed numbers were not included in the film, directed by Sidney Lumet with a cast headed by Diana Ross and Michael Jackson.) As an accompanist and/or musical arranger, Graphenreed collaborated with performers including White, LaChanze, Jennifer Holliday, Phylicia Rashad, Melba Moore, Valerie Simpson and Nick Ashford, Darlene Love, Morgan Freeman, Ben Vereen and Peobo Bryson, among many others.

Online gala offers locals an escape from a drab reality to the Emerald City  Just in time for Halloween, The Source LGBT+ Center will be holding an online fundraising gala on Oct. 17. Themed “Escape to Oz,” guests of the gala will be emailed a link for the live “secret” broadcast, and the event will be available to the public the next day on Facebook, at The Source’s page www.facebook.com/thesourcelgbt. Event details are at www.facebook.com/events/308754940271634. Follow the yellow brick road for an evening to somewhere fantastic, including catered food, drinks, music, prizes, surprise celebrities, live entertainment, auctions, Halloween contests, and Oz-themed escape room puzzles all from the comfort of your own home. Those interested in participating in the online event can register to raise funds as an individual or as part of a team. Reach a minimum of $125 per person and you’re off to see the Wizard at the “gayla.” Keep fundraising to earn even more amazing prizes and other “little pretties!” Sign up by clicking here: https://secure.givelively.org/donate/the-source-lgbt-center/escape-to-oz-our-first-annual-halloween-gala.

Oz in the News 8.11.20

Once Upon a Time For a collector and seller of children’s books, it makes sense that a passion for juvenile literature would begin as a child, but it’s rare that a childhood obsession turns into a lifelong career. Yet that’s exactly what happened when Justin G. Schiller fell in love with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and began collecting various editions at age eight. By the time he was twelve, he had founded the International Wizard of Oz Club and began buying copies for others and reselling them. “Children’s books were being neglected amongst other collectibles when I was growing up,” Schiller said. “Just as everything has hills and valleys and ups and downs, children’s books were often pushed to the side and no one took them seriously but me. I’ve bought back books I’ve sold after a collector dies. I’m very consistent, because I feel I’m protecting them. I was an only child, and these books are also only children that need to be protected.” This year, however, Schiller’s shop is closing. Though he notes he won’t entirely be removed from the book trade, he does say the shop’s expansive collection must be sold. These items will be sold by Heritage Auctions on December 16. Lots in the sale will include rare works from prominent children’s authors dated across several centuries. Fittingly, one prominent item from the sale is a first edition with first state text and plates of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900), estimated at $20,000 and up.

Oz in the News 8.6.20

To Oz? Yes! To Oz! Enjoy our virtual event created for—and by—fans of Oz. Here, the original children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) and the classic 1939 MGM film of the beloved story introduce you to a wider world of Oz. Join to click into our tours, talks, demos, performances, and interviews. Explore Oz parks, museums, and your own creative side in hands-on Oz projects. Talk about it all! And come back all weekend as new content is released.

Your Town Chittenango: Oz-Stravaganza cancelled, but not the village magic “I think it puts us on the map,” said Collen Zimmer, Director of the Oz-Stravaganza Festival. The three-day festival, which normally draws around 30 thousand people to Chittenango over the summer, had to be canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has also meant the Oz Museum hasn’t had a visitor since March – they’re now taking the time to do renovations, and are hoping to make a comeback in the future. “Oz is alive and well everywhere,” said Zimmer. They’ve been using pop-up sales of things like Oz merchandise and masks to bring in some revenue and keep the magic alive. According to Zimmer, they’ve made sales all over the globe. Zimmer has been volunteering for the Oz Museum for 35 years. She said her primary reason for joining was because she saw how important Oz was to the people of the village of Chittenango.

Oz in the News 7.13.20

OZ.ORG Will Premiere Online as Part of the Philadelphia Fringe Festival Logins and cyphers and software, oh my! Kansas-raised Dorothee is unexplainably sent a package containing a laptop and a cryptic note signed “LFB”. When she unlocks the computer, she is suddenly transported into Oz.org. Can you help Dorothee reach the Wizard, save Oz, and find her way home? OZ.ORG is an interactive, virtual play based on L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” as well as MGM’s 1939 Technicolor Oscar-winning film “The Wizard of Oz”. Kusching’s play is a dystopian, futuristic, and technological spin on the beloved children’s classic. OZ.ORG will be performed live and include the opportunity for audience engagement. Each show has a limited number of participants, and audience members will have the chance to actually partake in the adventure. The audience will interact with the cast through the live chat and can turn on their webcams to join the show. There will even be the chance for a solo-audience experience with the Wizard of Oz himself.

Oz in the News 7.3.20

Eva Noblezada, Nathan Lee Graham, George Salazar, More Set for Night of a Thousand Judys Virtual Concert The eighth annual Night of A Thousand Judys, a Pride concert benefiting The Ali Forney Center, will take place as a streaming online event July 14 at 8 PM. Written and hosted by Justin Sayre, the evening will include Tony winner Lena Hall (Hedwig and the Angry Inch), MAC winner Natalie Douglas, Tony nominee Eva Noblezada (Hadestown), Nathan Lee Graham (Zoolander), Tony nominee Adam Pascal (Rent), Tony nominee Beth Malone (Fun Home), Tony winner Alice Ripley (Next to Normal), George Salazar (Be More Chill), Ann Harada (Avenue Q), T. Oliver Reid (Hadestown), Jessica Vosk (Wicked), Spencer Day, and Bright Light Bright Light.The Ali Forney Center is the nation’s largest agency dedicated to helping LGBTQ+ homeless youth. Watch the concert and donate to the cause at ThousandJudys.com.

Dorothy Blazes New Trails In Grand Rapids MN Hometown Of Judy Garland This summer follow along with Visit Grand Rapids new campaign, Dorothy Blazes New Trails. While we know there is “no place like home”, we also know that people are feeling cooped up at home and want to get out to explore and seek safe places to find new adventure. This campaign will feature Dorothy (played by actress, Chelsey Johnson) and her black lab side kick, Tioga exploring Grand Rapids, MN – the home of Judy Garland (aka Frances Ethel Gumm). Each week the campaign will highlight safe and fun places to seek outdoor adventure, places to shop, places to dine, and places to stay. Follow along with the Dorothy Blazes New Trails each week on Visit Grand Rapids social media pages: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest. Visit Grand Rapids will do weekly featuring images of Dorothy, her trusty side kick, Tioga will be featured at iconic outdoor locations in the Grand Rapids. Dorothy will be joined by her Wizard of Oz Friends (tin man, scarecrow and the cowardly lion) in the coming weeks. The friends (real-life people that represent these Wizard of Oz characters) will head out on adventure together, while enjoying safe social distancing. In July Visit Grand Rapids will partner with area businesses and launch a Dorothy Blazes New Trails Contest where daily clues will be given and daily prizes will be awarded. There will be a designated Contest page on http://www.visitgrandrapids.com where people will be sent for photo clues of Dorothy and her friends at different outdoor locations, area attractions, businesses and places to eat & drink. Each day people will be asked to comment on Facebook and Instagram of the clues location and then at the end of the day Visit Grand Rapids staff will randomly draw a winner from those people whose comment was correct.

Talents of local voice actor recognized Georgia Craven recently received a Best Leading Actress nomination for The Audio Theatre Central Seneca Awards for her role as Dorothy Gale in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Craven is a Grade 12 student at Chatham-Kent Secondary School and has extensive experience in stage performing. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, however, marks Craven’s first lead part in an audio theatre production. In addition to the dialogue she had to read, Craven also had to perform two original songs as part of the production. The production was put on by Chatham’s Voices in the Wind Audio Theatre, which adapts popular literature works into full-cast audio productions using only voice actors and sound effects. Voices of the Wind Audio Theatre also received a nomination for Best Cover Art for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The winners will be announced in a live-stream broadcast on July 24 at 10 p.m. Snippets of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are available on the Voices of the Wind Audio Theatre website and the complete 90-minute production is available for purchase on audible.ca.