Category Archives: Oz Film, TV & Radio

Oz in the News 4.7.19

Netflix Taps Anna Klassen to Write ‘Dorothy and Alice,’ About Two Iconic Heroines Netflix has tapped up-and-coming screenwriter Anna Klassen (When Lightning Strikes) to write Dorothy and Alice, which follows the fantastical friendship between two of literature’s most iconic characters — Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, and Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Justin Merz (Disney’s Rose Red) wrote the initial draft of the script on spec when he was a schoolteacher in Santa Monica. Bryan Unkeless (I, Tonya) is producing via his Clubhouse Pictures banner, and Netflix acquired the project in 2017 as a potential franchise starter. The original script found Dorothy Gale haunted by nightmares of Oz’s impending destruction. Sent to a home for others like her who experience troubling, vivid dreams, she soon befriends Alice, a mysterious girl who involves her in a perilous quest to not only save the worlds of imagination, but the world as we know it. However, Collider has learned that the plot has changed since the announcement about the initial spec sale, as Netflix and Unkeless want Klassen to take the project in a different direction, which, naturally, is being kept under wraps.

Oz in the News 4.6.19

New TV show goes off to see a ‘Wizard of Oz’ collector in Homer Glen There’s no place like home. Especially if it belongs to Walter Krueger, a 32-year-old from Homer Glen who has spent a lifetime filling his southwest suburban home with things related to “The Wizard of Oz.” He’ll be featured in the April 28 episode of “Collector’s Call,” the first original series on MeTV, the Chicago-based classic TV channel. People have their collections professionally appraised, then the expert offers to trade one of the collector’s items for something on their wish list. “Collecting was something I shared with my grandmother and my mom,” he says. “At the age of 6, I knew who ‘Chatty Cathy’ was and what she was worth. They were antique doll collectors and taught me that toys sometimes have a value that appreciates long after someone has stopped playing with them.” He owns more than 10,000 items, including first and second editions of the books and costumes from Oz films. Another of his keepsakes, his favorite, is a figurine of the cubic, catlike creature called “The Woozy” that first appeared in L. Frank Baum’s book “The Patchwork Girl of Oz.” Carved by Baum himself, the piece was given to Krueger by Baum’s family. “Over the years, the Baum family has given me stuff to take care of,” he says. “This is nothing short of the preservation of pieces of American history.”

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 3.27.19

‘Wizard Of Oz’ Half Sheet Pushes Heritage Poster Auction Above $2 Million A flurry of competitive bids from multiple collectors drove the result for a Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939) half sheet Style A to $108,000, with buyer’s premium, to claim top-lot honors in Heritage Auctions’ Movie Posters auction March 23–24. The total for the poster helped push the total for the auction above the $2 million plateau, to $2,037,626. The legendary musical fantasy film was produced on a total budget of approximately $2.7 million (in Depression-era dollars), but earned just above $3 million at the box office, despite strong reviews — a paltry return on the investment. It was not until it was shown on television in 1956 that the film enjoyed renewed popularity and became one of the most popular films of all time. Not coincidentally, the film is one of the most collected titles in the movie posters collecting hobby. Skilled restoration has helped restore this poster to near-pristine condition, rendering any wear virtually imperceptible — it is a prized acquisition for the serious collector of this classic film memorabilia. A full review of the auction will appear in a future issue.

Oz in the News 3.6.19

Wicked Marathon offers Oz-themed races You won’t have to travel all the way to the mythical land of Oz to take part in this year’s Wicked Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K races. In fact, you don’t even need to find a yellow brick road. You just need to travel west on US-24 highway to the town of Wamego on March 30 to face other like-minded runners to raise money for several good causes while having lots of fun. Now in its sixth year, the Wicked Marathon/Half Marathon and 5K runs sponsored by Body First have the goal of getting more people — especially youngsters — more active. Doug Sellers, CEO of Body First and the race’s director, answered questions about the upcoming event.

Easy being green? Film’s biggest green icons revealed The Wicked Witch Of The West flies in to Number 7 in the Wizard Of Oz. The 1939 classic starring Julie Garland featured Margaret Hamilton as the terrifying Wicked Witch. A special mention goes to the Wizard himself, for being green initially (but of course turning out to be a total fraud – spoiler alert!). The iconic musical film has sold over 2 million copies on disc, despite its original release date being almost 60 years before the introduction of DVDs.

Oz in the News 3.3.19

Heart, Courage, And A Brain: Dorchester Native Ray Bolger The Scarecrow In ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ The Scarecrow on the hunt for a brain in the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz” was played by Dorchester native Ray Bolger. His role as the Scarecrow captured the public’s imagination some 80 years ago but Bolger was a star in his own right with a career in theatre, movies, television, and dance that spanned over fifty years. So why don’t we know more about his start as a dancer on the streets of Boston?

Warwick Davis is off to see the Wizard! For one night only, join BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night and the BBC Concert Orchestra for a trip along the Yellow Brick Road to celebrate the beloved musical film The Wizard of Oz in its 80th anniversary year. Alongside the classic songs from the film such as Somewhere Over the Rainbow and Follow the Yellow Brick Road, the concert also features music from Wicked as well as the Michael Jackson and Diana Ross movie The Wiz – both inspired by Frank L. Baum’s original Oz stories. The incredible cast includes the Olivier Award-winning Rebecca Trehearn as Dorothy, singer-songwriter Joe Stilgoe as the Scarecrow, West End leads Hadley Fraser as the Tin Man and Trevor Dion Nicholas as the Cowardly Lion, and Sharon D. Clarke, fresh from her triumph in Caroline Or Change. Actor Warwick Davis, who has starred in Star Wars and Harry Potter, presents his first concert for BBC Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night, while the sixty-piece BBC Concert Orchestra is conducted by Broadway maestro Larry Blank.

 

Oz in the News 3.2.19

Avalon’s Bird Park was once a busy tourist attraction and was immortalized in “The Wizard of Oz” Catalina Island has been home to many incredible things, from the buffalo planted there through the Hollywood film industry to a spring training ground for the Chicago Cubs during the Wrigley years. One of the lesser known attractions that at one time flourished was Avalon’s Bird Park, an aviary housing nearly 8,000 birds. According to a blog post on visitcatalinaisland.com, Avalon’s Bird Park was even sourced for sounds of the 1939 classic film by MGM that also happened to be the first color picture: “The Wizard of Oz.” Judy Garland starred in the Technicolor movie, which for the time had very advanced special effects. The blog says: “The sound crew [for “The Wizard of Oz”] recorded more than 15,000 feet of birdcalls, chirps and singing. The recordings were considered to be the most  complete collection of bird noises at the time. The recorded birdcalls were played at different speeds and in different ways, and then incorporated into many of the film’s scenes, including the spooky sounds of the witch’s Haunted Forest.”