Category Archives: Oz in Pop Culture

Oz in the News 2.16.17

judy-garland-pink-floyd-1108x0-c-defaultHow I was seduced by the ‘Dark Side of the Rainbow’ phenomenon Speaking in 2010, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason moved to debunk the theory: “It’s unthinkable that we would have felt that it was really important to work with Judy Garland, and devise an album based on that particular story. So I have to say that sadly, both the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow, and all the rest of it, had absolutely zero to do with that particular record.” In fact, audio engineer Alan Parsons has said the band were actually watching Mary Poppins during the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ sessions. Yet while it’s clear the band want absolutely nothing to do with the fan theory, it hasn’t stopped the speculation from mounting, with devotees convinced that even if the Floyd didn’t plan ‘Dark Side of the Rainbow’, the album and the film were somehow cosmically destined to work side-by-side. According to cognitive psychologist and musician Daniel Levitin, there is a hint of truth to this idea: “We are a storytelling species,” he tells LWLies. “Our entire left hemisphere is a great confabulator – it makes up evidence before the facts are in. So yes, we have an inherent need to match things up.” Levitin is referring to the phenomenon know as ‘Apophenia’, the human tendency to perceive meaningful patterns within random data. And with fans already claiming that Star Wars: A Force Wakens – a film released 42 years after Pink Floyd recorded their masterpiece – syncs with ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’, it’s hard to refute his theory.

Oz in the News 2.2.17

elements-of-ozElements of Oz: Producing Live Video and Interactive Theater “One of the initial inspirations for the app was creating an analog for the escapist nature of “Oz” in the devices we carry with us to escape reality on a daily basis. We also were interested in what the contemporary equivalent of Technicolor would be — and that’s where we think AR fit. The app has two basic modes — one for outside the show, and one for during the performance. If the user isn’t at the show, it provides some information about the show and has some basic AR effects — a storm (to precede the cyclone) and a few simple target-based augmentations that can be used with images from the original book’s illustrations. Once the audience comes to the show, we switch the phones into what we called “active” mode, which allowed us to trigger events based on the action on stage. The phones were connected to a single cueing server on the network, which allowed us to synchronize the behavior for the entire audience. At various times, we’d play video (like our “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” YouTube chorus) and audio clips or send text and images. In several key scenes, we would trigger augmented reality scenes, layering over the view of the stage with CG elements, like a tornado, blossoming poppies, flying monkeys, etc. It allowed us to create visual elements all around the viewer, too, not just between the viewer and the performers.”

The wizard of Emerald City “I was filming Magnificent 7 and I heard that Tarsem was doing Emerald City and was going to direct all ten episodes. So I asked right away: “Is The Wizard cast?”  They said “no” and so I immediately called my agent. ‘Get Tarsem on the phone. I want to play to The Wizard. If he’ll let me, I want to play it.’”

Musical wizard Todrick Hall heads to Oz Broadway star and newly minted RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Todrick Hall is heading to Australia with his Straight Outta Oz tour this June. Don’t miss this incredible talent at The Astor Theatre on Thursday 1st June. Tickets on sale from Tuesday 7th February at

Lions And Tigers And Bears? Meh. These 5 Scenes From ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ Are Still Creepy The Wizard of Oz has been a personal film favorite since I first saw it at the age of four. It is absolutely timeless, one hell of a production, and it still blows my mind to think that this movie came out in 1939. It’s the weird and #scary scenes that always intrigued me the most, along with the fantastic set pieces, storytelling, singing and dancing. But there are five #WizardofOz scenes in particular that are most memorable because of the oddness and fear they induced.

Oz in the News 1.28.17

EMERALD CITY -- "Everybody Lies" Episode 105 -- Pictured: (l-r) Stefanie Martini as Lady Ev, Vincent D'onofrio as Wizard -- (Photo by: David Lukacs/NBC)

EMERALD CITY — “Everybody Lies” Episode 105 — Pictured: (l-r) Stefanie Martini as Lady Ev, Vincent D’onofrio as Wizard — (Photo by: David Lukacs/NBC)

‘Emerald City’ throws a respectful nod to Pink Floyd & ‘Dark Side of the Rainbow’ For decades people have been obsessing over what is collectively known as “The Dark Side of the Rainbow.” In Friday night’s episode, “Everybody Lies,” Dorothy (Adria Arjona) walks into the the wizard’s castle, and hears Pink Floyd’s music playing. But this isn’t just a wink to the knowledgeable fan, or a nod to the dubious environment — it also demonstrates the great and powerful ruler’s link to the mortal realm. “There are many nods to other pop culture Oz-ian things in the show outside the 1939 movie musical,” Cassidy says. ” We couldn’t get ‘Oh Wee Oh Wee Oh,’ but we paid an insane amount of money for Pink Floyd. And I just think that’s awesome.”

Please Stop Remaking The Wizard Of Oz The Wizard of Oz is like a Rorschach test. Everyone sees in it what they want and then, if they’re writers, they go ahead and write the story. Which is how we’ve got Wicked, a dark and gritty reexamination of the Wicked Witch’s origin story. And Oz the Great and Powerful, a dark and gritty reexamination of the Wicked Witch’s origin story. And Once Upon a Time, a television show which had a plot where they did a dark and gritty reimagining of the Wicked Witch’s origin story. There was also 2007’s Tin Man, which was a science fiction take on The Wizard of Oz that really was all about just renaming things. Oz became the O.Z. — the outer zone. Dorothy Gale became D.G.; Toto became Tutor, a shapeshifting magic teacher; a “tin man” became the name for police officers. And so on. And now we’re stuck with Emerald City which, to its credit, is at least doing more with the rest of Oz lore than most of these adaptations. But like Tin Man, it has created a plot that is extremely hard to keep track of.

Judy Garland’s Body Moved from New York to Hollywood Judy Garland is no longer in New York … confused? Garland, who died in 1969, has been ensconced in a mausoleum in Hartsdale, New York ever since. We’ve learned the remains of the ‘Wizard of Oz’ star was removed from the cemetery last Thursday and placed in the cargo hold of an American Airlines flight Tuesday night from JFK to LAX. We’re told the body will be interred at Hollywood Forever Cemetery at the behest of Judy’s daughter, Liza Minnelli. It’s unclear why Liza ordered the move nearly a half-century after her mom’s death. Hollywood Forever has a slew of celebs who call it home, including Cecil B. DeMille, 2 of the Ramones, Bugsy Siegel, Rudy Valentino, Fay Wray, and Jayne Mansfield. Also buried there … Mickey Rooney, with whom Judy did several movies.


Oz in the News 1.25.17


Krewe of Apollo melds Wizard of Oz and Elton John into a charming ball Combining a timeless story with classic songs by a renowned rock star for a ball? For the Krewe of Apollo, a mash-up of “The Wizard of Oz” with Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album (along with a few of his other songs) was a charming way to theme the group’s 88th annual ball on Jan. 7 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. After the 50-year Queen was presented — Miss Henrietta Creevy Clay, who reigned in 1967 members of the krewe entered with shouts and cheers, heralding the appearance of the King (his identity is not revealed) whose costume was Wizard of Oz-meets-’70s Elton John (the heyday of his on-stage costumes) and his pages, Masters Robert Edward Milling and Robert Wade Van Horn, who costumed as members of the Lollipop Guild.

Oz in the News 1.16.17

cd3c5709e42c0ecf‘Wizard of Oz’ ice sculptures mark Somerset streets for Fire & Ice Festival The annual Fire & Ice Festival brought Dorothy, Toto, the Wicked Witch of the West and the rest of the “Wizard of Oz” crew to the streets of Somerset in southwestern Pennsylvania. This year’s theme is “There’s no place like Somerset,” which draws on the Frank L. Baum classic and adds some local flair. The festival began Friday and continues through Sunday. It includes live ice-carving demonstrations, food trucks, fire pits and more than 35 sculptures on display along Main Street and Centre Avenue.

‘Emerald City’ Recap: Dorothy Poses as the Mistress of the East On this episode of Emerald City, “Mistress-New-Mistress,” Dorothy learns that the Wizard wants to kill her and devises an alternate plan for returning home. Tip and Jack also head to the city of Ev and the Wizard learns when The Beast will return to Oz.

Survey ranks the 25 most rewatchable films of all time FiveThirtyEight compiled a survey with just over 1,000 respondents – 1,169, to be precise – of their most rewatched films of all time. No surprises, of course, that Star Wars came out on top with a total of 98 people clocking Star Wars in the No.1 spot. The Wizard Of Oz, meanwhile, came in at No.2 whilst The Sound Of Music was No.3. The data, when broken down by gender, is slightly less surprising. Star Wars was considered the No.1 most rewatchable film by men, whilst women counted The Wizard Of Oz as their No.1. In fact, 51 women counted Wizard Of Oz as their all-time rewatchable film compared to 66 men, who counted Star Wars as theirs.

Oz in the News 1.14.17

woozyDorothy in a leisure suit? KC’s Toys and Miniatures museum explores the world of Oz The folks at Kansas City’s National Museum of Toys and Miniatures want you to ease on down the road to their renovated digs and get to know “Oz” in a new way. “Wizard of Oz” collectors from around the country have donated costumes, replica ruby slippers, soaps, party masks, valentines, clothing hangers — an entire exhibit’s worth of eye candy for “Oz” fans. And of course there are “Oz” dolls and hand puppets and play sets and other toys because — well, it’s a toy museum.“ Because our focus is on toys or miniatures, we decided that we wanted to look at the way that this novel influenced toy production,” said Laura Taylor, the museum’s curator of interpretation. “And so, although not everything we have in the exhibit is toy-related, we wanted to include things that kind of fleshed it out and gave people a bigger story.” “Over the Rainbow: Toys From the Land of Oz,” opening Saturday, is a kid-in-a-candy-store treat for fans of the “Oz” story in all its iterations. Halloween costumes based on “The Wiz,” for instance, were rare because of the red tape involved with anything having to do with Michael Jackson, who played the Scarecrow in the 1978 movie musical. But one of those “Wiz” Halloween costumes has found its way here. We hear that one museum staff member, a fan of the 1985 Disney fantasy-adventure “Return to Oz,” nearly fainted when the stunning Princess Mombi costume from the movie arrived. Most of the items displayed belong to Kansas City’s own “Oz” superfan, Jane Albright, who asked about 20 fellow members of the International Oz Club to loan one-of-a-kind pieces from their private collections. (By “superfan,” we mean a woman who moved into a bigger home two doors away so she could pull her overflow memorabilia out from closets and under beds and display everything properly — on the entire third floor.)

New Lucas Museum to Feature ‘Star Wars,’ ‘Wizard of Oz’ Memorabilia George Lucas has finally found a home for the planned $1 billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. The museum board of directors recently announced that Los Angeles was selected — over San Francisco — to house the planned museum. The Lucas museum will be built in Exposition Park, near downtown Los Angeles. It will feature memorabilia from “Star Wars” and “The Wizard of Oz,” as well as fine art and popular art. It will include narrative paintings, comic art, illustration, photography and other media. Lucas’ own personal art collection — including works from Edgar Degas, Winslow Homer, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Norman Rockwell — will also be featured. Lucas is financing the museum himself. He’s been working on the museum project for nearly a decade.

Oz in the News 1.9.17


Russian sequel of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ to be turned into animated film Alexander Melentyevich Volkov, a Russian mathematician and novelist, published a loose translation of L. Frank Baum’sThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” in 1939, titled, “The Wizard of Emerald City.” While more or less presented as his own story, Volkov wrote a dedication in most early prints of the book that admitted his story was inspired by an earlier American book series, even mentioning Baum by name. While the American book was still under copyright at the time of publication of the Russian variation, Volkov did not break the law as the Soviet Union had not been part of international copyright laws until 1973. While Baum had already written sequels featuring his Oz characters, Volkov instead wrote his own sequels to the story, starting in 1963, with the publication of “Urfin Jus and the Wooden Soldiers.” As mentioned, the titular villain, Urfin Jus, was said to be a former Munchkin servant of the deceased Gingema, and he tries to take over the Magic Land with the aid of wooden soldiers after finding a magic powder that can bring things to life. Unlike the witches, however, Urfin Jus survives the story and becomes a recurring figure in later books, with five sequel books in total. In a press release, the film appears to portray Urfin Jus as something of an ant-hero, mentioning that Ellie and her friends (which include incarnations on the familiar Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, and Cowardly Lion), “must find out who he really is… before they can defeat him.” The film will be released in #Russia on April 20, 2017. It is unknown at this time if the film will have an international release.


First look inside city’s new movie-themed hotel Step inside Signature Living’s new movie-themed hotel, The Arthouse. Featuring plush champagne interiors, stylish kitchenette and a double Jacuzzi bath, the Wizard of Oz suite has everything you’d ever need for a fabulous night in Liverpool. Sleeping up to six people in two luxury doubles and two single beds, this room has been designed with a fabulous adventure in mind and guarantee you’ll never want your Arthouse adventure to end.

NBC’s ‘Emerald City’ is a beautiful journey through Oz The series takes the story to a lot of ambitious places: It’s extremely sexy, explores violence, the aforementioned drug use, and even a gender-bending supporting character. That said, it should be noted that this Oz probably isn’t suitable for young children. The challenge for audiences here is whether they’ll be able to clear their minds of Judy Garland’s musical, suspenseful journey or L. Frank Baum’s novels and let “Emerald City” tell its own story over 10 hours. But after all, that’s the challenge NBC took on when it decided to go to Oz in the first place.

Why is it so difficult to update The Wizard of Oz? The story of Emerald City is much too busy, without any characters nearly as memorable as those in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Even Vincent D’Onofrio’s take on the Wizard — which is truly, gloriously off the wall — wears thin after a while, and many of the other actors seem to be coping by competing to see who can pout the most ripely. There are many, many worse takes on Oz out there, but Emerald City only underlines why the seemingly natural impulse to make a dark, gritty Oz reboot only undercuts what allowed the story to endure in the first place.

Emerald City: Season One Ratings The ratings are typically the best indication of a show’s likelihood of staying on the air. The higher the ratings (particularly the 18-49 demo), the better the chances for survival. This chart will be updated as new ratings data becomes available — usually the next day, around 11:30am EST/8:30am PST. Refresh to see the latest.

Fri 01/06/2017 Episode: 01-01 – 4.698 million viewers
Fri 01/06/2017 Episode: 01-02 – 4.251 million viewers