Category Archives: Oz in Pop Culture

Oz in the News 9.25.18

No place like home: Festival transforms Tinley Park facility into Oz As Dorothy is offering her farewells to her new friends toward the end of the film “The Wizard of Oz,” she tells the Scarecrow, “I’ll miss you the most.” “No, you won’t,” Jane Lahr said Saturday during the 37th Annual Wizard of Oz Fest in Tinley Park. “You’ll miss the Lion.” Of course, Lahr’s opinion may have been biased. She’s the daughter of Bert Lahr, who played the Cowardly Lion in the 1939 film. She said her father had a low opinion of one of his co-stars, Ray Bolger, who played the Scarecrow, calling him a “ham.” With TV rebroadcasts several times a year the “Wizard of Oz” film still generates a lot of fans and thousands of them visited Odyssey Fun Farm, site of this year’s fest. “Some people think they show (the movie) too much. I don’t think so,” said Karen Owens, who sells Wizard of Oz collectibles and was one of several vendors at the festival. “There’s nothing greater than a young child seeing the ‘Wizard of Oz’ for the first time and still falling in love with it,” Owens said.

Oz in the News 9.10.18

How the Smithsonian Helped Sleuth Out the True Identity of a Pair of Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers Dawn Wallace and Richard Barden stood in the museum’s objects conservation lab looking over two shoes. Red. Sequin-covered. Small heels. Petite in size. Wallace, an objects conservator, had recently spent more than 200 hours examining the museum’s long-cherished pair of Ruby Slippers, worn by Judy Garland while filming the iconic 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz. Barden, the museum’s chief conservator, had spent decades with the collections, including the sparkling shoes that are slated to go back on view in a new showcase display on October 19, 2018. Those shoes, now fully conserved thanks to the support of 6,000 Kickstarter backers who funded their preservation, were safely stored elsewhere in the museum. The shoes that sat before Wallace and Barden had been delivered by FBI agents for examination, and could be the key to a 13-year-old mystery. “Wow, I think these are the real thing,” Wallace thought.



Oz in the News 9.4.18

Stolen Ruby Slippers From ‘Wizard of Oz’ Are Recovered: FBI There’s no place like home — even for a pair of shoes. A pair of the iconic ruby slippers from the 1939 “Wizard of Oz” film have been recovered after they had been missing for more than a decade, the FBI announced Tuesday morning. The shoes are one of several pairs worn by Judy Garland, who played Dorothy Gale in the classic film. This pair was stolen in 2005 from the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota. The FBI is holding a news conference Tuesday afternoon to offer more details on the recovery of the slippers.

Oz in the News 8.30.18

Geek Road Trip: Inside The Once-Forgotten Bootleg Wizard Of Oz Theme Park In The Appalachian Mountains We’re winding up a gravel road on Beech Mountain in North Carolina. It’s the back road to The Land of Oz, the one that customers aren’t allowed on — they have to go up the ski lift. It’s threatening rain and the Yellow Brick Road is calling as we get out of the car, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and get a bit lightheaded from the altitude. I’m here at a secluded, 1970s vintage Wizard of Oz theme park, and it’s already one of the most unique days of my life. Then it’s through a locked gate to be greeted by a broken Fountain of Youth. It’s indicative of the struggles this Wizard of Oz park has had, tucked up here in the mountains; it’s under construction, right now, but the disrepair is still obvious for the moment. My guide is Jana Greer, a manager here at The Land of Oz, and a former Dorothy performer for the park. She’s got ruby-sequined Vans on. Once Dorothy, always Dorothy. It’s immediately apparent that she and co-manager Sean Barrett are deeply passionate about it, cracks, bumps, and all.

TCT Presents The Frisch Marionette Company’s Production Of THE WIZARD OF OZ The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati is proud to present The Frisch Marionette Company performing everyone’s favorite story of Dorothy’s trip over the rainbow, THE WIZARD OF OZ. TCT’s Producing Artistic Director, Roderick Justice says, “”Frisch Marionettes is one of the most mesmerizing live theatrical performances I have ever witnessed. We are excited to share this experience with you and bring this story to life on our Showtime Stage on Red Bank.” In 1986, Kevin Frisch moved to New York City and joined The Puppetworks, Inc. of Brooklyn, New York. The next nine years were spent touring the New York Metropolitan area as well as performing in The Puppetworks’ permanent theatres in Brooklyn and Macy’s Herald Square. In 1995, Kevin established The Frisch Marionettes in Cincinnati as an exceptional entertainment and educational experience for children and adults alike, proclaiming the many virtues of this unusual art form. Kevin Frisch has built puppets, masks and costumes for The Central Park Zoo, New York Aquarium and The Puppetworks Inc. of New York. His puppets have been seen in People Magazine, SHOWTIMES’ “Twisted Puppet Theater”, the PBS Documentary “The American Puppet,” and onstage with The Cincinnati Opera as well as in the New York store windows of ‘Saks 5th Ave.’, ‘Bloomingdale’s’ and ‘Hermes New York’ and in the family film “Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium” featuring Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman. Kevin and his puppets have appeared in television commercials for Joseph Toyota of Cincinnati. Most recently, his puppets have appeared in the hit television shows “2 Broke Girls” on CBS and “Warehouse 13” on the Syfy channel. For the past five seasons, The Frisch Marionette Company has designed puppets for TCT’s MainStage productions at the Taft Theatre

Oz in the News 8.26.18

PAC posts ‘Surrender Donald’ message on Beltway bridge Mad Dog PAC, a D.C.-based group that “solicits contributions from concerned citizens to fund billboards censuring President Trump, the GOP and the NRA,” magnetically stuck the letters to a rail overpass on the Capital Beltway near the Mormon temple in Kensington, Maryland. The message is a reference to a work of graffiti which graced the same bridge in the ’70s — back then, ‘Surrender Dorothy‘ likened the towering white spires of the nearby Mormon temple to the fabled Emerald City of Oz. Preservation Maryland linked the original graffiti to students from the Connelly School of the Holy Child in Potomac, who visited the building in 1974 and noticed its similarity to the shining city from the 1939 classic starring Judy Garland.

Oz in the News 8.17.18

Somewhere Over the Go-Go One evening about four years ago, Lovail Long and his bunkmate, Salahuddin Mahdi, were working to develop a writing project about their hometown when the 1978 film The Wizcame on TV. “A light bulb came off, and within an hour, we started putting things together,” says Long. And that is how the new musical The Giz, a go-go adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, came to be. Excited by the possibilities, Long recalls, he called his old friend, Backyard Band leader Anwan “Big G” Glover, and with Big G’s encouragement, Long and Mahdi decided to move forward with the venture. The Giz will be performed on August 19 at the MGM National Harbor; Long plans to take it on the road and eventually mount a longer local run. Its ruby red slippers planted firmly in the DMV, The Giz celebrates go-go culture with a cast that features several of the music’s luminaries, including EU’s Gregory “Sugar Bear” Elliott as The Giz, a role originally written for Chuck Brown. Despite its title, The Giz was inspired more by Victor Fleming’s 1939 The Wizard of Ozfilm than by any productions of The Wiz. The new musical relates the adventure of 18-year-old Dottie, who lives in North Carolina with her maternal grandparents and yearns to attend Howard University. Dottie, who just might be Chuck Brown’s daughter, is taking out the trash when a well-timed storm whisks her away to Munchkin Land, right by the D.C. border of Prince George’s County.

Oz in the News 8.12.18

Tales from the Crypt Meets the Wizard of Oz The Cryptkeeper takes on the role of Glinda the Good Witch in this clip from Talkin’ Toons with Rob Paulsen!