Category Archives: Oz in Pop Culture

Oz in the News 8.9.20

Pink Floyd Engineer Explains Strange ‘Dark Side Of The Rainbow’ Coincidence  Alan Parsons — yes, that Alan Parsons — explained why in a recent conversation with Professor of Rock’s Adam Reader. Parsons was involved in nearly every aspect of the recording of Dark Side of the Moon — he even recruited “Great Gig in the Sky” vocalist Clare Torry. He says they were too busy experimenting with the recording to worry about synching the 43-minute album to a 101-minute film from three decades before. “…[I]t has absolutely no foundation whatsoever,” Parsons said of the legend. “It was a fabrication by someone who had much too much time on their hands.” But the most critical piece of evidence that Pink Floyd did not intentionally connect its most successful album to Wizard of Oz is that they would have had no way to do it even if they wanted to, Parsons added. “We didn’t have VCRs back then; how could we have done it?” he wondered. VCRs didn’t become commercially available until the mid-’70s; Wizard of Oz didn’t come out on VHS until 1989. Talk of the ‘Dark Side of the Rainbow’ synchronicity only started gaining popularity in the mid-’90s.

At Louis Vuitton, Old Hollywood Psychedelica In a 63-page manifesto for the collection made available to press, Abloh said his primary source of inspiration was The Wizard of Oz, and its all-Black counterpart, The Wiz. The fields of flowers and psychedelic proclivities enter the fold via brightly colored suiting, surreally designed sunglasses, and top hats that the Mad Hatter would kill for.

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 7.31.20

Destination Kansas – Oz Museum Have you ever imagined what the world looks like somewhere over the rainbow? A trip to the Oz Museum in Wamego, Kansas will put you right into the world ‘Wizard of Oz’ author L. Frank Baum created. Chris Glasgow, Curator, Oz Museum, said “We cover over 120 plus years. Everything from the birth of the author in 1856 to today.” Marissa Streeter, Oz Museum, said, “Once you enter the museum, you’ll be transported to the Sepia, Kansas world. Just like you would be at the beginning of the 1939 film and then you’re transported into the technicolor world of Oz.” Katlyn Stubbeman, Oz Museum, said, “How we set up the museum, meeting the characters in order. They almost feel like they’re going through Oz themselves. We have different models of the characters, from Munchkinland to the haunted forest to the Wicked Witch’s castle.” “L. Frank Baum himself never specified a town that Dorothy was from. He said later on in an interview that it was a town about 45 minutes from Topeka and that happens to fit perfectly for us.”

 

Oz in the News 7.30.20

Autonomous Cars Were Predicted In A Wizard of Oz Book Neill’s Scalawagon is pretty damn close to Google’s autonomous prototype for something that was conceived almost 75 years earlier. The generally rounded shape is very similar, same for the overall layout, the relatively un-ornamented design, the scale is similar, and, most notably, they both feature prominent “sensor domes” on their roofs. Google’s is a LiDAR dome and the Quadling car’s is more of a mechanical head with eyes, but I think conceptually, they’re the same. Besides, even our human heads are basically sensor domes on top of our bodies. I think it’s pretty amazing—back in 1941, writing about an imaginary land, not just the basic idea of a self-driving car was proposed (I don’t think this is even close to the first general instance of that, but still) but an overall system for their use was articulated in a way that’s relevant today, and the general design could be translated to modern (and real) technology with minimal changes. And, just like today, the autonomous car making company was being run by a wealthy and infamous charlatan, who didn’t want you looking at him behind curtains.

Oz in the News 7.16.20

Podiatrist Is A Wizard At Making Patients Feel At Home The wondrous world of Oz sounds like a perfect retreat from a global pandemic, political debates, and other challenges but the closest you may reach to Oz is the office of podiatrist Hal Ornstein of Affiliated Foot & Ankle Center. Years ago, the good doctor decided he wanted his patients to be as comfortable as possible and decided to take inspiration from one of his favorite books to set a theme of wonderment and serenity. That is why there are images of “The Wizard of Oz” everywhere in his Howell office of Route 9 North. He has another location in Jackson. Patients walk into the office and are immediately transported to Oz with a ceiling painting of a rainbow and a sign at the entranceway to examination rooms declares you are “not in Kansas anymore.” He has a “Wizard of Oz” collection in his own home and his favorite “Wizard of Oz” character is the Scarecrow. “He’s the one who really made all the decisions but he really just lacked confidence.” It’s clear that Ornstein identifies with that character as he enjoys instilling confidence in other professionals, patients and people in general.

Oz in the News 7.14.20

Researchers encode “The Wizard of Oz” in DNA with unprecedented accuracy DNA is ridiculously good at storing information. One milliliter droplet of DNA can theoretically store as much information as two Walmarts full of data servers. What’s more, DNA can be stored at room temperature for hundreds of thousands of years. If your gears are turning right now, you’re not alone. However, using DNA to store information is not at all as straightforward as storing it on a flash drive. In fact, it can be a nightmare to encode and decode information from the blueprint of life — but science is making progress in strides. In a new study, researchers at the University of Texas have employed a new technique for storing and reading information encoded in the iconic double-helix “twisted ladder”. The researchers demonstrated their novel technique by encoding the entire book of “The Wizard of Oz”, translated into Esperanto, with unprecedented accuracy and efficiency.

Oz in the News 7.9.20

‘Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo’: The Beatles and ‘The Wizard of Oz’ kept the actor sane in prison Legendary actor Danny Trejo, also known by his popular nickname Machete, has lived a very interesting life. He’s been a criminal and a celebrity and everything in between and that story comes out in the new documentary ‘Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo’. In the documentary film, Trejo speaks about his time in prison in great detail. One story that he tells us is about the time he was placed in solitary confinement and started re-enacting the 1939 movie ‘The Wizard of Oz’. “You just keep from going crazy by making yourself crazy,” Trejo explains. “I was in the hole and I was running around the cell and I would act out ‘The Wizard of Oz’. ‘Give me those shoes Dorothy’, the whole crazy movie, just to keep my brain going.” Trejo’s daughter, Danielle Trejo, also chimes in adding, “You have to cope in whatever way you can. For him, it was ‘The Wizard of Oz’.”

Eve Lindley on How ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Explains the Wild ‘Dispatches from Elsewhere’ Finale The Wizard of Oz is a huge inspiration, I think, for the overall story. When I learned that, I actually wore braids to my very first callback with Jason, because when I read the script, I was like, “Oh, four people going on a journey. It’s The Wizard of Oz. Got it.” I grew up loving The Wizard of Oz. I have images of it in my apartment that I’m looking at right now. And I think, for me, the ending is just like, we’re going to Kansas. We’re shifting into the real world. We’re dropping the Technicolor over-the-top nature of [the show]. It’s sort of classic TV to be a little over the top, like women wearing far-too-elegant outfits to go out for dinner — in real life, everyone’s in flats, everyone’s sort of a little more practical. So things like that, little things where we became a practical and real world and the acting changes and there’s hopefully something a little more subtle about the way that we’re interacting with each other. I really feel like I played two characters in that Wizard of Oz way, where you’re the Tin Man and the farmhand.

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.

 

 

Oz in the News 7.1.20

Die Hard named most re-watched film ever alongside Wizard of Oz and Dirty Dancing According to the research, the average Brit has watched Die Hard, The Wizard of Oz and Dirty Dancing 12 times in their lifetime. Since lockdown, that number’s surely gone up.

The 20 Most Re-watched Movies Of All Time
Die Hard – 12 times
Dirty Dancing – 12 times
The Wizard of Oz – 12 times
Star Wars: A New Hope – 11 times
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – 11 times
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi – 11 times
Mary Poppins – 11 times
The Sound of Music – 10 times
Back to the Future – 10 times
The Breakfast Club – 10 times
The Lion King – 10 times
The Incredibles – 10 times
Rocky – 10 times
Ghostbusters – 10 times
Monsters, Inc. – 10 times
Lethal Weapon – 9 times
Top Gun – 9 times
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – 9 times
The Godfather – 9 times
Jaws – 8 times

Oz in the News 6.29.20

Stahl fondly recalls her summers in the Land of Oz For five memorable summers during the 1970s, Janet Oaks Stahl worked alongside a Tin Man, a Scarecrow and a Cowardly Lion. It was a summer job that Stahl, who is now a pharmaceutical sales representative living in Johnson City with her husband, Assistant City Manager Charlie Stahl, recalled recently on social media to mark the 50th anniversary of the grand opening of the now-closed Land of Oz theme park in Beech Mountain, North Carolina. “I was 13 years old when I started, and I was paid in cash,” Stahl said. “My mother worked as a cook in food services, and I was a farm hand at Dorothy’s house. I was there to to feed the pigs, goats and bunnies at the petting zoo, and to make sure no one got too close to the animals.” Stahl said she soon graduated to food services, where she served coffee and sausage biscuits in Auntie Em’s Kitchen. In later summers, she worked in the retail shops at the Emerald City, and was often cast as a dancing mushroom in one of the theme park’s musical productions. Stahl said she got to know some of the actors who were hired to portray Dorothy, the Wicked Witch of the West and other characters in the Land of Oz. Many were theater majors from Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia and Florida. “They arrived to the park in the third week of June and worked until the third week of August,” Stahl said. “The actors were young, and there were multiple people — at least three — playing Dorothy and the other characters.” She also remembers the park’s last show of the 1977 season, which was just three years before financial troubles forced its corporate owners to close the gates to the Land of Oz. On that day in August, the actor playing Professor Marvel interrupted the show to announce on the park’s loud speaker that Elvis Presley, “the King of Rock and Roll,” had died. “Everyone cried,” Stahl said. “People just walked out of the park. All the wrap parties for that season were canceled.”