Category Archives: Oz in Pop Culture

Oz in the News 6.19.17

Georgia man plans “Wizard of Oz” themed proposal A Georgia couple is ecstatic about starting their journey down the Yellow Brick Road. On Friday, 30-year-old Brandon Cross pulled off the proposal of a lifetime. Well, at least it was to his now fiancé, 26-year-old Tiffany Woodard. And Cross knew he had to make his proposal special, so he decided to take a trip to Woodard’s favorite Hollywood hangout, the Land of Oz. “I was on Facebook and saw the ad for Land of Oz and it clicked,” he said. “I remembered her telling me that the “Wizard of Oz” was her favorite movie, and it just so happened that there were three tickets left for June 16. I knew I had to have them.” So, Cross bought the tickets, dressed up like the Tin Man and gave his Dorothy his heart. “I was beyond nervous, not only was rain in the forecast but upon arriving, I found out I was going to be the Tin Man and singing in front of a group of strangers,” he said. “We went through the tour and once we arrived at the wizard he asked me if I would like to give my heart to anyone. Then I called up Tiffany, the only person I could ever imagine holding my heart again.” With a huge smile and a few tears, Tiffany said “yes.”

Oz in the News 6.16.17

A Visit to Wamego, Kansas, the Center of the Wizard of Oz Universe These fantastical items are on permanent loan from Friar Johnpaul Cafiero, a Franciscan priest based in Chicago whose family has been collecting related items for decades. You’ll find W.W. Denslow’s color illustrations from the first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, as well as translations of the original story into other languages—including mock German (Der Wizard in Ozzenland). The rooms are packed with memorabilia from the 1939 film, including miniature flying monkeys, character masks, and cast photos and trivia. Also among the treasures is a dress worn by Judy Garland in the movie (did you know her shirt was pink, not white?) and a pair of ruby slippers that were covered with Swarovski crystals by artist Jeffery Merrell in commemoration of the musical’s 50th anniversary.

Oz in the News 6.12.17

Judy Garland enshrined in Hollywood mausoleum Judy Garland has been laid to rest in a mausoleum named for her at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. A spokeswoman for Garland’s estate says her family and friends held a private memorial service for the actress on Saturday, which would have been Garland’s 95th birthday. She was buried in the Judy Garland Pavilion. Garland’s children, Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joe Luft, wanted to bring their mother’s remains “home to Hollywood” from her original burial site at New York’s Ferncliff Cemetery, publicist Victoria Varela said. They attended the service, along with Garland’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In a statement released to The Associated Press, they offered gratitude to their mother’s “millions of fans around the world for their constant love and support.”

Fanciful garden of ‘ahhhs’ An avid gardener and garden writer, Mackey sought to instill a love for gardening in her two young children, daughter Annie Rose and son Jacques, all those years ago. Thanks to Annie Rose’s enchantment with Baum’s Oz books written in the early 1900s, a plan took shape for her little patch of wonder back in 1995. Baum wrote 14 books, including the most well-known, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” chronicling Dorothy’s adventures with the Scarecrow, the Tinman and the Lion. “We read all the Oz books,” says Mackey, whose personal favorite was “Glinda of Oz.” “(Annie’s) dad read them aloud to her. He does all the best voices. He was the best reader in the family.” It’s no wonder Annie liked the books, Mackey reflects when describing her daughter’s strong sense of independence. “They’re full of really strong female characters. We’re talking the 1900s … everybody else is a princess getting saved. But not these women. They’re remarkable.” There was plenty of territory for Annie Rose to draw from, but when the shovels hit the dirt, she chose the simple, classic circle-in-a-square garden design, loosely following an illustrated map of Oz and its surroundings first published as endpapers in one of the books, “Tik-Tok of Oz.”

 

Oz in the News 6.6.17

Ariana Grande’s Mom on her Daughter’s Conviction and the Emotional Story Behind ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ “I didn’t know she was going to sing it,” Joan Grande tells Variety, explaining that the song had special significance for the family. “It’s an emotional story: my father passed away two and half years ago, and that was the song she sang for him after he passed.” Though Grande had sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as a child, and in private throughout the years, the song had never been part of her stage show as a pop singer. So to debut it at such an emotional show had even more significance.

Australia is Searching for the Newest Dorothy for THE WIZARD OF OZ Tour The world’s favourite musical The Wizard of Oz is returning for an Australian tour later this year, starring Anthony Warlow as The Wizard and Professor Marvel, Lucy Durack as Glinda the Good Witch and Jemma Rix as The Wicked Witch of the West. But who will wear the Ruby Slippers of Dorothy? Producers John Frost and SuzAnne Jones are looking for a new young star to take on the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, with auditions later this month. Applications for auditions are now open and close on 11 June – see details at the website wizardofozthemusical.com/auditions

Seth Sikes on why Judy Garland is (and will forever be) the greatest star of all “It’s rather simple – she was the greatest entertainer of all time. When her throat opens up to sing, the world stands still. It’s not really a talent you have to explain to people, they just hear it, they see her, and they usually say, ‘Oh my god.’ I don’t think that’s ever going to change since we have so much footage and recordings. As long as there are humans she will continue to be loved, because somehow all of humanity lived in that voice.”

If he only had a ride: Wizard of Oz’s Tin Man charged with DWI, Police say A Cortland man dressed up as the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated Sunday. Nicholas E. Sherman, 31, was charged by New York state police with aggravated DWI. Sherman told police he was hired to portray a “Wizard of Oz” character for a business during the village of Chittenango’s OzStravaganza, which was held over the weekend. He still had his makeup on for the role when he was arrested. Festival organizers said he was not an “official” Oz cast member.

 

Oz in the News 6.2.17

Bridge to Another World: Escape From Oz Collector’s Edition From 4Friends, creators of Living Legends, comes an exciting new game in the Bridge to Another World series! Today started out like any other day – you sent your kids off to school and settled in for some peace and quiet with your little dog, Toto. But your world is turned upside-down when a tornado suddenly appears and carries your house to the extraordinary land of Oz. Now you find yourself in the middle of a fierce competition controlled by the mysterious Great Wizard. To earn your way back home, you and Toto must explore the four corners of Oz, facing enemies, obstacles, and puzzles at every turn! Are you up to the challenge? Find out in this Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game!

Oz in the News 5.29.17

BRIGHTON FRINGE: Sh*t-faced Showtime: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Guided by energetic facilitator and crowd warmer, in sequins and glittered leggings, the audience is let in on the alcohol levels that the unlucky participant has consumed. Various audience members are given oddball instruments to make noise when they sense a sobering in the performer and another drink will be served. The story is the simple Wizard of Oz, told in and around a cardboard cut-out of a dilapidated house, complete with ramshackle props all entirely reminiscent of a nativity play in which schoolchildren have been left unsupervised to raid the dressing up box. There is even a pathetic hand puppet of Toto, who is often left behind in all of the madness and suddenly remembered, whilst being on the zany path of the yellow brick road.

The Girl From Oz Courtney Act, the Australian you’re tolerating slightly more than Iggy Azalea, takes you over the rainbow and down under in her new show: The Girl from OZ! Chock full of hits and high notes this show will leave realizing there’s no place like her home! Get ready to travel over the rainbow and go down under with her cabaret The Girl From Oz which opened this summer in Provincetown, MA, with seasons booked in across Australia, North America and Europe in 2017.

REVIEW: Judy!, Arts Theatre If there were ever a case of a show being utterly transformed by choice of venue, then this is it. This original biography of Judy Garland, a labour of love by the theatre’s founder and director, Ray Rackham, started as a small-scale fringe play in the old 60-seater London Theatre Workshop space above The Eel Brook public house on the New King’s Road; there, it was involving and surprising, with its criss-crossing telling of three different narrative strands, each taken by a different actress playing the lead, and with actor-musicians accompanying themselves and each other on a set made up on showbiz paraphernalia and knick-knacks. Then, emboldened by its success, the vigorously re-worked production transferred to the large 240-seat space at Southwark Playhouse, where it was given in a thrust-stage configuration, again with the audience feeling involved and emotionally at one with the central destinies of the title figure. The production attracted widespread interest and ecstatic reviews. It seemed nothing could stand in its way.

Wizard of Oz: Magic Match Updated: New Regions & Hourglass Hazard Wizard of Oz: Magic Match is a free iOS and Android match-three puzzle game based off of the movie The Wizard of Oz. This game was just updated on May 11, 2017, and there are a few new items in this update. The first new feature for Wizard of Oz: Magic Match is a new region, and you will find a ton of prizes and rewards in the new region. The Wicked Witch will now be fighting off Glinda in a Team Battle event. There is also a new Hourglass hazard that is rolling out, and new levels are added to this game every single week. If this match-three puzzle game sounds like fun, read on to learn more about this game. We will also be giving you some tips, hints, and tricks to help you get through the levels with ease.

Troxel’s reopens with music, Oz-themed mini-golf Victor Troxel has been a little bit of a wizard – at least when it comes to his newly-reopened “Rock Garden”. He now has a Wizard of Oz-theme to his miniature golf course, complete with a yellow brick road and a scarecrow, tin man and lion. He started the re-opening with drinks, cupcakes and music at noon. By 2 p.m., he was already pleased with the turnout. “We started at noon and we have had people ever since,” he said. One thing he was happy about was the way “Spiderman” was being received. “He has been getting hugs from kids. I wish I had brought a camera,” he said as he paused briefly.

Oz in the News 5.19.17

Getting to Oz Through Austin Arts Summer is the season of travel, of leaving your humdrum, gray existence for somewhere colorful and adventurous. You may be familiar with a wide-eyed young Kansan who set the standard for such getaways with her extreme vacay from the Sunflower State to the Land of Oz. Well, this year, the Zilker Summer Musical will transport audiences to the Emerald City, Munchkinland, and points between with a production of The Wizard of Oz, and we’ve been considering how to get you over the rainbow, so to speak. During the show’s run, July 7-Aug. 12, you could convey yourself to the Hillside by some commonplace motorized contraption such as a car or bus, but hey, where’s the fun in that? And while we’ve nothing against road trips of the automotive variety, we can’t imagine the 1939 film possessing quite the same charm had Judy Garland followed the Yellow Brick Road in a Studebaker Champion. So in the spirit of the story, we’ve mapped our own way for you to go off to see the wizard, with stops at some off-the-beaten-Brick Road artistic projects that incorporate modes of transport in The Wizard of Oz.

This Barnyard Wizard of Oz Wedding Will Make You Want to Click Your Heels 3 Times Just when we thought we’d seen all the themed weddings possible, a Wizard of Oz-inspired shoot blew us away like the story’s tornado. The styled wedding from BeInspired isn’t just your average ode to Dorothy and her friends, either. Monica Relyea Events and a team of fantastic vendors brought the Emerald City to life, and with the utmost elegance at that. On top of a stunning geode cake, decor pieces, and glassware all in green, the shoot was even put together on a farm named Oz. And what’s a Wizard of Oz wedding without red shoes and Toto?