Category Archives: Oz in Pop Culture

Oz in the News 6.16.18

Reception takes art gallery guests over the rainbow Vocalist Chelsea Low sang the wistful lyrics of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as guests explored “The Wizard of Oz,” a new interactive exhibit at The Frank art gallery in Pembroke Pines. Created by Miami Children’s Museum and licensed by Warner Bros. Consumer Products, the exhibition opened on Thursday, June 7. Reception visitors embarked on a multi-sensory experience as they traveled from the Gale Farm along the Yellow Brick Road to the colorful Land of Oz and explored Munchkinland, the Crossroads, the Witch’s Castle and the Emerald City. The Frank’s Chief Curator Joshua Carden combined the exhibition with contemporary artwork by Jason Aponte, Franklin Gonzalez, Gabriele Gutwirth, Aaron Miller, Brian Reedy and Santiago Rubino. “Any chance we get to invite the community in to experience art in a new way is always a victory for us,” Carden said. “The Wizard of Oz” is on display through August 18. Admission is $5. The gallery will also host related workshops, lectures and events throughout the summer. For more information, visit

Tavares’ Wizard of Oz Train Ride brings old favorite to life “This has been a wonderful experience overall and certainly telling the story has been a dream come true. I must have seen this move hundreds of times as a child,” said Katherine Riley from Celebration, who plays Dorothy. “It’s just amazing to know that this is a classic story, it’s a classic film and there are so many generations that we have found connecting to it.” Clermont’s Bob Wright, who plays the Wizard, said, “It has been just a really terrific experience for me. I get to work with a lot of extremely talented young people and then, I get to interact with the guests on the train as well as in the Emerald City and that s so much fun. It is just awesome. The people seem to love it.”


Oz in the News 6.13.18

Woodstock Chimes goes ‘Over the Rainbow’ Musically tuned windchime manufacturer Woodstock Chimes’ latest creation takes inspiration from “The Wizard of Oz.” Its latest chime is tuned to the opening notes of one of the most iconic songs of the 20th century, the Academy Award-winning ballad “Over the Rainbow” from the 1939 movie “The Wizard of Oz.” Composed by Harold Arlen with lyrics by Yip Harburg, the ballad Judy Garland popularized reminds us that “somewhere over the rainbow … dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.” The Over the Rainbow Chime’s removable windcatcher has a rainbow image to exemplify the song. The chime is also one of the first Woodstock Chimes with a second hangtag designed to call attention to the significance of the tuning, so shoppers can understand at a glance what differentiates the chime from others. Measuring 27 inches in overall length, the Over the Rainbow Chime features seven silver aluminum tubes and cherry finish ash wood. Listen to and order a set here.

The 2018 Wizard Of Oz Festival Opens With A Variety Of Events This year, the 2018 Wizard of Oz Festival will host an exciting variety of programs. From Thursday, June 14 through Sunday, June 17, there will be live performances, lectures, movies, dinners and a free Land of Oz event for children.  For more information,
call the Judy Garland Museum at 218-327-9276;
or visit their website:; or


Oz in the News 6.11.18

Last remaining Munchkin actors share their stories On May 24, actor Jerry Maren passed away at age 98 in San Diego, Calif., and — as was widely reported — the world lost its last living “Wizard of Oz” munchkin. Well, its last munchkin played by a dwarf actor. “I said, ‘Wait a minute, I’m a munchkin and I’m still alive!’ ” Betty Ann Bruno told The Post of hearing about Maren. As children in 1939, Bruno and Joan Kenmore, both now 86, were two of a dozen little girls cast as extras to round out the movie’s Lollipop Guild. Kenmore seconded Bruno’s cry not to be forgotten. “I’m still here, and I can still breathe and I can still walk,” she told TMZ. The 12 girls, who are not listed in the film’s credits, sang and danced with the “real” munchkins (all dwarf actors), but were given short shrift.n“We were always in the background. They didn’t want to see children’s faces but they wanted our little bodies,” said Bruno, who is now ­5-foot-2 and lives in Sonoma, Calif., where she teaches hula dancing.

‘Wizard of Oz’ leads list of books with links to Illinois It begins in Kansas and detours to the Emerald City, but “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was written in Chicago and now heads the list of Top Illinois Books chosen by voters in the Illinois Top 200 project. Other books on the list are decidedly darker than the beloved children’s classic. “The Jungle” and “Spoon River Anthology” take readers from Chicago slaughterhouses to a small-town cemetery. “Devil in the White City” and “Native Son” explore the mind of a serial killer and the rage of a poor African-American man. The Illinois Top 200 project lets Illinoisans vote every two weeks on the most inspiring leaders, greatest inventions, top businesses and much more. By the state’s 200th birthday on Dec. 3, voters will have chosen 10 favorites in 20 different categories – the Illinois Top 200.


Oz in the News 6.7.18

Hoosier Lottery releases ‘The Wizard of Oz’ scratch-off The Hoosier Lottery announced the special release of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ scratch-offs available in retailers Tuesday. The $2 ticket gives ‘The Wizard of Oz’ fans the chance to instantly win up to $20,000 and comes printed in six different iconic scenes for fans to collect. The ‘Wizard of Oz’ ticket estimated overall odds are 1 in 4.47. 2nd Chance promotion odds are dependent upon the number of entries received.

Follow the yellow brick road to this Oz theme park open just a few days a year Fans of The Wizard of Oz look no further than Beech Mountain, North Carolina, to make lollipop guild dreams come true. Located in the Appalachian Mountains, the Land of Oz theme park is only open a few days each year — Fridays in June and for a short festival each autumn. Visitors become part of the story. Guests are picked at random to play the Scarecrow, TinMan, Lion, and Witches opposite of Dorothy on a guided tour of Oz as they travel down the Yellow Brick Road on the “Journey With Dorothy” that occurs on Fridays in June. Miss Gulch and the Wizard also make an appearance. Autumn at Oz takes place September 7-9 this year. In it’s 25th year, the festival celebrates all things Oz where guests can follow the Yellow Brick Road and meet all of their favorite characters, including the Scarecrow, TinMan and Lion, as well as Munchkins, Flying Monkeys — and Toto, too!

Daily Ozmapolitan Tribute to Jerry Maren, the Last Munchkin

ABC News

BBC News 


Chicago Tribune



New York Times


Rolling Stone



Vanity Fair



Oz in the News 6.6.18

Going, going, gone: Wizard of Oz bench disappears from Chittenango fest auction Someone this weekend walked away with a one-of-a-kind vanity bench decorated with a Wizard of Oz theme featuring Dorothy, the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion in poppy fields. The theft occurred during Saturday’s annual OZ-Stravaganza/Wizard of Oz fest in Chittenango, event organizers said. Chittenango police are investigating the theft of the bench, which was donated to Oz Fest for its Silent Auction on Saturday. The vanity bench, given by the estate of Oberdorfer Foundries executive Beryl Digney, is valued at about $150 – but auction organizers said they hoped to get more for it during the bidding.

Stolen Wizard of Oz-Style Bench (video)

‘Dietland’: Marti Noxon on How ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ David Fincher, and Jean-Marc Vallée Influenced Her Dark New Comedy “When I kept talking about visual references, I was like, I don’t want it to be one of these gray shows,” Noxon said. “I don’t want it to be all blue saturated; I kept saying, ‘I want it to be technicolor.’ It has a kind of musical quality. There are drab places, but then there are these other places that are just hyper-colored. Like in ‘Wizard of Oz,’ where Plum starts is kind of Kansas, but where she ends up should be over the rainbow. It should be colorful, and weird, and swirly.” There were even more explicit comparisons to be made between the show and the 1939 film, Noxon said: “If you go through the whole season for the visual references, there are some very overt ones that I’m excited about.”

Oz in the News 6.5.18

Village celebrates its 41st “Oz-Stravaganza” celebration From the yellow brick road to the main streets of Chittenango, there really was no better place than home for Wizard of Oz enthusiasts this weekend when the village held its 41st “Oz-Stravaganza.” The village celebrated the longest running and largest “Wizard of Oz”-themed festival from June 1 to 3, painting the town yellow with many costumed Dorothys and Glindas, “Wizard of Oz” historians, authors, Broadway stars and many Chittenango citizens and students marching through the village streets on Saturday afternoon. First held in 1978 by Librarian Clara Houck to honor L. Frank Baum, the author of “The Wizard of Oz,” and his birthplace, the event has since grown from a parking lot party to a multi-day celebration run by the International L. Frank Baum and All Things Oz Historical Foundation. The celebration featured live music, from BeatleCuse to the Chittenango Select Choir, costume contests, festival food, rides, games, fireworks and a museum dedicated to All Things Oz. Gita Dorothy Morena, the great granddaughter of L. Frank Baum, was the celebration’s grand marshal for the third year in a row.

On top of a sheet metal business in Juneau stand nearly a dozen charming Wizard of Oz statues On the roof of Reliable Sheet Metal along Glacier Highway stand colorful sculptures of Toto, Dorothy, a flying monkey, the Wicked Witch of the West, Munchkins, Glenda the Good Witch, the Wizard of Oz himself (along with the giant green head), and even the windblown farmhouse and the yellow brick road. The unusual tableau started with the Tin Man, just about the most famous all-metal fictional character there is. The local story goes that employees at the sheet metal company were bored one day and created the Tin Man—out of actual tin—just for fun, positioning the figure on top of the roof. The statue became so beloved, workers made the rest of the characters to join him.