Category Archives: Oz in Pop Culture

Oz in the News 10.20.17

Virtro Entertainment Releases “Run Dorothy Run” for Sony PlayStation VR .Virtro Entertainment – the female-led VR indie game studio out of Vancouver, Canada, today announced the release of  Run Dorothy Run – an immersive endless-runner and rhythm VR game, with a cheeky take on the classic novel, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” The game is being released on Sony PlayStation VR in the Fall of 2017, with other platforms to follow shortly after. Run, jive, and bop your way through the world of Oz to an electro-swing soundtrack while the story unfolds. Explore fantastical lands in your journey through the Emerald City, the Scorched Plains, the Wicked Witch’s castle, and more. Clash with enemies, collect magic crystals, and activate power-ups, all to an irresistible dance beat. Unravel the curious alliance Dorothy makes with the Wizard of Oz to settle a score with the maybe-not-so-Wicked Witch. But don’t take yourself too seriously—navigate the crazy plot twists with your tongue firmly in your cheek. “Right from the early days of development, we brought in play-testers each week to give us insights we could use to evolve the game into the rich story and immersive experience we have today,” said Jordan Brighton, Virtro’s cofounder and CEO. “We’ve had hundreds of play-testers, ranging from total newbies to VR aficionados. They loved the actual VR experience, but just as importantly, they loved the zany story-telling. Let’s just say ‘Ozzy’ and ‘Effy’ – who we know from the book as the Wizard and the Wicked Witch – emerge as you never imagined.”


Oz in the News 10.17.17

Giant Wizard Of Oz ruby slippers centrepiece for Porthleven School firework fun day Inside a barn, somewhere in Cornwall (or possibly Kansas), something very strange and wonderful is taking place. A fresh lick of ruby red paint is being liberally applied to a pair of giant 7ft tall slippers. The giant (and possibly magical) shoes will form the centrepiece of a Wizard of Oz themed firework display and family fun day in Porthleven next weekend. It will be held with the grounds of Porthleven School and also raises money for the village primary school. The tornado-like force behind the event is local mum Leigh Yates, here in the guise of the Wicked Witch, and follows on from past events at the school which have included a medieval and Harry Potter days. Leigh said: “We’ll be showing the film on a giant cinema screen and we will have all the characters and quite a few show-stoppers. It’s going to be a really great evening.”

Hotel del Coronado: San Diego’s luxury landmark for 129 years Since its opening in February 1888, Hotel del Coronado has been a San Diego landmark, its silhouette rising from the coastline like a sandcastle reaching for the sky. The Del, as the resort is affectionately known, quickly became known for its setting and was touted in contemporary brochures as the “unrivaled Queen of seaside resorts … this enchanting spot has no equal in America … or the world.” In that era, wealthy guests traveled from the East Coast for a week or more by train and stayed at the resort for months at a time, enjoying San Diego’s mild temperatures and year-round sunshine, especially in the wintertime.


Oz in the News 10.14.17

Oz at the South Carolina State Museum Get ready for a month-long Halloween adventure as the South Carolina State Museum becomes the Museum of OzTravel to Oz with daily showings of, The Wizard of Oz 4-D Experience™, enjoy special OZ themed events all month long and follow the Yellow Brick Road from a Kansas farm all the way to the Emerald City. Enjoy tales of epic adventure in Oz told as a constellation myth, using imagined patterns of stars in the night sky. We’ll also take a quick look at the current night sky from here at home in Columbia.


Oz in the News 10.11.17

How Miranda’s Lambert’s split from Blake Shelton led her down the Yellow Brick Road Just as Dorothy and Toto followed the Yellow Brick Road to find The Wizard of Oz, this week, Miranda Lambert’s latest single, “Tin Man,” is following a path towards country’s top 25. The six-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year admits her divorce from Blake Shelton inspired her to re-examine those classic characters from the iconic movie starring Judy Garland. “Whatever influenced you the most, at whatever time in your life, it somewhere or another comes out in your art,” Miranda reveals. “The Tin Man, I guess, going through a lot of times where I felt pretty empty, I understood a whole new meaning. I mean, how many times have we seen The Wizard Of Oz, you know? But it’s something that world shares. Everyone knows what the Tin Man represents:  cold and empty and loneliness and heartless,” the Texas native says. “And it just opened my eyes to it even more going through pain myself, you know, sort of an epiphany.”

Oz in the News 10.8.17

Yellow Bricks: OztoberFest features costumes, games, Lego portrait When Allen Hickmon was 7 years old, he told his mother he was going to grow up to be a Lego master. His parents would buy him Legos often, and he would spend hours on his Lego art creations. “My dad, he couldn’t understand why I was spending so many hours in my room just doing this,” Hickmon said. Later, when his father saw one of his major pieces being debuted in front of tens of thousands of people, he understood and was proud, Hickmon said. Hickmon, a Lego master from Kansas City who builds creations for clients, was at OztoberFest in Wamego Saturday, showing a portrait of Dorothy he made for the festival. The Lego portrait took him two full days to complete, he said. On his table display outside of the Oz Museum was also a smaller portrait of the Cowardly Lion, a small replica of the Oz Museum and the land of Oz.

Oz in the News 10.6.17

OZtoberFest to feature several Oz celebrities MGM’s legendary motion picture of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz book has enchanted audiences since its premiere in 1939. A major component of its unforgettable appeal is the performance of Margaret Hamilton, who has given millions of viewers an eternal dose of gleeful terror in her role as the Wicked Witch of the West. Her son, Hamilton Meserve, serves as keynote speaker of OZtoberFest! 2017 with his illustrated presentation, “OZ, The Witch, and Mom.” Joining him on Wamego’s special guest roster are the acclaimed Shanice Williams — who triumphed over several hundred other applicants to win the role of Dorothy in NBC-TV’s musical production of The Wiz Live! in December 2015 – and Gabriel Gale, conceptualizer and coauthor of the new book trilogy for children and young adults, Ages of Oz. Simon & Schuster published its first volume, A Fiery Friendship, in May. All three will be presented and/or interviewed onstage by best-selling author and Emmy Award-winning producer John Fricke, perennial OZtoberFest! master of ceremonies and preeminent Oz and Judy Garland historian.  Additional, returning guests for 2017 include: Paul Miles Schneider of Lawrence, author of Silver Shoes and The Powder of LifeJohnPaul Cafiero, whose family’s extraordinary collection makes up a great percentage of material showcased at Wamego’s OZ Museum; Ryan Jay, nationally-known film critic; and Jane Albright, current president of The International Wizard of Oz Club.

Oz in the News 10.2.17

Son of Wicked Witch of the West actor, Dorothy from ‘The Wiz Live!’ among celebrities to appear at Wamego’s OztoberFest Since Wamego’s signature event OztoberFest began 13 years ago, organizers have continuously worked to keep its offerings current. “The actors who played the munchkins used to come to the festival, and the festival was very large back then, but since then the munchkins have all passed away except for one, so the festival started dying a little bit,” said Kimberley Shepherd, Oz Museum gift shop operations manager and one of the event organizers. “So we had to start bringing in newer generations of Oz dignitaries.” This year, Oz celebrities include Gabriel Gale, who conceptualized and co-wrote the new book trilogy “Ages of Oz”; Shanice Williams, who played Dorothy in NBC’s TV production of “The Wiz Live!”; and Hamilton Meserve, the event’s keynote speaker, with his illustrated presentation “OZ, The Witch, and Mom.”