Category Archives: Oz in Print

The Oz Index & Daily Ozmapolitan Contest: Enter to win Arlen and Harburg’s Over the Rainbow

The Daily Ozmapolitan & The Oz Index have teamed up with Oxford University Press to give away five (5) copies of the new book Arlen and Harburg’s Over the Rainbow. 

In Arlen and Harburg’s Over the Rainbow, author Walter Frisch traces the history of this song from its inception during the development of The Wizard of Oz‘s screenplay, to its various reinterpretations over the course of the twentieth century. Through analysis of the song’s music and lyrics, this Oxford Keynotes volume provides a close reading of the piece while examining the evolution of its meaning as it traversed widely varying cultural contexts. From its adoption as a jazz standard by generations of pianists, to its contribution to Judy Garland’s role as a gay icon, to its reemergence as a chart-topping recording by Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, “Over the Rainbow” continues to engage audiences and performers alike in surprising ways. Featuring a companion website with audio and video supplements, this book leaves no path unexplored as it succeeds in capturing the extent of this song’s impact on the world.

To enter the contest go to The Oz Index and find three books that have the word “rainbow” in the title and email your answers to OzPinhead@frodelius.com Winners will be chosen randomly from correct responses.

Contest deadline is midnight EST on October 31, 2017

 

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Oz in the News 9.11.17

‘Oz’-some birthday For his 36th birthday, J. Basil Dannebohm is bringing Oz to Kansas, and he doesn’t even need a tornado. The Salina resident and former member of the Kansas Legislature will be hosting a “Wizard of Oz” themed birthday reception today at his east Salina home, where he has invited a variety of people to celebrate what he called the diversity and humanity championed by the book and movie. “I take pride that all kinds of guests are welcome at this and at every other reception I host,” he said. “Rich, poor, gay, straight, black, white, Republican, Democrat — at these gatherings, our differences are set aside and our humanity is celebrated.” Dannebohm sees “The Wizard of Oz” not only as a timeless fantasy adventure for children, but a timely story for adults — one that embraces inclusiveness, tolerance and compassion, attributes sorely lacking in today’s polarized social and political climate. “If Baum taught us anything from this work, it’s that separately brains, a heart and courage are powerful tools,” he said. “However, when used for the good of others on life’s journey, they become phenomenal building blocks of friendship and solidarity.”

Michael Morpurgo: ‘I had to turn into a dog and see the world in Toto’s way’  I know now, after decades of doing it, why I return time and again to the task of retelling the great tales, ancient and less ancient. It is a kind of recharging of a storymaker’s battery. Go back to the old masters, not to copy as an art student might copy a Rembrandt, but to rediscover the magic of a story that has stood the test of time, that is still read and loved, perhaps 2,000 years after it was written. Go back to a legend or a tale or a great popular classic that has been superseded by a film, or several films, so that the original story or poem has been all but forgotten.

Oz in the News 8.17.17

Headstone of Piqua-born ‘Oz’ author unveiled A memorial dedication and headstone unveiling of Piqua-born author of two books in the “Wizard of Oz” series was held at Forest Hill Cemetery in Piqua today. Jack Snow penned two books telling the further adventures of Dorothy, the Wizard, the Scarecrow and other characters from the Land of Oz, who were first introduced by L. Frank Baum. The titles of Snow’s books were “The Shaggy Man of Oz” and “The Magical Mimics of Oz”, according to a release from the International Wizard of Oz Club. Snow was a 1925 graduate of Piqua High School and died in New York City on July 11, 1956. The headstone was supported by a grant from the International Wizard of Oz Club, which has more than 500 members worldwide.

Oz in the News 7.4.17

Puffin has radically redesigned the covers of classic children’s books using Pantone colors The project is the brainchild of graphic designer Danielle Calotta, who used a process of free association to come up with the color for each title. Some choices were obvious: green for Anne of Green Gables; black for Black Beauty; metallic gold for A Christmas Carol. Others titles were harder, like The Wizard of Oz, which is covered in a sunny yellow hue. “Some people don’t know that her [Dorothy’s] original shoes [in the book] were silver, but a lot of people know her ruby red shoes. Then there’s also Emerald City, but inevitably, we settled with the yellow brick road,” explains Calotta. The designer says her formulaic approach is just another way to think about book covers, and not meant to entirely replace illustrated versions. “This is a modern twist to children’s classics,” she explains. “I don’t know why they can’t both exist.”

Sh*t-Faced Showtime: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Leicester Square Theatre, London The choice of the Scarecrow – poor, brainless, loose-limbed Scarecrow – is a wise choice for the show’s alcohol-fuelled character. It helps that Alan McHale is a warm and engaging musical performer of course: while the audience may not be as tanked up as he is, they are on his side throughout, and he reciprocates their warmth towards him. Humour, of course, derives from those moments where McHale stumbles over his lines, or over his feet. Other comedic elements, from the glove puppet Toto to Nick House’s cross-dressing Wicked Witch, work better when distracting McHale from his attempts to stick to the script than they do in bringing their own humour. Whether this improvised version of The Wizard of Oz will be as strong with one of the company’s other cast members in the role of sole inebriate remains to be seen. McHale sets a high bar for them, to be sure: as a singer and dancer who succeeds in performing a number of dance moves while not spilling his pint of beer, this is a performer who can, quite literally, hold his drink.

Oz in the News 5.25.17

Brooklyn native creates new book series based on ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Gabriel Gale, who was born and raised in Bay Ridge, has immersed himself in the legend and legacy of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz” series of books. Gale, whose pen name is derived from Oz heroine Dorothy Gale, has created the first volume of a planned three-novel prequel to the beloved Baum classic focused on the origin story of Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. Gale has worked on this project for 10 years and calls it “a culmination of a whole lot of passion, research and drive to get an Oz story that is 100 years in the making into this project.” It all started for Gale when he first discovered Baum’s book as a young boy. “I read the Oz books at the 73 Street Bay Ridge branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. I was fascinated from then on. After graduating from Columbia, I decided I wanted to create my own ‘Lord of the Rings’ type of work. And the Oz books returned to mind and I went back and researched them. I met with the family and I met with many of the world’s leading Oz experts, and I put all of that research into ‘Ages of Oz.’”

Oz in the News 5.22.17

THEATRE REVIEW | Judy, The Arts Theatre If you’re already well versed in Garland mania then you’ll love this too. Judy is a potted history of the life of Judy Garland told with wit and warmth from the clever perspective of having three Judy Garlands on stage at different points in her life. The device works well and showcases not only a number of songs but manages to portray both uplifting and funny side of Garland as well as the not so joyous times. There’s a cast of twelve with cast members doubling up as the live band too. Oh and the Judys? They’re pitch perfect and totally on point both in mannerisms and vocal style.

Review of JUDY! at the Arts Theatre London For me personally, Lucy Penrose delivers the Judy I know best. Her tenacity and unwavering determination are ever present, however, in vulnerable moments and as she threatens to break down, it’s hard not see her as Dorothy pleading with the Wizard. Indeed, every mannerism and every inflection are perfect and in these moments it’s almost too easy to believe you’re watching Judy herself. The inevitable and much-anticipated performance of over the rainbow delivers on every level. Involving all three Judys, the stunning vocal arrangement is elegant and true to the original, yet carries a sadness and tenderness that encapsulates the pain and undying aspirations of a woman for whom the fame was almost too much.

17 of the most bafflingly bizarre creatures in the Land of Oz While the Oz-verse extends through volumes and volumes of enchanted realms by several different authors, it was first imagined into being by L. Frank Baum, who envisioned some things that would be impossible to create even in a petri dish. This magical menagerie goes beyond just animals that talk, because in Oz, everything talks. Think inanimate objects that were suddenly animated and highly magnified insect Einsteins. And don’t forget the things that can take off their heads. Crash your house into this dreamlike otherworld and follow the Yellow Brick Road to some stranger-than-strange creatures that can only exist in the land of Oz.

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?