Category Archives: Oz in Print

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?

Oz in the News 5.15.17

Unknown Stories of WNY: The Man Behind The Wizard Had Ties To Allegany County Years before The Wizard of Oz sprang from L. Frank Baum’s imagination, he was imagining wealth of a different kind. He and his father made their home in the Allegany County town of Richburg. It, like many other Allegany County and Northern Pennsylvania communities, was enjoying instant wealth. Richburg was a small farming hamlet, until 1881 that is. A group of businessmen formed the Richburg Oil Company and bought 90 acres of farm land. On April 27, 1881 a crowd gathered to witness the first shooting of the well. It was a geyser. The well produced 250 barrels in the first hours, then settled in to about 50 barrels a day. That discovery led to a rush on the area. Towns of a few hundred people grew to thousands. Among the many who came here in search of fortunes was Benjamin Baum. He and his son Frank ran a skimming company. As oil wells were struck,much of the product wound up in the creeks. Baum & son went into business skimming and recovering oil from the streams.

3 Series To Take You Back to Oz After ‘Emerald City’ s Cancellation For those of us who enjoy a journey to the Land of Oz, the recent cancellation of NBC’s felt truly wicked. Sure, it wasn’t a perfect season, but what first season is? The unique, adult-oriented take on showed promise and left us anticipating all that would happen in season two, but now we’re left stranded at the end of the rainbow –– or are we? While there is no planned return to Oz on television, we continue to get fresh content through the original Wizard of Oz medium –– literature. Since L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was released 117 years ago, this merry old magical land has been the setting for numerous novels; some of which were released just this year. Thanks to the freedom that comes with Oz being under public domain, authors have the ability to reimagine, recreate, and elaborate on Baum’s creations. Of all the books that have arrived in the wake of Dorothy’s first trip to Oz, three recent titles offer up fresh and exciting new narratives. If you are reeling from the loss of Emerald City, or just looking for a way back to Oz, these series maybe be just what you need.

Oz in the News 3.17.17

Morpurgo pens Wizard of Oz retelling for HarperCollins Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz tells the story of L Frank Baum’s original tale through the eyes of Toto, Dorothy’s trusted canine companion. Morpurgo said: “The Wizard of Oz is a truly wonderful and magical tale, but I always felt that there was one character who had little part to play in the story. Dorothy we know and love, but her dog Toto does little more than accompany her on her adventures. We never know what he thinks of all that is going on – he just gets carried around a lot. Why not tell the story again, but through Toto’s eyes! Our hope is that through Toto, many thousands of children, and grown-up children too, will come to enjoy L Frank Baum’s wonderful Wizard of Oz again.” Toto: The Dog-Gone Amazing Story of the Wizard of Oz will publish on 7th September 2017 in full-colour hardback, with simultaneous publication in the UK and US, as well as in e-book and audiobook formats. Publication will coincide with the opening of Michael Morpurgo: A Lifetime in Stories, a free exhibition at the V & A Museum of Childhood which celebrates Morpurgo’s life and writing. The exhibition moves from Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books, where it is currently on display, and will open on 22nd July 2017 until 25th February 2018.

Oz like you’ve never seen it before Long overshadowed by the immensely popular 1939 remake, the rarely seen silent version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (1925) will be screened one time only on Sunday, March 26 at 4:30 p.m. at the Town Hall Theatre, 40 Main St., Wilton. The program, which will include an earlier short Oz film also based on stories and characters of author L. Frank Baum, will be accompanied by Jeff Rapsis, a New Hampshire-based silent film musician. Accompanist Jeff Rapsis specializes in creating music that bridges the gap between an older film and the expectations of today’s audiences. Using a digital synthesizer that recreates the texture of a full orchestra, he improvises scores in real time as a movie unfolds, so that the music for no two screenings is the same. “It’s kind of a high wire act, but it helps create an emotional energy that’s part of the silent film experience,” Rapsis said. “It’s easier to be in tune with the emotional line of the movie and the audience’s reaction when I’m able to follow what’s on screen, rather than be buried in sheet music,” he said. The silent version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ (1925) and other Oz-related silent films will be shown on Sunday, March 26 at 4:30 p.m. at the Town Hall Theatre, 40 Main St., Wilton, N.H. Admission is free; a donation of $5 per person is suggested to help defray expenses. For more info, visit http://www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com or call (603) 654-3456. For more info on the music, visit http://www.jeffrapsis.com.