Category Archives: Oz in Print

Oz in the News 2.20.18

Follow the yellow brick road all the way to Emerald City, courtesy of WMS When it comes to Wizard of Oz themed slots there are few developers more prolific than WMS. It’s fair to say that the casino games producer has a penchant for all things Tin Man, Dorothy and wonderful wizards, and it’s new slot is no exception to that. The Wizard of Oz Emerald City is, in fact, the fifth ‘Wizard’ game to come from WMS and visually and in terms of gameplay it is more than a match for its predecessors. In short – and as you’d expect – there’s a mystical journey on off that takes players down the yellow brick road with Dorothy, Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Lion. Aesthetically, the game is as bright and fun as the original film, which is a good place to start. The action takes place in Emerald City, which is the capital city of the fictional land of Oz and lies at the end of the famous yellow brick road (after a journey through munchkin country).


Oz in the News 2.8.18

Review: THE PHANTOM OF OZ by Cindy Brown In the tradition of Brown’s previous ‘Ivyntures’, the book is a clever mash-up of stage classics. This time THE WIZARD OF OZ meets THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, with a dash of THE WOMAN IN WHITE thrown in for ghostly good measure. Could there be more familiar stage tropes than these classics? WIZARD is currently represented on Broadway by WICKED, while PHANTOM has just entered its third decade on the Great White Way. Both are rooted in century old fantasy fiction, so it is fitting that Brown returns them to the page – with her own Phoenician flair, of course. Oz was a green planet and Dorothy’s house had been pulled into space through some tornado time warp. The Cowardly Lion looked like a Wookie, the Scarecrow had a sort of big-headed E.T. quality, the Tin Man was based on Marvin, the depressed robot from THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, and the Darryl Hannah replicant character from BLADE RUNNER inspired the look for both the Wicked Witches. Glinda was costumed like one of the babes Captain Kirk was always kissing on the original STAR TREK, and the Wizard wasn’t a cast member at all, just a projection.”

The Dressing Room Podcast In this episode, Tom chats to Jemma Rix – currently starring as “The Wicked Witch of The West” in The Wizard Of Oz, touring all around Australia! Find out how it’s different playing The Wicked Witch in Wizard, Versus Elphaba in Wicked [she’s done both!] 

Oz in the News 1.28.18

Born in Mansfield: Animals who smile – The Legacy of HR McBride and Frank VerBeck Frank VerBeck made a significant contribution to the illustration of classic American literature.  He was chosen by L. Frank Baum to illustrate some of his post-Wizard of Oz books like A New Wonderland and The Magical Monarch of Mo in 1900-1903; and he was the first artist to interpret the Just So stories of Rudyard Kipling when they originally appeared serially in Ladies’ Home Journal.

Recognized as one of the greatest comic animal artists made him a natural to do the pictures for early editions of the Uncle Remus stories.

Oz in the News 1.27.18

Book a Trip to See Literary Maps Should your travels bring you to Cambridge, Massachusetts, this spring, chart a path toward Harvard’s Houghton Library, where Landmarks: Maps as Literary Illustration opened last week. Curated by Peter X. Accardo, the exhibition showcases sixty literary maps that bring to life such imagined places as More’s Utopia and Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood. Included is Professor Wogglebug’s Map of the Marvelous Land of Oz, attributed to L. Frank Baum. From: L. Frank Baum, Tik-Tok of Oz (Chicago, 1914). “This first printed map of the Marvelous Land of Oz presents its four counties in their official colors, but reverses the position of Munchkin and Winkie Counties. The inconsistency is also reflected by the map’s compass points, where East unusually is to the West, and West is to the East.” Credit: Houghton Library, Typ 970.14.1955 – Presented in honor of Dennis C. Marnon, 2018.

Alumni bring Oz collection to Fort Hays State Fort Hays State University alumni Larry and Lyn Fenwick, Macksville, are sharing their collection of Wizard of Oz artifacts with the Hays community. The Fenwick Oz Collection is now available for viewing through Friday, March 16, on the main floor of Fort Hays State University’s Forsyth Library. The collection features rare and unique Wizard of Oz artifacts that match author L. Frank Baum’s vision for the land of Oz and that explore details of the well-loved Kansas story. Characters displayed in the collection are consistent with descriptions given in the book and honor Baum’s original ideas. An exhibit viewing and reception will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, in Forsyth Library. The Fenwicks will present briefly at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Garland in Word and Song Opens Tonight at the Willow Theatre When Judy Garland stepped out onto the stage at Carnegie Hall on April 23, 1961, the raucous standing ovation that greeted her was just the start of what has been called “the greatest night in show business history.” Actress/singer Jody Briskey portrays Garland and recreates that night’s iconic performance at The Willow Theatre at Sugar Sand Park in Boca Raton, Florida, January 26 – February 11, 2018.

Oz in the News 12.7.17

Local music teacher to host launch event for new children’s book Randy L. Schmidt, a music teacher at Adkins Elementary School in Lantana, has written his first children’s book, “Becoming Judy Garland,” a biography he has dedicated to the students of Adkins Elementary. The book explores the early life and career of Garland — originally named Frances Gumm — as she went from vaudeville to movie stardom to the “role of a lifetime” in “The Wizard of Oz,” according to a news release. “I wrote this book because I feel Judy Garland is still relevant to children, even after all these years,” Schmidt said in a prepared statement. “The timeless appeal of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ speaks to today’s kids in the same way it has for nearly 80 years. The Library of Congress says it’s ‘the most watched film ever,’ so most kids know Dorothy’s story, but not necessarily Judy’s. This book brings her extraordinary talent to life again for a new audience of adoring fans.” All Adkins students, their families and the community are invited to the upcoming book dedication and launch party, where Schmidt will read from his book and discuss his love of reading, research and writing. The event is scheduled for Dec. 18 at 6 p.m. in the Adkins Library Learning Center. For more information about Schmidt and his books, click here.

Oz in the News 11.6.17

New Children’s Book ‘Becoming Judy Garland’ Explores The Young Life Of ‘Miss Show Business’ On The Road To Oz Becoming Judy Garland (Tribal Clef Books; November 2017) is the new children’s book from bestselling author Randy L. Schmidt. Readers will discover how Frances Gumm, this “little girl with the BIG voice,” went from vaudeville to movie stardom and landed the role of a lifetime. “I wrote this book because I feel Judy Garland is still relevant to children, even after all these years,” said Schmidt, a longtime music educator. “The timeless appeal of The Wizard of Oz speaks to today’s kids in the same way it has for nearly 80 years. The Library of Congress says it’s ‘the most watched film ever,” so most kids know Dorothy’s story, but not necessarily Judy’s. This book brings her extraordinary talent to life again for a new audience of adoring fans.” A limited-edition hardcover book/CD set is available now through the author’s website. The CD features the audiobook, narrated by Grammy-nominated children’s musician Judy Pancoast, as well as rare recordings by the Gumm Sisters, two “lost” test recordings of Judy at age 12, and a live radio performance of “Over the Rainbow.” For more information or to order the limited-edition set, visit the bookstore at

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 Winners will be chosen randomly from correct responses.

Contest deadline is midnight EST on October 31, 2017