Category Archives: Oz Music

Oz in the News 2.13.17


REVIEW: ‘Dorothy and the Prince of Oz’ by Tulsa Ballet Three years and $1 million in the making, “Dorothy and the Prince of Oz” more than delivers on the magic. Visually, this is a stunning, almost overwhelming, thing to watch unfold, with Basil Twist’s dynamic, animated sets and puppets that fully evoke some amazing places and things, highlighted by Daniel Brodie’s inventive projections and Les Dickert’s sensitive and dramatic lighting. Mark Zappone’s costume’s are as colorful as pocketful of gemstones, and the score assembled by Oliver Peter Graber, mixing pieces by Glazunov, Bartok, Ravel, Grieg, Scriabin and others and tied together with Graber’s original compositions, was in spite of its patchwork nature, richly dramatic and cohesive. Choreographer Edwaard Liang, who created Tulsa Ballet’s new production of “Romeo and Juliet” in 2012, worked with Graber to devise an original story for “Dorothy and Prince of Oz,” inspired by sections of Baum’s final Oz book, “Glinda of Oz,” and his choreography tells this fairly complex tale clearly and concisely, crowned by a series of duets that are as incredibly demanding as they are emotionally expressive.

Oz in the News 2.2.17

elements-of-ozElements of Oz: Producing Live Video and Interactive Theater “One of the initial inspirations for the app was creating an analog for the escapist nature of “Oz” in the devices we carry with us to escape reality on a daily basis. We also were interested in what the contemporary equivalent of Technicolor would be — and that’s where we think AR fit. The app has two basic modes — one for outside the show, and one for during the performance. If the user isn’t at the show, it provides some information about the show and has some basic AR effects — a storm (to precede the cyclone) and a few simple target-based augmentations that can be used with images from the original book’s illustrations. Once the audience comes to the show, we switch the phones into what we called “active” mode, which allowed us to trigger events based on the action on stage. The phones were connected to a single cueing server on the network, which allowed us to synchronize the behavior for the entire audience. At various times, we’d play video (like our “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” YouTube chorus) and audio clips or send text and images. In several key scenes, we would trigger augmented reality scenes, layering over the view of the stage with CG elements, like a tornado, blossoming poppies, flying monkeys, etc. It allowed us to create visual elements all around the viewer, too, not just between the viewer and the performers.”

The wizard of Emerald City “I was filming Magnificent 7 and I heard that Tarsem was doing Emerald City and was going to direct all ten episodes. So I asked right away: “Is The Wizard cast?”  They said “no” and so I immediately called my agent. ‘Get Tarsem on the phone. I want to play to The Wizard. If he’ll let me, I want to play it.’”

Musical wizard Todrick Hall heads to Oz Broadway star and newly minted RuPaul’s Drag Race judge Todrick Hall is heading to Australia with his Straight Outta Oz tour this June. Don’t miss this incredible talent at The Astor Theatre on Thursday 1st June. Tickets on sale from Tuesday 7th February at

Lions And Tigers And Bears? Meh. These 5 Scenes From ‘The Wizard Of Oz’ Are Still Creepy The Wizard of Oz has been a personal film favorite since I first saw it at the age of four. It is absolutely timeless, one hell of a production, and it still blows my mind to think that this movie came out in 1939. It’s the weird and #scary scenes that always intrigued me the most, along with the fantastic set pieces, storytelling, singing and dancing. But there are five #WizardofOz scenes in particular that are most memorable because of the oddness and fear they induced.

Oz in the News 12.24.16

imageREVIEW: Wizard show takes you over the rainbow The arrival at the Emerald City was camp, glitzy and glamourous, and you’d expect nothing less from a dance number lead by the island’s very own stage star Gary Chatel who plays the Wizard. My own children loved the panto, they laughed a lot at the jokes and booed and hissed in the right places. The ‘Mastermind quiz’ scene with the Tin Man with the Emerald City Guard was a particular favourite. The Wicked Witch of the West, played by David Dawson was a cross between an evil witch and a glamourous drag queen, and he played the part of the ‘baddie’ extremely well. The flying monkeys were almost as scary as I remember from the original movie. There was great music throughout the show, with classic tunes merged with pop such as ‘Ease on down the road’ leading Dorothy to The Emerald City. They even incorporated tunes from other musicals like ‘Pure Imagination’ from ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ as well as updating more iconic songs such as ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’.

Oz in the News 12.19.16

landscape-1482142290-screen-shot-2016-12-19-at-101127Wizard of Oz revamp Emerald City finds a home in the UK – here’s how you can watch  Emerald City – a dramatic reinvention of the Wizard of Oz story – will be hurtling its way to the UK early next year. 5STAR has announced it will air the 10-part series – starring Adria Arjona (Pacific Rim 2) as Dorothy and Vincent D’Onofrio (Daredevil) as the Wizard – in 2017. Put aside memories of Judy Garland and cheerful musical numbers – this is the Oz stories revamped as a Game of Thrones-style fantasy epic.  “We’re thrilled to be bringing Emerald City to 5STAR in 2017,” said Katie Keenan, Head of Acquisitions for Channel 5 and VIMN UK. “Our viewers will love this retelling of a classic story for a contemporary audience. The series is a fantastic addition to 5STAR’s growing slate of successful drama acquisitions.”

“Secrets Of Oz” is the 5th visual off of William Cooper’s sophomore album “God’s Will” which has been awarded “Independent Album Of The Year” at The Underground Music Awards and features guest appearances from Rah Digga, Sean Price, Ill Bill, Killah Priest, Sticky Fingaz and more. “God’s Will” is available worldwide on CD and all digital formats. When speaking to William Cooper about the video he said, “This is by far my favorite song/video I have ever released to this point in my career. This is a very heavy song that may have went over many listener’s heads so I am excited to have such an amazing visual to project the song’s brilliance. I hope my die hard supporters will really enjoy this one.”

Oz in the News 12.5.16

Oz in the News 11.10.16


Check out this Texas school’s magical Wizard of Oz garden From Pam Collins’ tiny seed, a fantasy garden grew. “I thought there would be a few chairs over here and two or three trees over there. Now look at this,” she says with wonder. It’s the Garden of Oz. There’s a grand entrance, a yellow brick road and a shed with the striped stocking legs of the Wicked Witch of the East sticking out. A life-sized Tin Man presides over all. There’s also an outdoor classroom, a music wall with wood and plastic instruments, raised garden beds, a rainwater reclamation system and benches.The garden, a gift from the Celina Garden Club, opened in late October at Celina Elementary School.

The front row: Review of Goodspeed’s ‘Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz’ As Judy, Ruby Rakos has a marvelous voice: she can belt with the best of them, and she can also infuse a ballad with sweetness, longing and heartbreak. Rakos also manages that nearly impossible task of beautifully evoking young Garland without impersonating her. Kevin Earley, as Garland’s father, Frank, gives a simultaneously tender and towering performance as a desperate man, unable to provide stability for his family and hiding a painful secret. The strongest song in the show, and the most powerful scene, is Earley’s delivery of “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows.” Sally Wilfert, as Ethel Gumm, embodies the wounded wife and the stage mother who really cares about her children’s success. Ella Briggs (“Baby” Frances Gumm”) not only sings with the power and nuance that young Judy had, but she is also a marvelous actor whose scenes with her father, in particular, are only cute when they are meant to be; more often, they are honest and affecting.

Storybook Cosmetics Teases Wizard of Oz Makeup Palettes First of all, the packaging is gorgeous and resembles and emerald, leatherbound book with gold embossing. The shades on the back include Poppy, Wicked, Good Witch, Emerald City, Oz, Cyclone, Yellow Brick Road, and Toto. Judging by the names and sizes of the pans, we can expect eight eyeshadows in rich jewel tones that shine bright. (We’re particularly excited to see how Poppy turns out, given that burgundy eye makeup is at the top of our “looks to try” list this year.)

Oz in the News 10.27.16

yip_harburg_ca-_1950E.Y. Yip Harburg: Blacklisted Left Wing Songwriter  Arthur Freed was a songwriter and aspiring producer with MGM studios. After the success of Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Freed lobbied MGM to produce a similar movie based on L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He made sure Judy Garland got the role of Dorothy. On May 19, 1938 Arlen and Harburg signed a contract with MGM to write the songs for The Wizard of Oz for $25,000. Although Freed was far to his right politically, he allowed Harburg to make the Munchkins members in good standing of a labor union! Harburg had much to do with the seamless integration of songs and plot. In three weeks he and Arlen had written “Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead,” “We’re off to see the Wizard,” and “If I Only Had a Brain/ a Heart/ the Nerve.” They had written all the songs for the movie in just a few weeks leaving two months to come up with the final composition, a ballad for Judy Garland. Judy’s attitude towards songwriters had been made clear when Irving Berlin tried to tell her how to sing one of his songs in another movie. She told him, “You write ’em; I’ll sing ’em.”

The Man Behind the Curtain: The Creation of the Land of Oz The Onondaga Historical Association will host a one man performance of THE MAN BEHIND THE CURTAIN, written and performed by J.D. Newman. The play follows of the creation of THE LAND OF OZ and the memorable characters Dorothy, the Scare Crow, the Tin Man, the Lion, and Toto as originally conceived by author L. Frank Baum. The piece also details the personal journey of Baum, a native New Yorker and author, as he finds his way in the world, receives encouragement from his mother-in-law, suffragette Matilda Joslyn Gage, and enjoys commercial success with “THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ.” The performance will be on Saturday, October 29th, at 1:00pm at OHA’s Auditorium at 321 Montgomery Street, Syracuse, NY and will last approximately 90 minutes.

‘Wizard of Oz’ Halloween houses amaze in Snohomish A Highlands East cul-de-sac recreated the ‘Wizard of Oz’ in Halloween houses to support the Snohomish County Food Bank. Residents go all out on decorations, starting with the Kansas farmhouse in black and white and ending with home sweet home and a hot air balloon. Visitors take a complete tour of the classic 1930s movie. They have Munchkinland, poppy fields, a witch’s castle – even a moving tornado. The decorations are on display now, and neighbors will dress up as the Wizard of Oz characters on Halloween night. Last year, crowds topped 1,000 people.