Category Archives: Oz Music

Oz in the News 8.12.17

EASTENDERS’ Aaron Sidwell to Join the WICKED 2018 UK & Ireland Tour WICKED, the West End and Broadway musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, is delighted to announce that EastEnders star Aaron Sidwellwill play Fiyero on the forthcoming return engagement of the spectacular, critically acclaimed and multi record-breaking UK & Ireland Tour in 2018. Aaron Sidwell is currently playing ‘Steven Beale’ in the BBC’s EastEnders, a role he originally played in 2007/08. His many musical theatre appearances include Grey Gardens (Southwark Playhouse), American Idiot (Arts Theatre, London) and the leading role of ‘Michael Dork’ in Loserville The Musical (West Yorkshire Playhouseand in the West End). Aaron Sidwell is scheduled to appear at all venues. The full UK & Ireland Tour cast will be announced in September.

Oz in the News 8.10.17

‘Wizard of Oz’ fest takes Southland down yellow brick road “Dorothy’s story is a journey that everyone can relate to,” said Ryan Jay, a film critic and Oz historian who hosted interviews on stage at the event. “No matter how much the world changes in terms of technology, her experience remains universal.” He said it’s appropriate for the Wizard of Oz Fest to be held in the Chicago area because it’s where L. Frank Baum wrote “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” which was first published in 1900. Besides the 1939 film based on the novel, Jay said the Oz stories continue to spawn different adaptations, including an upcoming film based on the popular Broadway show “Wicked.” Baum went on to write 13 more novels based on the Land of Oz, including “Return to Oz,” which was adapted as a live action film by Disney and released in 1985. Emma Ridley, one of the stars of that film, was at Odyssey signing photos of the character she played, Princess Ozma. “It’s so great seeing the next generation of Oz fans,” she said. The British-born actress said she has had fun being part of the Oz family and traveling to conventions around the country. Also at the event was Mary Ellen St. Aubin, whose late husband, Parnell St. Aubin, starred as one of the 124 “munchkins” in the 1939 film. “It’s been very interesting,” St. Aubin, 96, said of representing her husband during Oz events. “I get to meet new people every year.”

New musical adaptation of ‘Wizard of Oz’ Munchkins and monkeys and mice, oh my! These creatures and more fill the Orinda Community Center Park Amphitheater as the story of “Wizard of Oz” unfolds through Aug. 12. Presented by the Orinda Starlight Village Players, this show is a new musical adaptation by Malcolm Cowler, who also directs. The multitalented Cowler also wrote the lyrics for the 10 songs and created a three-dimensional land of Oz using RPG computer graphics. The clever graphics, which fill the backstage wall, add much to the production. Christopher Kula and Ray Christensen composed the music, while Jill Gelster and Marian Simpson did the costumes with help from East Bay Children’s Theater and Bay Area Stage.

 

Oz in the News 7.31.17

Two characters from The Wizard of Oz coming to Vynl in October Two characters from The Wizard of Oz are coming to Funko’s Vnyl range this October. Fans of the classic movie, which starred Judy Garland, will be able to add Dorothy and Scarecrow to their collection. The pack also includes Dorothy’s trusty companion Toto, who is integral to the movie. We’ve got our fingers crossed that some of Dorothy’s other companions will be added to the collection in the near future!

Australian actress chosen for Wizard of Oz Dreams really do come true for Melbourne actress Samantha Leigh Dodemaide who has just landed the role of Dorothy in an upcoming Australian stage production of the Wizard of Oz, beating more than 400 actresses. ‘I remember watching MGM musicals on a Saturday afternoon with my Mum and that’s how I got my love of music theatre, from Judy Garland, Doris Day, the classics, and who better to be inspired by than them? The Wizard of Oz was definitely a favourite,’ she said. ‘If Toto needs to share my dressing room I’m more than happy for that to happen as well.’

 

Oz in the News 7.26.17

Classic Film Scores Featured on Judy Garland: Soundtracks, Out Today Mint Audio Records is proud to announce the release on July 25, 2017 of a new 2-CD 48-track set, Judy Garland: Soundtracks. Remastered by renowned U.K. audio engineer Richard Moore, compiled by Lawrence Schulman and Scott Brogan, with sleeve notes by Brogan and photos from the collection of Schulman, the collection includes Garland’s greatest movie hits, including four outtakes, from 1929 to 1961. Painstakingly restored, the compilation offers listeners a 21st century audio experience that far outshines previous releases.  The 12-page brochure includes track research by Schulman, and the 6-page sleeve notes by Brogan, who is founder of the websites The Judy Room, the Judy Garland Online Discography, and Judy Garland News and Events, delve into Garland’s soundtrack recordings as never before.

Oz in the News 6.29.17

Liza Minnelli Gushes Life With Mom Judy Garland Was Like Living in a “Land of Dreams” “[It was like living in] the land of dreams,” Liza, 71 — whose father was Judy’s second husband, Vincente Minnelli — said of being raised by her famous mom. “She was really amazing,” Joey, 62, told Closer. “And she loved all of us a lot.” “As long as Mama was there, everything would be fine,” Lorna, 64, added. “If she was happy, she wasn’t just happy. She was ecstatic. And when she was sad, she was sadder than anyone. There were no middles,” Liza said.

Recording registry honors ‘Over the Rainbow’ Earlier this spring, the Library of Congress designated Garland’s 1939 version of “Over the Rainbow” as an aural treasure worthy of preservation on the National Recording Registry. The library said the recording is one of best-known ballads of all time, expressing a poignant yearning for escape. “It represents everyone’s wondering why things can’t be a little better,” Garland explained in a 1967 interview, two years before her death. Lyricist E. Y. “Yip” Harburg settled on the image of the rainbow as the “only colorful thing” Dorothy had ever seen in her life — until she found herself in the Land of Oz.

Oz in the News 6.10.17

Wizard of Oz Festival Gets Underway in Grand Rapids The 42nd annual Wizard of Oz Festival got underway in Grand Rapids on Thursday. Festivities began with a tea party and live music inside Judy Garland’s historic childhood home. Friday night, The Wizard of Oz will play outside on a jumbo screen on the Evergreen Terrace lawn next to the museum. Organizers say this event brings in people from across the country each year to remember Garland’s legacy and celebrate the timeless film. “France has the Mona Lisa, America has The Wizard of Oz,” says John Kelsch, director of the Judy Garland Museum. “It’s so much a part of our culture. It’s an American masterpiece.” The Emerald City Fest on Saturday will feature free carriage rides and games for kids. There are also some new exhibits at the museum featuring the ruby red slippers and the munchkins.

‘Over the Rainbow’: 10 things to know about classic American song It has been a classic in the Great American Songbook from the moment it was released on August 15, 1939. Today, thanks to pop star Ariana Grande, “Over the Rainbow” will forever be linked to the Manchester terrorist attack. Grande, whose concert on May 22 was followed by the deadly bombing which so far has claimed nearly two dozen lives, came back to Manchester this week to perform a benefit concert. And she built the show around the dreamy Somewhere, releasing the “Wizard of Oz” cover song as a single with all proceeds going to the victims. The song she chose to honor those who died and were injured in the bombing is a dazzling bit of emotion-laden songwriting. Here are some things Ariana Grande fans may not know about this true American beauty.

Review: Judy!, at Arts Theatre Each Judy stays in her time zone but all three will often share a number. Though they don’t set out to imitate Judy, some numbers do sound amazingly like her and all echo her spirit and vitality. The proscenium staging turns them more noticeably into performance numbers than in the earlier stagings and they are delivered with powerful emotion and theatrical panache.

Nostalgia with Craig Bennett – Judy Garland https://omny.fm/shows/george-and-paul/nostalgia-with-craig-bennett-judy-garland/embed?style=artwork

Oz in the News 6.6.17

Ariana Grande’s Mom on her Daughter’s Conviction and the Emotional Story Behind ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ “I didn’t know she was going to sing it,” Joan Grande tells Variety, explaining that the song had special significance for the family. “It’s an emotional story: my father passed away two and half years ago, and that was the song she sang for him after he passed.” Though Grande had sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” as a child, and in private throughout the years, the song had never been part of her stage show as a pop singer. So to debut it at such an emotional show had even more significance.

Australia is Searching for the Newest Dorothy for THE WIZARD OF OZ Tour The world’s favourite musical The Wizard of Oz is returning for an Australian tour later this year, starring Anthony Warlow as The Wizard and Professor Marvel, Lucy Durack as Glinda the Good Witch and Jemma Rix as The Wicked Witch of the West. But who will wear the Ruby Slippers of Dorothy? Producers John Frost and SuzAnne Jones are looking for a new young star to take on the role of Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, with auditions later this month. Applications for auditions are now open and close on 11 June – see details at the website wizardofozthemusical.com/auditions

Seth Sikes on why Judy Garland is (and will forever be) the greatest star of all “It’s rather simple – she was the greatest entertainer of all time. When her throat opens up to sing, the world stands still. It’s not really a talent you have to explain to people, they just hear it, they see her, and they usually say, ‘Oh my god.’ I don’t think that’s ever going to change since we have so much footage and recordings. As long as there are humans she will continue to be loved, because somehow all of humanity lived in that voice.”

If he only had a ride: Wizard of Oz’s Tin Man charged with DWI, Police say A Cortland man dressed up as the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz was charged with aggravated driving while intoxicated Sunday. Nicholas E. Sherman, 31, was charged by New York state police with aggravated DWI. Sherman told police he was hired to portray a “Wizard of Oz” character for a business during the village of Chittenango’s OzStravaganza, which was held over the weekend. He still had his makeup on for the role when he was arrested. Festival organizers said he was not an “official” Oz cast member.