Category Archives: Oz Music

Oz in the News 3.12.17

OVER THE CHASE-BOW Come Sing and Dance for Comic Relief blown away by smash Wizard of Oz performance by the chasers from The Chase VIEWERS of Let’s Sing and Dance for Comic Relief were blown away when the stars of The Chase gave the performance of the night. Hyper intelligent general knowledge quiz masters Mark Labbett (aka The Beast), Anne Hegerty (otherwise known as The Governess), Shaun Wallace (aka The Dark Destroyer) and Jenny Ryan (code name The Vixen) went over the rainbow for a Wizard of Oz performance. Jenny kicked off their performance channelling her inner Judy Garland as she sang a note perfect rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow dressed as Dorothy Gale. She was joined Anne who dressed as the Scarecrow, while Mark got wild to dress up as the cowardly lion, and Shaun provided some shiny excellence as the Tin Man.

Oz in the News 2.21.17

kansascollection_thekey4New Immersive Play Makes You Pick A Side In The Battle For Oz Speakeasy Society’s The Kansas Collection takes place after Dorothy’s departure and focuses on the unrest that grips Oz now that the Wizard has been exposed for a fraud. The Scarecrow and his camp are firmly anti-magic, believing the smoke and mirrors that surrounded the disgraced wizard are the root of Oz’s strife. Unfortunately, this means the new regime has also cracked down on good magic, which, as you recall, was a key element of the witches of the north and south. The audience is left to learn about each faction jockeying for power, and to choose whom they will pledge their allegiance. It can be confusing at times, and there seem to be multiple points at which one can decide to be a double agent. Adding to the disarray is the fact that time flows differently in Oz, meaning you might not be able to trust when you are, let alone who you are with. If starring in your own cloak and dagger, fantastical spy movie sounds appealing to you, you might want to jump on The Kansas Collection before the story progresses too far. Each show lasts about 15 to 20 minutes, but offers space to hang out, socialize, have a glass of wine, and glean information from other guests, who may be on a different path than your own. At $15 a ticket, it’s a deal. If you’re just getting started, you can do a few things. You can read this spoiler-filled recap of The Key here, though this account is only one possible track. If you go, you may have a different outcome. Or, you can wait for Speakeasy Society to re-stage The Key and The Axe, which they are planning to do in March. Get tickets here, or follow them on Twitter for the latest updates here.

What song did John F Kennedy ask Judy Garland to sing to him on the phone? A new memoir by “The Wizard of Oz” star’s third husband Sid Luft, which was crafted from notes Luft left unfinished before he died in 2005, tells how Garland was introduced to JFK by Peter Lawford and his wife Patricia, Kennedy’s younger sister, when Kennedy was a junior senator from Massachusetts. “JFK was young, lanky and extremely outgoing,” writes Luft in “Judy and I: My Life with Judy Garland.” “He asked Peter and Pat to introduce him to ‘Dorothy’ in the flesh.” Garland and Kennedy struck up a friendship, and as Luft wrote: “In the coming years, JFK would ring Judy from either the White House or Camp David and ask her to sing to him over the telephone.” “He’d request ‘Over the Rainbow,’” continued Luft. “Judy was located somewhere in New York and obliged the President with several renditions of his favorite melodies.”

Oz in the News 2.13.17

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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 wearenice.com.au

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