Category Archives: Oz Theatre

Oz in the News 6.20.17

For These Kansas City Puppeteers, Finding Something New In ‘Oz’ Means Toto Has To Go “Being in Kansas — holy crap — we just get inundated,” says Matt Hawkins, the puppet designer for Paul Mesner Puppet Theater’s production of The Wizard of Oz. “Every truck stop is full of Wizard of Oz.” So why would Mike Horner, the company’s artistic director, bother with yet another production of the story? “We look for titles people want to see and are familiar with. So, The Wizard of Oz, everybody knows it. And it lends itself well to adaption in puppetry,” Horner says. “When you can make a Tin Man that looks robotic and obviously isn’t some guy in a shiny suit, that’s part of the magic of puppetry.” Hawkins is a Kansas City paper sculptor who has created 3-D cardboard Star Wars puzzles for Costco and high-end art for Walt Disney World galleries. This was his first foray into puppet design. The Paul Mesner Puppet Theater’s The Wizard of Oz, June 20 through July 9 at Musical Theater Heritage at Crown Center, 2450 Grand Blvd, Suite 301, Kansas City, Missouri, 64108.

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.

 

Oz in the News 5.29.17

BRIGHTON FRINGE: Sh*t-faced Showtime: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Guided by energetic facilitator and crowd warmer, in sequins and glittered leggings, the audience is let in on the alcohol levels that the unlucky participant has consumed. Various audience members are given oddball instruments to make noise when they sense a sobering in the performer and another drink will be served. The story is the simple Wizard of Oz, told in and around a cardboard cut-out of a dilapidated house, complete with ramshackle props all entirely reminiscent of a nativity play in which schoolchildren have been left unsupervised to raid the dressing up box. There is even a pathetic hand puppet of Toto, who is often left behind in all of the madness and suddenly remembered, whilst being on the zany path of the yellow brick road.

The Girl From Oz Courtney Act, the Australian you’re tolerating slightly more than Iggy Azalea, takes you over the rainbow and down under in her new show: The Girl from OZ! Chock full of hits and high notes this show will leave realizing there’s no place like her home! Get ready to travel over the rainbow and go down under with her cabaret The Girl From Oz which opened this summer in Provincetown, MA, with seasons booked in across Australia, North America and Europe in 2017.

REVIEW: Judy!, Arts Theatre If there were ever a case of a show being utterly transformed by choice of venue, then this is it. This original biography of Judy Garland, a labour of love by the theatre’s founder and director, Ray Rackham, started as a small-scale fringe play in the old 60-seater London Theatre Workshop space above The Eel Brook public house on the New King’s Road; there, it was involving and surprising, with its criss-crossing telling of three different narrative strands, each taken by a different actress playing the lead, and with actor-musicians accompanying themselves and each other on a set made up on showbiz paraphernalia and knick-knacks. Then, emboldened by its success, the vigorously re-worked production transferred to the large 240-seat space at Southwark Playhouse, where it was given in a thrust-stage configuration, again with the audience feeling involved and emotionally at one with the central destinies of the title figure. The production attracted widespread interest and ecstatic reviews. It seemed nothing could stand in its way.

Wizard of Oz: Magic Match Updated: New Regions & Hourglass Hazard Wizard of Oz: Magic Match is a free iOS and Android match-three puzzle game based off of the movie The Wizard of Oz. This game was just updated on May 11, 2017, and there are a few new items in this update. The first new feature for Wizard of Oz: Magic Match is a new region, and you will find a ton of prizes and rewards in the new region. The Wicked Witch will now be fighting off Glinda in a Team Battle event. There is also a new Hourglass hazard that is rolling out, and new levels are added to this game every single week. If this match-three puzzle game sounds like fun, read on to learn more about this game. We will also be giving you some tips, hints, and tricks to help you get through the levels with ease.

Troxel’s reopens with music, Oz-themed mini-golf Victor Troxel has been a little bit of a wizard – at least when it comes to his newly-reopened “Rock Garden”. He now has a Wizard of Oz-theme to his miniature golf course, complete with a yellow brick road and a scarecrow, tin man and lion. He started the re-opening with drinks, cupcakes and music at noon. By 2 p.m., he was already pleased with the turnout. “We started at noon and we have had people ever since,” he said. One thing he was happy about was the way “Spiderman” was being received. “He has been getting hugs from kids. I wish I had brought a camera,” he said as he paused briefly.

Oz in the News 5.26.17

Sweet Oz! Meet the magical new stars of West End’s Wicked Alice Fearn and Sophie Evans will undertake the leading roles of green witch Elphaba and good witch Glinda – Bradley Jaden will slip into the tight white jodhpurs as Winky prince Fiyero. Melanie La Barrie, Andy Hockley, Jack Lansbury and Laura Pick will play Madame Morrible, The Wizard, Boq and Standby for Elphaba respectively. They join current cast members Martin Ball (Doctor Dillamond), Sarah McNicholas (Nessarose) and Carina Gillespie (Standby for Glinda). They join a full cast of Wicked, including Jennie Abbotts, Ashley Birchall, Nicole Carlisle, Nicholas Corre, Conor Crown, Kerry Enright, Aimée Fisher, Joseph Fletcher, Alexandra Grierson, Katy Hanna, Tom Andrew Hargreaves, Olivia Kate Holding, Claudia Kariuki, Will Lucas, James McHugh, Danny Michaels, Ellie Mitchell, Rosa O’Reilly, Matt Parsons, Alex Pinder, Sam Robinson, Paulo Teixeira, Samantha Thomas, Hannah Toy, Russell Walker, Sasha Wareham and Libby Watts.

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 5.1.17

MasterPieces and Warner Bros. Consumer Products Partner for The Wizard of Oz Puzzles and Games Led by the new MasterPieces’ The Wizard of Oz Emerald City-Opoly (MSRP $29.99 for ages 8 and up), the classic story of The Wizard of Oz is played out in a fun new opoly-style board game. In The Wizard of Oz Emerald City-Opoly players will appreciate MasterPieces intricately detailed six pewter playing pieces, including Ruby Slippers™, as well as fun facts, movie moments, and character quotes on the back of each property card, as they make their way along the YELLOW BRICK ROAD™ board on an EMERALD CITY™ adventure. In the game, players can collect favorite characters, including SCARECROW™, TIN MAN™, COWARDLY LION™, and many others, while trying to avoid the castle of the WICKED WITCH™ and her field of poppies, as they prepare to meet the famous WIZARD OF OZ™ and discover THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME™ to win the game.The new Emerald City-Opoly is joined by MasterPieces The Wizard of Oz puzzles that include the company’s award-winning (Dr. Toy 2016) panoramic style puzzle scape and two of MasterPieces specially designed book box packaged products.

VIDEO: Behind The Scenes Peek At The Design Process For Judy Garland Musical JUDY! Episode two of a series of three short documentaries is released today, prior to the official opening of the biographical musical Judy!, charting the turbulent life of acclaimed chanteuse Judy Garland. It opens this May at the Arts Theatre. The second episode features interviews with writer/director Ray Rackham, together with contributions from Lea Steedman (hair and make-up), Millie Hobday (costume), Tom Paris (set) and Jack Weir (lights), and was filmed by West End Video at the Arts Theatre. Ray Rackham said: “Without the designers, the show doesn’t come to life. I am incredibly fortunate to have assembled around me some of the most up-and-coming designers currently working in the theatre. It’s so fascinating to hear their thoughts on how the work and the challenges and triumphs a show like Judy! can bring.”

From opera to Oz! Anthony Warlow set to star in new stage production of The Wizard of Oz Blessed with a thrilling voice, Anthony’s versatility has enthralled Australian audiences ever since his 1981 debut with the Australian Opera at the age of 19 in Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His lengthy stage credits include creating the role of Dr Yurii Zhivago in Doctor Zhivago: The Musical (2011), and as Oliver ‘Daddy’ Warbucks in the Australian tours of Annie (2000 and 2012). He also performed the title role of The Phantom of the Opera (1990 and 2007-2008), and most recently starred as Tevye in Fiddler On The Roof. Anthony made his Broadway debut as Daddy Warbucks in Annie in 2013, and has since divided his time between Australia and the US. ‘It’s been 16 years since the last Australian tour of The Wizard of Oz,’ said producer John Frost, on behalf of his co-producers. He finished: ‘It’s wonderful for Queensland to have the Australian Premiere and we are looking forward to a couple of weeks rehearsals there, with hopefully a chance for the cast and creative teams to enjoy some of Queensland’s natural beauty.’