Category Archives: Oz Theatre

Oz in the News 8.18.17

This ‘Oz’ production isn’t what you’d expect, but that’s what makes it magical Lake Simons, a masterful New York-based puppetry artist and daughter of Hip Pocket Theatre co-founders Johnny and Diane Simons, returns for her annual show at her parents’ theater, this time for “The Land of Oz,” adapted from L. Frank Baum’s “The Marvelous Land of Oz,” the second in his series of Oz books that begins with “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Lake Simons is well-versed in many puppetry styles, but for the past 10 years or so, she has focused on hand-held techniques and object manipulation. Here, not only do we see the terrific Jack Pumpkinhead, we see it assembled and come to life onstage. Same with the Saw-Horse. They’re both magical.Lake Simons’ collaborator John Dyer composed and plays original music, with some help on vocals from Dean, Camp and Elysia Worcester. The music is playful, and carries the narrative like a toy boat on a smooth, fast-flowing stream.

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 8.4.17

Repaving the Yellow Brick Road in ingenious “Bricklayers of Oz” There is something about “The Bricklayers of Oz,” dancer-choreographer Jessica Deahr’s ingenious new hip-hop dance-theater piece for Chicago Dance Crash, that is so imaginative, so playfully revisionist, so of the moment in its biting social commentary, and so superbly realized by all the artists involved, that it feels like an instant classic all its own. Sophisticated enough to please any adult, and propulsive and glittery enough to captivate young audiences, it should enjoy a life far beyond its current brief engagement through Aug. 5 at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Info: http://www.chicagodancecrash.com

Wizard of Oz Fest returns to Tinley Park Activities will include performances by the Spirit of Oz costumed characters, talks by John Fricke, noted Wizard of Oz historian and author, an interactive talk titled “All About Oz” with Jane Albright, president of the International Wizard of Oz Club, pie-eating contests and singing competitions. Contestants can try their hand at imitating the Wicked Witch of the West’s distinctive cackle in one competition that will be held. Visitors can walk along a recreated Yellow Brick Road, and in the Dorothy Gale Farm Area there will be hay rides, pony rides and petting zoo. There will also be an opportunity to shoot, using an air cannon, stalks of corn at targets, or race rubber ducks.nThe fest offers a number of food and craft vendors, and costumed Wizard of Oz characters mingling with the crowd. More information is at midwestozfest.com.

Oz in the News 8.3.17

Allison Mack on How Smallville Prepared Her To Get Lost in Oz “I think anytime you’re playing something that’s either true-to-life or something that’s existed for a long period of time, there’s a lot of responsibility but also a lot of privilege in that because it’s just a minefield of goodies and ideas and backstory and things that other people other people have laid out and you’re actualizing,” Mack told ComicBook.com. “So it feels like you’re being indoctrinated into this really cool club with people who have been creating these stories about these great characters for such a long time. I think we always had that feeling on Smallville, that we’re honoring something that has really influenced the culture and society for a long time. And Lost in Oz has that same feeling as well.”

Hollywood Moms Bring Their Kids to ‘Lost in Oz’ Premiere! Jordana Brewster and Jamie-Lynn Sigler pose for a photo with their sons while attending the premiere of the new Amazon Prime Video series Lost in Ozon Tuesday afternoon (August 1) at NeueHouse in Hollywood. Soleil Moon Frye was their with her daughters while Shiri Appleby attended solo.

 

 

Wicked: the 16th longest running London show WICKED, the West End musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, will tonight play its 4567th performance at the Apollo Victoria Theatre, surpassing the triumphant run of Billy Elliot The Musical to become the 16th longest running show in London theatre history.

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 7.20.17

‘West End Bares’ Is Back – With Lots Of Nudity And A ‘Wizard Of Oz’ Theme West End Bares is back, and it’s not in Kansas any more … Now in its eighth year, the West End’s hottest annual fundraiser returns this October in the new Wizard of Oz-themed show Ruby Strippers, which will see more than 100 of the hottest performers from the West End stage and beyond, along with an array of celebrity hosts, as they take to the stage to combine the naughtiness of burlesque with the magic of the West End. Friends of Dorothy will be thrilled to see these stunning West End performers kitted out like scarecrows and tin men, with skimpier outfits of course. All of the money raised by the show will go to The Make A Difference Trust to fund HIV and Aids projects that raise awareness, educate and provide care and support in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa. Tickets for are now on sale and are priced from £15 to £100. Click here for more information.