Category Archives: Oz Theatre

Oz in the News 11.28.17

Basha: Dancing Down the Yellow Brick Road Basha’s father worked with a man named Joe who was married to one of the little people from the Wizard of Oz. (In fact it was Joe’s wife who taught Basha the Mexican Hat Dance!) When Basha met them she was in her teens and had her first real break through on the glories of the Wizard of Oz. Now the Wizard of Oz has encompassed every part of her life. She is close, personal friends with a number of the little people. Clarence Swensen (a soldier); Carl Slover (a trumpeter); Jerry Marlin (a lollipop kid); Margaret Pellegrini (one of the flower pot’s that opened to reveal a “sleepy head”); Raabe Meinhart (the coroner) and Donna Steward Hardway (one of the few child-actors that played a munchkin) are among her many Wizard of Oz character friends. Basha’s home is loaded with authentic and fabulous Wizard of Oz collectibles.

‘The Wizard of Oz’ to return to Syracuse Stage after almost 15 years Dorothy, the Wicked Witch of the West and the magical kingdom of Oz will call Syracuse Stage home for the holidays. The production of “The Wizard of Oz” opens on Friday at 8 p.m. at the Syracuse Stage/SU Drama Complex, located on the corner of East Genesee Street and Irving Avenue, and will run until Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018. “I am staying more true to L. Frank Baum’s original intentions,” Donna Drake said. “The only thing that is a little bit reimagined about this production is that we are bringing in a lot of circus and aerial arts and groundwork into this production. So, it will be quite a spectacle to see.” A lecture on Dec. 6 at 1 p.m. will feature two-time Emmy winner John Fricke, who, Whelan said, is known as the “world’s preeminent ‘Wizard of Oz’ and Judy Garland historian and author.” The lecture will also feature panels by the Onondaga Historical Association.

Australian theatre star Jemma Rix to star in new Wizard of Oz After stunning audiences in her role as Elphaba in Wicked, Jemma Rix now steals the stage as the Wicked Witch from the West in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s production of The Wizard of Oz. She joins 4BC’s Ray Hadley in the studio to discuss her role and how she maintains her vocal health performing in such intense productions.

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Oz in the News 10.3.17

Judy Garland’s Final Concert Will Be Released for the First Time in 2018 An audio recording of film star and gay icon Judy Garland’s final concert, captured three months before her death in Copenhagen, will be released following a high-definition transfer and restoration from a Denmark radio broadcast. Garland’s performance at Falkoner Centret on March 25, 1969, featured a set list that included “Get Happy,” “The Man That Got Away,” and “Over the Rainbow”: the song she introduced in the 1939 movie musical The Wizard of Oz that became her signature. The release will also include two newly-discovered tracks from a recording made by the concert hall itself: “Till the Clouds Roll By” and “Am I Blue?” (both duets with Johnny Ray). The recording will be made available in several high-definition formats, including DSD, PCM, and as a physical disc.

Wicked celebrates twelfth year Wicked, the smash hit musical that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, flies into its 12th year at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre. The much-loved musical will become the 15th longest running show in London theatre history on 19th October 2017, when it surpasses the run of We Will Rock You. In celebration of the production’s birthday, a series of stunning new principal cast portraits, by photographer Darren Bell, have been released.

Oz in the News 9.28.17

A terrifying Halloween event based on The Wizard of Oz is taking place in a Welsh derelict chapel The teams’ aim is to escape terrors from the 1939 Judy Garland film featuring the Lion, Witch, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Munchkins, winged monkeys and more, all set in a universe where things have gone terribly wrong. It’s the brainchild of Toby Brandon, creative director of Twins of Evil Attractions, who said: “You think of the word ‘Oz’ and you think of The Wizard of Oz. Regardless of where you are from or how old you are. It’s probably one of biggest films in the world, so I thought ‘how can I take it and really twist it?’ Toby was coy on what exactly it is, but said there will be a “world record” involved in the scary event.

Five things you didn’t know about “Over the Rainbow”  #3 – Less than a year after The Wizard of Oz premiered, MGM used the song again in another film, the social comedy The Philadelphia Story. Katherine Hepburn, playing a wealthy socialite on the eve of her wedding, and James Stewart, a tabloid reporter sent to get a scoop on the event, share a drunken midnight swim at her family estate. As he carries her back to the house, Stewart sings a garbled version of the song:“Some day over the rainbow,” he croons, much to the delight of a groggy Hepburn.

Cast Announced For Wicked 2018 Uk & Ireland Tour Audiences across the country can look forward to seeing a cast including the likes of Amy Ross (Elphaba) and Helen Woolf (Glinda) Defying Gravity as the magnificent musical Wicked tours in 2018. Ross, who most recently starred as in fellow West End hits Kinky Boots (as Nicola) and Sunny Afternoon (playing Joyce), and Woolf (Wicked, West End), will be joined by the likes of Steven Pinder (The Wizard and Doctor Dillamond), Kim Ismay (Madame Morrible), Emily Shaw (Nessarose), Iddon Jones (Boq) and Nikki Bentley (Standby for Elphaba), along with the previously announced Aaron Sidwell (Fiyero), in leading the cast of the forthcoming return engagement of Wicked’s UK & Ireland Tour in 2018.

Oz in the News 9.22.17

Why ‘Wicked’ Is A Sneaky Story That Celebrates A Free Society I was quite suspicious of it going in, because I sensed, from reading reviews, that it had a political slant. And the first few moments of the performance were a bit uncomfortable. However, I soon realized that there is a blue-pill way of viewing “Wicked.” That’s what most people will come away with, and probably what the creators of the musical intended. Broadway, and the theater community in general, is notoriously friendly to progressive, feminist, LGBT themes. However, there is a red-pill way to view “Wicked,” and once you start viewing it this way, you can’t un-see it. Generally speaking, works of art should be apolitical mirrors that show us distilled deeper truth than we usually see in daily life. So it is with “Wicked.”

Oz in the News 9.8.17

We’ve been to see the West End’s new Wicked to see whether its worth you getting a ticket If you’ve always wanted to see Wicked, have heard friends or family rave about it, or you’re just aware of Wicked’s reputation and its 100+ major international awards, then you should definitely get a ticket to see this cast who have taken to their roles like ducks to water. And their performances are so fresh and appealing that Wicked aficionados won’t want to miss another trip to the theatre either.

Meet The New West End Cast Of WICKED! Hockley is proud to be carrying on a grand tradition of Welsh Wizards, following in the footsteps of Des Barrit and Martyn Ellis, both of whom he’d seen in the show. So was the Wizard of Oz in fact from the Valleys? Hockley laughs: “Maybe there’s something that Gregory Maguire‘s not telling us in the book!”

10 QUESTIONS WITH THE NEW CAST OF WICKED At the show’s recent media night, we put the new Wicked London cast of 2017/18 to the test, including Alice Fearn (Elphaba), Sophie Evans (Glinda), Bradley Jaden (Fiyero), Melanie La Barrie (Madame Morrible) and Andy Hockley (The Wizard).

WWOZ General Manager in Break Thru Magazine: “The Wizardess of ‘OZ” One of the little-known facts about local public radio station WWOZ is what the station’s call letters stand for. Its founders chose an abbreviation for the “Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” from the namesake book and feature film. After 35 years of making her own kind of magic happen at New Orleans’ leading public television station, Beth Arroyo Utterback continues her magical journey at the helm of the city’s leading public broadcast outlet. As the newly appointed general manager of WWOZ (90.7 FM), she happily agrees that, like Judy Garland in the movie, “’There’s no place like home.’ That’s what it feels like to me.”

 

Oz in the News 9.2.17

Hisada: Led By the Yellow Bricks CD review – a powerful evocation of childhood Led By the Yellow Bricks – her seven-movement suite for an instrumental sextet of two strings, two woodwind, piano and percussion, which was first performed by the Ensemble für Neue Musik Zurich last year – was inspired by Frank Baum’s children’s classic The Wizard of Oz. Hisada’s work does not attempt to tell “seven consecutive stories”, she insists, nor to portray the events in Baum’s book. It is more an attempt to suggest the childhood memories that reading the book evoked, which her music does in gestures of increasing power. Tiny ideas become kernels for much larger ones. The gigantic climaxes she extracts from the ensemble are balanced against textures and solos of much quieter intensity and interrupted a couple of times by a child’s voice. It is approachable and a bit mysterious.

Wicked Extends Booking in the West End Through December 2018 Wicked, the West End musical phenomenon that tells the incredible untold story of the Witches of Oz, has just announced its 24th extension with 500,000 new tickets now released for performances until Saturday 1 December 2018. The “hugely popular show” (The Times) celebrates its 11th birthday on 27 September 2017 at London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre, where it is already the 16th longest running show in West End theatre history.

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.