Oz in the News 10.24.21

Like A Rainbow The paintings of Ariana Papademetropoulos are portals—prismatic dreamscapes in which floating bubbles contain other worlds, mythical beings and mysterious lights appear, and gems and flowers gaze back at us. With The Emerald Tablet, a solo exhibition and curatorial project on view at Jeffrey Deitch Hollywood through October 23, the gallery itself has become a portal. Featuring five large new paintings by Papademetropoulos plus works by 25 other artists, The Emerald Tablet is inspired by LA’s identity as a nexus of fantasy and spiritual seeking. Theosophy, the esoteric system that flourished in early Hollywood and has resurged with the recent rediscoveries of the artists Agnes Pelton and Hilma af Klint, is threaded throughout. Papademetropoulos named The Emerald Tablet for the ancient alchemical text that inspired the Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz—whose author L. Frank Baum was a Theosophist.

Avid Group to Release Remastered JUDY at CARNEGIE HALL Album in 2022 To commemorate Judy Garland’s centenary in June 2022, Avid Entertainment Ltd just announced the release of the double-CD set, Judy at Carnegie Hall, on February 4, 2022. Based on the best-selling and Grammy Award-winning LP of the same name, the set presents her historic concert at Carnegie Hall, New York on April 23, 1961, remastered by audio engineer, Nick Dellow. For the first time, Garland’s concert performance has been properly pitched across the entire recording (the original LP runs slightly sharp), giving her voice – and the orchestra under the direction of Mort Lindsey – greater depth, intimacy and “pow,” as Garland put it in a 1961 Life Magazine profile. The show takes on a whole new life as a result of this remastering, allowing listeners to experience the concert as if for the first time. Garland’s voice is richer, the brass is crisper, and the bass is fuller. In addition to the original liner notes, the set includes new notes by award-winning Garland historian Lawrence Schulman, recent remarks by Jim Silke, winner of the Grammy Award for Best Album Cover for Judy at Carnegie Hall, and rare photos from the concert. No stone has been left unturned to make this new set the go-to Garland Carnegie Hall.

Oz in the News 10.22.21

American Cruise Lines helps bring ruby slippers to the Smithsonian Cruisers can book one of the line’s American Revolution sailings along the Chesapeake Bay, which run from fall into December and then again in the spring. Or they can book the themed Colonial Christmas Cruise in December, which follows the same itinerary but incorporates holiday extras.  Guests on one of American Cruise Lines’ D.C. voyages already have the opportunity to tour the Smithsonian Museum, but guests will be able to see the new Entertainment Nation exhibition — featuring those dazzling ruby slippers — in fall 2022. The exhibit will feature “the iconic cornerstones that celebrate our values, experiences, heartbreaks, and triumphs — illuminating what it means to be American,” according to the press release. “The Ruby Slippers hold symbolic and lasting meaning in American culture, representing our deep ties to our families and communities, no matter how far we roam,” Anthea M. Hartig, the museum’s Elizabeth MacMillan director, said in the statement. “We are so grateful to American Cruise Lines for sharing our educational goals and making the display of these magical shoes possible for generations to come.”

Oz in the News 10.4.21

My uncle, The Scarecrow – choreographer David Bolger on Uncle Ray I am a research fanatic when I am making a new work. I find it incredibly interesting the places it takes me. With Uncle Ray, the research has taken us through the Wizard of Oz and the making of the technicolor adventure. Back to my own family home in Sandymount, Dublin, and going through old biscuit tins full of old black and white photographs. The vaudeville theatre scene when Ray Bolger started out his professional dancing career to research the Philippine movie industry, where Don’s father, Rommel Valdez had a two decade career as an action movie star and stuntman. Finding his film clips and working with our video designers, Mags Mulvey and Neil O’Driscoll to piece together a very touching duet which takes place when Don dances with his father’s films live on stage.

‘Wicked was essentially a love story between two women’: How the once-mocked musical became a global sensation It’s been 18 months, in fact, since the West End went dark, the coronavirus pandemic forcing every single show to shut down with immediate effect. So when Sophie Evans as Glinda floats down onto the stage for tonight’s performance of Wicked, a vision of sparkles and bubbles, to utter that hallowed opening line, “It’s good to see me, isn’t it?”, the whoops and cheers go on for at least a minute. It feels like magic. “Theatre and performance struggled so much during the pandemic,” says Evans, who was the youngest person to ever take on the role of Glinda the Good Witch when she was first cast in 2017, at the age of 24. “Our industry’s really been knocked.” She didn’t get a single penny from the government while the theatres were shut, so she started doing singing lessons on Zoom to get by. “The fact we’re actually back now is kind of incredible. The audiences seem to be really there with you, because they know you’ve been out of work for such a long time.”

Somewhere Over the Rainbow: Maine Pre-Teen Lily Philbrook Follows Her Theatre Dream “It all began with Wizard of Oz at Maine State Music Theatre,” confides ten-year-old Lily Philbrook. “That was the show where I found my real passion for theatre. It was a huge show and working with Marc [Robin] and everyone at MSMT was an amazing experience.” In those performances, for Lily Philbrook, a dream was born- one that would carry her over her own rainbow – to performing on stages at leading regional theatres. Philbrook, who lives in Cumberland, Maine, and attends Greely Middle School, is currently playing the role of Small Alison in the Fulton Theatre production of Fun Home, which runs from September 9 – October 17 in Lancaster, PA. The shift from a big, joyous fantasy musical that is Wizard of Oz to the intense, often dark, but always moving Fun Home constitutes a major breakthrough for the young artist, but she is embracing the challenge with energy and enthusiasm.

Oztoberfest invites all Wizard of Oz fans to Wamego

Oz in the News 9.30.21

‘They changed my ending, I felt aghast’: how we made Wicked “I’d played with the story of The Wizard of Oz since my childhood in the US when I would arrange theatrical events in our back yard. I was the impresario. My brothers, sisters and friends were assigned roles and we’d have The Wicked Witch of the West fall in love with Captain Hook.

When I moved to London in the early 1990s, I was rather lonely and isolated. Then the terrible murder of James Bulger happened and it was discovered that children had killed him. Everyone was asking: how could those boys be so villainous? Were they born evil or were there circumstances that pushed them towards behaving like that? It propelled me back to the question of evil that bedevils anybody raised Catholic.

No one says how The Wicked Witch of the West became as she was. She’s just bad. I decided to tell her life as if Dickens was doing it. My novel would start with her birth, end with her death and have a 19th-century moral urgency. Within the first couple of days I got her name. I wanted to pay homage to The Wizard of Oz novelist L Frank Baum: LFB – Elphaba! It’s clean and simple, but not pretty, and with connotations of otherworldliness. Even though I didn’t anticipate that Wicked would become a musical, I thought Elphaba had to be able to sing in the novel. When writing, I cast the characters in my head so I could picture them: for Elphaba I cast kd lang.”

Oz in the News 9.26.21

Kansas Is More Than Cornfields: Visit A Replica Of Dorothy’s House In Liberal, Kansas Today the house that Dorthy realized there was no place like home is restored and preserved in the Seward County Historical Museum in Liberal, Kansas, and is open to the public. Admission is cheap and affordable, so if one is traveling across the United States through Kansas, be sure to stop by and see one of the most iconic and innocent movies ever made.

Oz in the News 9.25.21

Pav’s Creamery in North Canton has a sweet new, Instagram-ready mural The mural shows three retro icons — Marilyn Monroe, Bob Marley and Judy Garland, as Dorothy with Toto — with colorful ice cream cones. The icons are in grayscale. Don Hill said he wanted the mural to showcase a diversity of legends; a mixture of movies and music, men and women, black and white, and age differences. He chose Monroe because she is “the most recognizable” retro icon. “To add some multiculturalism, it was either Jimi Hendrix or Bob Marley,” said Hill who picked Marley because of his own love for reggae music. He said Garland was for “the kids.” Hill believes the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz” remains popular with today’s youth. “I wanted to keep it retro and landed on (Garland’s) Dorothy,” he said. He even painted a red ruby ice cream cone, like Dorothy’s slippers. Monroe received a blue cone and Marley has a green one.

Oz in the News 9.23.21

Judy Garland’s Wizard of Oz shoes and a Jaws model are among iconic props displayed at LA’s new film museum unveiled by Tom Hanks who says ‘it celebrates everything this town has brought to the world’ ‘We all know that films are made everywhere in the world, and they are wonderful films. And there are other cities with film museums. ‘But with all due respect, a place like Los Angeles, created by the Motion Picture Academy… this museum has really got to be the Parthenon of such places.’ The 30,000-square-foot venue – built at a reported cost of 482 million dollars (£352 million) – is based in Los Angeles at the eye-catching Saban Building, instantly recognisable for its Art Deco golden rotunda.  It serves to celebrate over a century of filmmaking in Hollywood – starting out as nothing more than an adobe hut before becoming its own community, and then a safe haven for independent move makers seeking creative freedom on the West Coast. Upon opening, the museum – run by the Oscar-awarding Academy – will be the largest film-dedicated museum in North America.

Oz in the News 9.19.21

The Wizard of Oz: A breathtaking new edition of a classic story THE Wizard of Oz is one of a rare group of stories that by the time of reaching adulthood, most will have read or know in some capacity. There is great importance in the stories and ideas we are exposed to as children, as content made for those just beginning to pick up narratives and comprehend them is clearer, more direct and far less subtle than in books written for adults. There is always a message, a moral lesson to learn and these are the lessons that perhaps more than any others, shape the foundations of the way in which we grow to understand the world, our place in it and how to treat others. It is for this reason that I believe in the sharing and adapting of these tales for new generations, passing on what we know about life and how to live it through the medium of plots filled with magic, adventure and of course, morals. One of the newest and certainly the most striking way to do so with children is the MinaLima Classics. MinaLima Studio was started in 2001 by Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima who worked together to build the graphic world of The Harry Potter films, going on to sell art prints from this project and moving on to create beautiful books.

Oz in the News 9.17.21

MY WITCH: Margaret Hamilton’s Stories of Maine, Hollywood, and Beyond! is a one-woman world premiere play about America’s greatest character actress.  Enjoy a magical visit with Margaret as she spins stories of a life and career where the Wicked Witch is only the beginning!  If you love Maine…if you love The Wizard of Oz…if you love the theater and all things Hollywood, this show is a valentine to them all. Find out how a gentle kindergarten teacher from Cleveland became the most iconic WITCH of all time, and yes, scared the living daylights out of every last one of us!

Oz in the News 9.16.21

A ‘Wizard of Oz’ Trademark Forced a Maryland Brewery to Change the Name of its Flagship Beer Rockville, Maryland, brewery 7 Locks has changed the name of its flagship beer, a rye pale ale formerly known as “Surrender Dorothy,” after multimedia giant Turner Entertainment deployed its legal team to defend a Wizard of Oz trademark like so many winged monkeys. Co-founder Keith Beutel tells Washington Post columnist John Kelly the brewery shortened the name of the beer to “Surrender” after Turner filed an opposition to a trademark application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that argued 7 Locks was deliberately causing confusion and attempting to profit of the iconic film starring Judy Garland. The original name of the beer was a reference to a graffitied phrase painted on a Beltway overpass with a view of Mormon Temple, which invites comparisons to the Royal Palace of Oz with dramatic, sharp spires. Ahead of Inauguration Day, 7 Locks also put out a special release of “Surrender Donald” cans.

Check Out Photos Inside the Broadway Return of Wicked After an 18-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Wicked resumed performances on Broadway at the Gershwin Theatre September 14. The evening also welcomed the return of HamiltonThe Lion King, and Chicago as well as the first performance of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Lackawanna Blues.