Oz in the News 3.4.17

iconsquareimage0011500London Theatre Workshop in Association with Julie Clare Productions Presents JUDY! Following a critically acclaimed debut season at Southwark Playhouse under its original title, Through The Mill, Ray Rackham’s biographical musical about the life of iconic movie star and chanteuse, Judy Garland, arrives in London’s West End this Summer. Leaving behind the usual portrayal of Garland’s life as one of pure heartbreak and self-destruction, Ray Rackham has created a poignant and ultimately uplifting story portraying the star as a survivor in a man’s world. He has cleverly created an overlapping story of three ages of Judy – Young Judy (an innocent girl filled with hope and excitement as she heads toward her life-changing performance in The Wizard of Oz), Palace Theatre Judy (a woman at the height of her performing powers in the midst of a passionate romance with Sidney Luft) and CBS Judy (an older and possibly wiser woman) – that demonstrates that no matter how hard we look for love in all the wrong places, the answer is ultimately inside ourselves.

SPOILERS What Is “The Beast Forever” On ‘Emerald City’? The Finale Introduced Oz’s Biggest Threat According to NBC, the character is credited as Roquat, and a quick perusal of Baum’s Oz lore will reveal that he isn’t an original creation for the TV show — in fact, while The Wicked Witch Of The West may be Baum’s most famous villain courtesy of Margaret Hamilton’s iconic performance, Roquat is Baum’s most significant and recurring villain throughout his many Oz books. This antagonist (variously known as Roquat the Red, Ruggedo of the Rocks, or simply the Nome King) is the leader of the Nomes, who are a race of immortal, cave-dwelling rock fairies who have a deep-seated hatred for anyone who lives aboveground. He frequently clashes with both Dorothy and Ozma throughout the novels, only being defeated when they manage to steal his magic belt — the artifact through which he derives his powers. In fact, Roquat is such a prevalent presence in the books that his ultimate reveal as the show’s big bad Beast Forever should come as little surprise to fans more intimate with Baum’s source material beyond the 1939 film adaptation.

Oz in the News 3.3.17

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‘Wizard of Oz’ Universe-Set Horror Movie in the Works at New Line New Line is in early development on a horror film set in the iconic world of L. Frank Baum’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” The studio, a division of Warner Bros., has bought an untitled pitch by screenwriter Mike Van Waes. The project isn’t set up with a producer yet. Van Waes sold his Black List script “Hammerspace” to Warner Bros. last year. The story focuses on a terminally-ill teenager looking for answers about his missing father who finds a key that unlocks an opening to an alternate animated dimension. Van Waes also set up a movie version of his project “Peeves” at Fox Animation last year, with Temple Hill producing. 

The House Theatre of Chicago Announces the Return of THE GREAT AND TERRIBLE WIZARD OF OZ A twister lands our teenage Dorothy and her house in Munchkinland. Right on top of a wicked witch. Her phone won’t work, her dog is scared, and she’s desperate to get home to what little family she has left. But the town’s residents are gleefully celebrating Dorothy’s powers as the fabled Witch Slayer. When Glinda and the munchkins can’t convince her to stick around and be their new hero, they send her off on the road of yellow brick wearing magical boots soaked in the red blood of the slain witch. A favor from the fabled all-powerful Wizard will be her only chance to get out of Oz.

See the trailer for Danielle Paige’s The End of Oz — and read an excerpt Danielle Paige’s Dorothy Must Die series is finally coming to a close with The End of Ozout March 14. When last we saw her, Amy Gumm had finally defeated Dorothy, and she and the last remaining members of Revolutionary Order of the Wicked were gearing up to rebuild Oz. But they’re shocked to find out that one of their own has betrayed them — and they might not have had the successful victory over Dorothy they thought they did. EW is excited to reveal the trailer for The End of Oz, along with an exclusive sneak peek at the first two chapters.

Oz in the News 3.1.17

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‘Emerald City’ Season 1 Episode 10 Spoilers: Dorothy Fights to Save Oz in Explosive Season Finale The official trailer for the upcoming episode shows Dorothy embracing the full potentials of the ruby gauntlets she acquired when she indirectly caused East’s (Florence Kasumba) death. As to which side she truly is fighting to preserve remains unclear, although there is a scene where Glinda seems to be telling her that she has chosen the wrong side. The stakes are high and the lines of morality blurred in the season finale of the dark fantasy series “Emerald City” airing on Friday, March 3, at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.

Oz in the News 2.26.17

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The big read: why we keep dreaming the dream of The Wizard Of Oz It’s the novel, Was, and the character of the gay fan, that touches most on a particularly important reason for The Wizard Of Oz’s long-lasting power, at least with a certain part of its audience. Almost as soon as the 1939 film was released, people began using “friend of Dorothy” as a euphemism for “homosexual” and the film has always been loved by gay men who, as young boys, are attracted to the movie without realising why. I sometimes wonder if it’s all down to that moment when Dorothy emerges from the grey house into the bright, musical world of Oz – she’s suddenly in a more colourful and exciting place; she’s escaping the restrictions of home; she’s coming out. Judy Garland herself, of course, is also a gay icon so that’s going on too: on top of the story of Dorothy yearning for a better life is the real story of Judy’s life going horribly wrong. Mark Cousins can see the appeal of the theory, but thinks it’s all a bit bigger than that. “Oz is all those better places, all those utopias, all that longing for Bowie or magic or transcendence,” he says. “Yes, it feels like coming out, which is lovely, but it’s bigger than that in a way. In The Wizard Of Oz, Dorothy takes a risk. She impresses herself. So often we disappoint ourselves. She doesn’t.”

Rifftrax: The Wonderful Land of Oz The Wonderful Land of Oz takes everything you loved about the original Oz movie and coats it in a slippery, weird, filmy substance. Scarecrow and Tin Man are back, looking like Yugoslavian knockoffs of Russian knockoffs of the original characters. There are also new characters, like the Wogglebug, and the Purple Cow. Sound pretty crappy, right? Well set your expectations even lower! It’s the Barry Mahon way!

Auction: Wizard of Oz – Collection of six signatures from actors and actresses Collection of six signatures from actors and actresses from Wizard of Oz. Comprises: pencil signature ‘Judy Garland’ on a 14.8 x 11.1cm card, ; foutain pen signature ‘Frank Morgan on a light yellow 15.1×11.1cm album page; ballpoint signature and inscription ‘To Beth, Jack Haley’ on a light green 14.8 x 11.1cm album page; pencil signature and inscription ‘To Joe – Best Regards, Margaret Hamilton’ on a blue154x115mm album page; pencil signature ‘Yours sincerely, Billie Burke 1937’ on an off-white card affixed to a 11.3×14.1cm album page; a ballpoint singature and dedication ‘The Gleasons are just kids. Aug 1st will be our 35th year together and we are still kids. Look over us, Charley Grapewin’ on a 10.4×14.5cm page.

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 2.16.17

judy-garland-pink-floyd-1108x0-c-defaultHow I was seduced by the ‘Dark Side of the Rainbow’ phenomenon Speaking in 2010, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason moved to debunk the theory: “It’s unthinkable that we would have felt that it was really important to work with Judy Garland, and devise an album based on that particular story. So I have to say that sadly, both the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow, and all the rest of it, had absolutely zero to do with that particular record.” In fact, audio engineer Alan Parsons has said the band were actually watching Mary Poppins during the ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ sessions. Yet while it’s clear the band want absolutely nothing to do with the fan theory, it hasn’t stopped the speculation from mounting, with devotees convinced that even if the Floyd didn’t plan ‘Dark Side of the Rainbow’, the album and the film were somehow cosmically destined to work side-by-side. According to cognitive psychologist and musician Daniel Levitin, there is a hint of truth to this idea: “We are a storytelling species,” he tells LWLies. “Our entire left hemisphere is a great confabulator – it makes up evidence before the facts are in. So yes, we have an inherent need to match things up.” Levitin is referring to the phenomenon know as ‘Apophenia’, the human tendency to perceive meaningful patterns within random data. And with fans already claiming that Star Wars: A Force Wakens – a film released 42 years after Pink Floyd recorded their masterpiece – syncs with ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’, it’s hard to refute his theory.

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.