Oz in the News 6.5.17

Why ‘Over the Rainbow’ was the perfect closer for Ariana Grande’s Manchester tribute After all the musicians — including Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, Coldplay and Pharrell Williams — left the stage Sunday night at One Love Manchester, Ariana Grande walked back out, blowing kisses to the crowd. She began to sing “Over the Rainbow,” an optimistic coda for a tribute concert to the 22 killed and more than 55 injured by a terrorist attack at her May 22 show in Manchester. Halfway through, her voice faltered with emotion. The concertgoers, so recently touched by tragedy, remained mostly silent as they waved their lit phone screens in the night sky, just as people held lighters 20 years earlier. Several audience members cried as Grande’s voice soared with lyrics that have stood for hope for some eight decades.

Oz in the News 6.2.17

Bridge to Another World: Escape From Oz Collector’s Edition From 4Friends, creators of Living Legends, comes an exciting new game in the Bridge to Another World series! Today started out like any other day – you sent your kids off to school and settled in for some peace and quiet with your little dog, Toto. But your world is turned upside-down when a tornado suddenly appears and carries your house to the extraordinary land of Oz. Now you find yourself in the middle of a fierce competition controlled by the mysterious Great Wizard. To earn your way back home, you and Toto must explore the four corners of Oz, facing enemies, obstacles, and puzzles at every turn! Are you up to the challenge? Find out in this Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game!

Oz in the News 5.31.17

As Part Of Wizard Of Oz Festival, Museum Hosting Film, New Exhibit And Contest For Best Munchkin Story This year the Judy Garland Museum will be celebrating memories of the much-loved Munchkins from “The Wizard of Oz” film with three events: the showing of a film, “We’re Off to see the Munchkins,” a contest, and a new exhibit. This year at the Wizard of Oz Festival the Museum will open a new exhibit titled “The Munchkins in Grand Rapids.” In conjunction with this, a contest is being held for the best story (and/or picture) of meeting a Munchkin in Grand Rapids. The winner will have the opportunity to share their story/picture in the new exhibit, win a Household Membership to the Museum and a free ticket to the documentary film, “We’re Off to See the Munchkins.” The 90-minute film includes interviews with eight little people. The film will be shown on Saturday, June 10, at 3 p.m. in the Judy Garland Museum art room. To take part in this contest, you may submit your story in one of three ways: E-mail: jgarland@uslink.net; by mail: Judy Garland Museum, Box 724, Grand Rapids, MN 55744; or drop it off at the Judy Garland Museum, 2727 Pokegama Ave. South, Grand Rapids. The deadline for the contest will be June 5.

The Judy Garland Show Channel Comes to StreamNet.TV Featuring Tony Bennett, Liza Minnelli, and Guests StreamNet.TV is adding 26 one hour episodes of The Judy Garland Show Channel to its platform. This historic collection of 26 one-hour-long episodes includes an unprecedented list of guests — including Barbra Streisand, Mickey Rooney, Count Basie, Lena Horne, Tony Bennett, Ethel Merman, Bob Newhart, Donald O’Connor, Peggy Lee, Steve Allen, Jane Powell, Peter Lawford, Vic Damone, Jack Jones, and Garland’s daughter Liza Minnelli, among others. Judy Garland also performed solo concert performances as part of this amazing, wonderful TV show.

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 5.25.17

Brooklyn native creates new book series based on ‘The Wizard of Oz’ Gabriel Gale, who was born and raised in Bay Ridge, has immersed himself in the legend and legacy of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wizard of Oz” series of books. Gale, whose pen name is derived from Oz heroine Dorothy Gale, has created the first volume of a planned three-novel prequel to the beloved Baum classic focused on the origin story of Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. Gale has worked on this project for 10 years and calls it “a culmination of a whole lot of passion, research and drive to get an Oz story that is 100 years in the making into this project.” It all started for Gale when he first discovered Baum’s book as a young boy. “I read the Oz books at the 73 Street Bay Ridge branch of the Brooklyn Public Library. I was fascinated from then on. After graduating from Columbia, I decided I wanted to create my own ‘Lord of the Rings’ type of work. And the Oz books returned to mind and I went back and researched them. I met with the family and I met with many of the world’s leading Oz experts, and I put all of that research into ‘Ages of Oz.’”

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.