(I will update this page when there is news to tell. Any news older than a year is dropped at the next update. If you have news to report, please e-mail me.)
- 1 April 17, 2020: The Baum Bugle, Winter 2019 issue
- 2 February 9, 2020: Judy and the 2019 Movie Awards Season
- 3 November 27, 2019: The Baum Bugle Autumn 2019
- 4 November 17, 2019: Oziana 2019
- 5 September 20, 2019: The Baum Bugle Spring 2019
- 6 August 11, 2019: Charles Santore 1935-2019
- 7 July 27, 2019: The 2019 Winkie Award
- 8 June 23, 2019: William F. Brown, 1928-2019
- 9 June 22, 2019: The 2019 L. Frank Baum Memorial Award
- 10 June 9, 2019: The 73rd Tony Awards
- 11 Rumor Control
April 17, 2020: The Baum Bugle, Winter 2019 issue
The final issue of The Baum Bugle, the journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, has come out for the 2019 membership year. Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the printers were not able to print the issue in a timely manner; so, in an unprecedented move, the Club sent out the issue to Club members as a .pdf file via e-mail. (UPDATE, May 9: The printer has come through, and the print version is now making its way into members' mailboxes.) This marks the end of the 2019 membership year, and members are encouraged to renew their memberships for 2020 soon.
In this issue:
- The front cover reproduces Michael Herring's painting for the 1981 Del Rey edition of The Magic of Oz—appropriate, as 2019 marks the centennial of L. Frank Baum's penultimate Oz book, The Magic of Oz.
- The inside front cover is one of John R. Neill's color plates from The Magic of Oz.
- The first page, besides the indicia and table of contents, reproduces an illustration by Leonid Vladimirsky from Волшебник Изумрудного Города (The Wizard of the Emerald City).
- In "Letters", Oz Club President Jane Albright seeks contributors who can update the Oz Timeline, while Bugle Editor-in-Chief Sarah K. Crotzer previews the issue at hand and how it came about.
- In "The Bugle Bulletin":
- The 2017 Russian animated film Fantastic Journey to Oz has spawned a sequel, Урфин Джюс бозбращаемся (Fantastic Return to Oz), based on the Magic Land book The Fiery God of the Marrans.
- The debut of the new Oz dramatic podcast, Hit the Bricks.
- A Yellow Brick Sidewalk is being constructed in Chicago that leads to 1167 N. Humboldt Blvd., where L. Frank Baum wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz when he lived in a house that is no longer there. (The sidewalk will end at a mural commemorating the creation of Oz.)
- "Broadway Celebrates Oz" is a photographic exhibit celebrating the eightieth anniversary of the famous film version of The Wizard of Oz.
- An exhibit at the Los Angeles Public Library, "The Autograph Book of L. A.", includes a contribution by L. Frank Baum from 1908 (several years before he moved to the area himself).
- A new Oz book, The Valley Girl of Oz, Bjork Bjork Bjork, that involves running The Emerald City of Oz through a computer algorithm that changed the descriptions to, like, Valleyspeak, while the dialogue was rendered into Swedish Chef.
- "Through the Tube" presents an all-commercials collection of Oz clips on YouTube:
- In "Awards and Honors":
- Ozma's Honor Roll for 2019, those Club members who have gone above and beyond the Club's regular membership rates to give more to the Club.
- The list of recipients of the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award is updated with the 2019 winner, Bill Beem.
- Part of Renée Zellweger's acceptance speech for her Oscar, portraying Judy Garland in Judy, is printed.
- Dennis Wilson Wise writes about the history of magic words, with emphasis on the ones used in the Oz books, in "Pyrzqxgl, or How to Do Things with Magic Words".
- In a new regular feature, "The Lost Art of Oz", Brady Schwind looks at the development of Dick Martin's 1960 dust jacket for The Magic of Oz. (The inside and outside back covers of this issue reprints some of Martin's preliminary work for the jacket.)
- Ian Davis Smith writes about renowned Chinese magician Ching Ling Foo and his performance for the Uplifters—whose members included L. Frank Baum—in "A Magic Night with the Uplifters".
- The short story "The Believing Child" by Zenna Henderson, first published in 1970, is reprinted to celebrate both its own fiftieth birthday and the centennial of the book that causes the problems in the story, The Magic of Oz.
- "Oz Under Scrutiny" looks at the original 1919 reviews and reactions to The Magic of Oz.
- "Monuments of Magic Land" looks at monuments to characters created by Aleksandr Volkov, for his very Oz-like Magic Land series, in Tomsk, Slovakia and Saint Petersburg, Russia.
- The examination of the Smithsonian Institution's efforts to preserve their pair of Ruby Slippers concludes in part two of "Keep Them Ruby: Following the Steps of the Ruby Slippers" by Jonathan Shirshekan.
- "A Beginner's Guide to Collecting" celebrates the eightieth anniversary of the most watched movie in history with an examination of some of the earliest collectibles for the 1939 film version of The Wizard of Oz.
- Cynthia Ragni gives a preview of the Club's big annual event in "Arts and Crozfts: Come to the 2020 OzClub Convention".
- In "Oz in the Arts", Fadia Mereani reviews one of the first big musicals to tour Saudi Arabia, The Wizard of Oz.
- "The Bugle Review" reviews and notes of several new books, including:
- Immortal Longings of Oz by Paul Dana, reviewed by Mari Ness.
- Amazons in America: Matriarchs, Utopians, and Wonder Women in U. S. Popular Culture by Keira V. Williams, reviewed by Angelica Shirley Carpenter.
- Book Restoration Unveiled: An Essential Guide for Bibliophiles by Sophia S. W. Bogle, reviewed by Cynthia Ragni.
- Adapting The Wizard of Oz: Musical Versions fromBaum to MGM and Beyond, edited by Danielle Birkett and Dominic McHugh.
- Beyond Oz: A Crazy Ink Anthology, edited by Erin Wolf.
- The Cardboard King in Oz by Gil S. Joel.
- Creative Haven Wizard of Oz Designs Coloring Book by Marty Noble.
- Delusions Beyond the Deadly Desert: A Novella by Lisa Valenti.
- Dunkiton Press #26: The Perhappsy Chaps #6, Dunkiton Press #27: Mice #1 and Dunkiton Press #28: Mice #2 by Ruth Plumly Thompson, edited by Ruth Berman.
- Emerald City Academy, Book 1: Sentinels of Oz and Emerald City Academy, Book 2: Francesca, the Great and Terrible by J. B. Trepagnier.
- Emeralds of Oz: Life Lessons from Over the Rainbow by Peter Guzzardi.
- The Fairy Wand of Oz by Marin Elizabeth Xiques and Carol P. Silva.
- Forever in Oz by Matthew J. Norcross.
- Frankenstein's Monster in Oz by Carl Scott Harker.
- The Haunted Castle of Oz by Marcus Mébès.
- Hidden Heroes of Oz, Book 1: Chopper and Hidden Heroes of Oz, Book 2: Guardian Martyr by Tarl Telford.
- Kingdoms of Oz, Book 1: The Ruby Fortress, Kingdoms of Oz, Book 2: The Quartz Tower, and Kingdoms of Oz, Book 3: The Prism City by Carrie Whitehorne.
- Lost Histories from the Royal Librarian of Oz by Joe Bongiorno.
- Mr. Wizardo by Eva Pasco.
- O. Z. Diggs Himself Out by Ron Baxley, Jr.
- Ozhouse Reopened: The Curse of Budistiltskin by Alan Lindsay and Dennis Anfuso.
- Ozland (Everland, Book 3) by Wendy Spinale.
- The Red Brick Road by Robert P. Wills.
- The Road to Wicked: The Marketing and Consumption of Oz from L. Frank Baum to Broadway by Kent Drummond, Susan Aronstein, and Terri L. Rittenburg.
- The Royal Explorers of Oz, Book 4: Into the Wild by Marcus Mébès and Alejandro Garcia.
- Salma and the Play from Oz by Jodie Nikela.
- Shakespeare's Oz by Jordan Monsell (with apologies to William Shakespeare).
- Stairway to Oz by Robin Hess.
- Theodore Gale in Oz by KuroKoneko Kamen.
- The Umbrellaphant in Oz by Carol P. Silva and Marin Elizabeth Xiques.
- Under the Influence of Oz by Marin Elizabeth Xiques and Chris Dulabone.
- Upon the Name of Oz by Charles Shearer.
- What Is the Story of The Wizard of Oz? by Kirsten Anderson.
- Wicked Origins, Wicked Gambit, and Wicked Rebel by Paula Black.
- Witch Queens: Tales from Oz by S. Cinders.
- The Wonderful Animated World of The Wizard of Oz by Kevin Scott Collier.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Poster Coloring Book by Victoria Marble.
- In "Adventures in Oz", Zoe O'Haillin-Berne tells the story of how her cosplaying at Oz festivals led to founding a traveling character troupe.
Also included with this issue:
- A 2020 membership form (for those who don't want to renew their membership online).
- A registration form for the National Oz Convention.
- The third part of the Emerald City toy theatre.
- An "Oz Live 2019" supplement, reporting on:
- The 2019 National Oz Convention in Thibodeaux, Louisiana.
- Oz-Stravaganza! in Chittenango, New York.
- The Quadling Convention in Moore, Oklahoma.
- The Judy Garland Festival and Children's Wizard of Oz Festival in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
- The Michigan Wizard of Oz Festival in Ionia, Michigan.
- OzCon International in Pomona, California.
- Autumn in Oz in Banner Elk, North Carolina.
- Oztoberfest in Wamego, Kansas.
- Ohio Oz Fest in Twinsburg, Ohio.
- The latest issue of The Oz Gazette, the newsletter for younger Oz fans (no matter what age their birth certificate might say), featuring:
- A new expedition for Trot and Cap'n Bill.
- Dorothy's final "Editorial", as she's handing over the reins as Editor in Chief to the Scarecrow.
- The conclusion to the biography of L. Frank Baum.
- A play written by the Scarecrow, relating some of the events of The Magic of Oz.
- In "Ask Glinda", the sorceress and some of her friends answer the question, "How do I get to Oz?"
Stay tuned, because more from this issue will be coming over the next few days.
February 9, 2020: Judy and the 2019 Movie Awards Season
Renée Zellweger was presented with the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role tonight for her performance as Judy Garland in the later years of her life in the film Judy. This culminates the 2019-20 movie award season, which saw Zellweger give early notice that she would be a factor, as she also won the following awards:
- Hollywood Actress Award at the 2019 Hollywood Film Awards.
- Best Actress at the 2019 British Independent Film Awards.
- Best Lead Actress at the 2019 Atlanta Film Critics Circle.
- Best Actress at the 2019 Phoenix Film Critics Society.
- Best Actress at the 2020 Houston Film Critics Society.
- The Desert Palm Achievement Award at the 2020 Palm Springs International Film Festival.
- Best Actress in a Motion Picture—Drama at the 2020 Golden Globe Awards.
- Best Actress from the National Board of Review.
- Best Actress from the 2020 AARP's Movies for Grownups Awards.
- Best Actress from the 2020 Critics' Choice Movie Awards.
- The American Riviera Award at the 2020 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.
- Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role at the 2020 Screen Actors Guild Award.
- Actress of the Year from the 2020 London Film Critics Circle.
- Best Actress in a Leading Role at the 2020 British Academy Film Awards (the BAFTAs).
- Best Female Lead at the 2020 Independent Film Awards.
Zellweger was also a runner-up for Best Actress from the San Diego Film Critics Society.
Renée Zellweger wasn't the only award presented to Judy or one of its contributors:
- Jeremy Woodhead won Make Up and Hair Design from the British Independent Film Awards. (Woodhead was also nominated for the Oscar in the same category, but lost to Bombshell.)
- The film was one of the top ten independent films named by the National Board of Review.
November 27, 2019: The Baum Bugle Autumn 2019
The latest issue of The Baum Bugle, the journal of the International Wizard of Oz Club, is now in the mail and finding its way to members. This issue celebrates the legacy of L. Frank Baum and his creation in the centennial year of his crossing the shifting sands.
In this issue:
- The wraparound cover by Mark Manley shows L. Frank Baum meeting with many of the characters he created in the Emerald City. The inside covers show some of Manley's preliminary sketches and the development of the final artwork.
- "Letters" sees Oz Club President Jane Albright outlining how Ozzy her summer was, while Baum Bugle editor in chief Sarah K. Crotzer looks at the process of putting this issue together.
- "Awards and Honors" tells the world that Bill Beem won the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award for 2019, written up by Peter E. Hanff and Bill Thompson.
- In "The Bugle Bulletin":
- The original set parts for "Over the Rainbow" were found in the collection of Angela White, the daughter of Dave Rose, Judy Garland's first husband (not her third husband, as the Bugle reports). It was performed in public for the first time on September 14, 2019.
- A black-and-white dress, worn onscreen by Bobby Koshay as she doubled for Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, two Munchkin jackets, an Emerald City townsfolk jacket, and an Emerald City soldier's musket all went up for auction at Profiles in History. Meanwhile, Ray Bolger's Tony Award for Charley's Aunt was auctioned off in August.
- The successful Kickstarter campaign to issue a new edition of The Royal Book of Oz, plus Sea Wolf Press's "100th Anniversary Collection" of all fourteen Oz novels by L. Frank Baum.
- The forthcoming Wizard of Oz escape room at St. Louis Escape Rooms in St. Louis, Missouri.
- A correction to last issue's review of Oz Behind the Iron Curtain, giving the correct date for an early edition of Волшебник Изумрудного Города.
- To celebrate The Movie's eightieth anniversary, Google added some interactivity to its search results for The Wizard of Oz (click on the Ruby Slippers in the upper right hand corner to see for yourself).
- The National Endowment for the Arts gives a grant to The George Eastman Museum to help preserve its movie holdings, which include the only known copy of the 1910 film version of The Wizard of Oz, as well as the original negative of the famous 1939 movie version.
- The Dublin Zoo in Ireland has a classic children's literature theme to their annual "Wild Lights" holiday attraction. Among the stories profiled is The Wizard of Oz.
- This year's New York State Fair had a sand sculpture celebrating the eightieth anniversary of The Movie. Not to be outdone, the Kansas State Fair this year featured butter sculptures of Dorothy and other Oz characters.
- "Beyond the Shifting Sands" notes the passing of artist Charles Santore.
- "Through the Tube" features the following YouTube videos:
- Peter Harrington Rare Books looks at the first edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- "The Traveller and the Pie" from the 1903 stage version of The Wizard of Oz, as presented by the Canton Comic Opera Company.
- A History of the Hotel del Coronado in California, where L. Frank Baum wrote several of his books in the earliest years of the twentieth century.
- As a tribute to the late Fred M. Meyer, the Club's longtime Secretary, the Bugle published a previously unpublished item found in Meyer's files, "What Might L. Frank Baum Have Written Next?"
- What may be a fragment of an unfinished Oz story by L. Frank Baum, previously published in the Bugle in 1965, is reprinted as "An Oz Story", with a new illustration by Mark Manley.
- Gita Dorothy Morena, L. Frank Baum's great-granddaughter, and daughter of Ozma Baum Mentele, writes about her experiences with Oz and her family in "Living Inside the Oz Legacy".
- Mark Manley writes about his artistic journey in "Drawn to Oz".
- "The First Oz Fan Fiction" presents just that—at least the first published one—written by ten-year-old Henry Kutz and nine-year-old Max Stolz, from the June 5, 1909 edition of the Syracuse Post-Standard.
- "'Written Solely to Please Children': Is Oz Still a Story for Kids?" by Dina Schiff Massachi looks at the audience(s) of the many different interpretations of Oz in mass media over the decades.
- Jane Albright takes a visit to "The Oz Museum: A World of Its Own in Wamego, Kansas", and catalogs other Oz and Oz-related museums around the United States.
- Albright also initiates a new column, "Guaranteed for a Thousand Years" with "The Empty Case for Oz", looking at how Oz fans can show off some of their collection in a local museum or library exhibit space. (Further contributions come from David C. Diket and Sarah K. Crotzer.)
- In "The Great Book of Records", Scott Cummings looks at contemporary accounts of the passing of the Royal Historian of Oz in "'The Maker of Fairies Is Dead': America Responds to the Death of L. Frank Baum".
- Presented in "Oz in the Arts":
- The recent movie Judy, reviewed by Garrett Kilgore.
- The Wiz, put on in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and reviewed by Sarah K. Crotzer.
- Books written up in "The Bugle Review":
- The French art album Oz, illustrated by Stéphane Levallois, reviewed by David Maxine.
- Ray Bolger: More Than a Scarecrow by Holly van Leuven, reviewed by Sarah K. Crotzer.
- [https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0359223508/thewonderwizardo/ The Ruby Slippers of Oz: Thirty Years Later by Rhys Thomas, reviewed by Bill Campbell.
- Sea Sirens: A Trot and Cap'n Bill Adventure by Amy Chu, illustrated by Janet K. Lee, reviewed by Eric Shanower.
- How the Wizard Came to Oz, Volume 1 by Donald Abbott, reviewed by Atticus Gannaway.
- The 100 Anniversary Oz Collection, reprints of the first editions of L. Frank Baum's fourteen Oz books, reviewed by Sarah K. Crotzer.
- The Women's Suffrage Movement, edited by Sally Roesch Wagner and reviewed by Angelica Shirley Carpenter.
- The Swan Gondola by Timothy Schaffert, reviewed by Dee Michel.
- In "Adventures in Oz", Raymond Francis Wohl recounts his discovery of Oz and how he turned it into a one man show about L. Frank Baum in "The Stories Behind the Stories".
Also included with this issue are:
- Autumn Issue #5 of The Oz Gazette, the newsletter for younger Oz fans. In this issue:
- News of a missing Munchkin named Kiki Aru.
- An editorial by editor Dorothy Gale.
- The second part of the story of "How L. Frank Baum Became the Royal Historian of Oz".
- The Scarecrow writes about how important illustrations can be to a story.
- The "Ask Glinda" column covers a little bit of the history of the Nome King.
- And the Glass Cat produces her first society column (even typed by herself).
- Plus, the second part of the Emerald City toy theatre, showing the background (and a little bit of what's happening behind the scenes).
November 17, 2019: Oziana 2019this link to Lulu.com.
In this issue:
- The front cover by David Valentin is entitled "Friends and Family".
- In "An Odd Transformation" by Sara Philips, with illustrations by Lyan Tjally, some of Oz's more unusual but noteworthy citizens are transformed in an unexpected way. (Tjally also provides a full-color illustration for this story on the back cover.)
- "Bitsy, the Patchwork Cat of Oz" by Jane Albright, with illustrations by Steve Smith, relates the adventures of Oz's newest animal citizen, accidentally created from some of Scraps' patches.
- "The Epiphany of Miss Gulch" by Paul Dana, with illustrations by Mela Pagayonan, looks at what happened to Miss Gulch after Toto escaped from her basket.
- "The End of the Road" is a poem by E. J. Hagadorn.
- "The Giant Weasel of Oz" by Nathan M. DeHoff, with illustrations by Darrell Spradlyn, sees the title character decide to collect a roc egg, with several Emerald City celebrities getting involved.
September 20, 2019: The Baum Bugle Spring 2019
In this issue:
- The front cover features the pair of Ruby Slippers purchased by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, soon to be on display at their museum.
- The inside front cover features "And Yer Lil' Dog Too!" by Derek Yaniger, which has been on display at the Animazing Gallery in Las Vegas as part of a Wizard of Oz exhibit.
- "Letters" presents notes from Oz Club President Jane Albright and Bugle Editor-in-Chief Sarah K. Krotzer about the latest developments (including Krotzer's hospital visits that delayed this issue for so long).
- In "The Bugle Bulletin":
- Brittney Johnson becomes Broadway's first African-American Glinda in Wicked.
- The postponement of the Wicked movie until December 22, 2021.
- The Road to Oz, William Stillman and Jay Scarfone's latest book about the famous movie version of The Wizard of Oz, won the Movies and TV award at the 13th annual National Indie Excellence Book Awards.
- The first biography of one of The Movie's most popular actors, Ray Bolger: More Than a Scarecrow by Holly van Leuven, is published.
- To honor their appearance in The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, LEGO has finally issued minifigs of Dorothy, Toto, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Cowardly Lion.
- Designer Virgil Abloh's Wizard of Oz-inspired men's fashions for the spring/summer 2019 Louis Vitton collection.
- William F. Brown, who wrote the book for the original Broadway musical version of The Wiz, is remembered upon his passing in "Beyond the Shifting Sands…"
- A new one-woman show, My Witch, the Stories of Margaret Hamilton, starring Jean Tafler.
- The MeTV show Collector's Call features the Oz collection of Walter Krueger.
- The recent auction of previously unknown photos taken on the set of The Movie during production at MGM.
- A new Oz television series in development at Legendary Entertainment.
- The new card game Home from Oz.
- Recently unearthed home movie footage of the Land of Oz park in North Carolina from the 1970s.
- A tour of the Land of Oz at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (from the 1990s).
- The Wizard of Oz section of the Great Movie Ride at Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studio (alas, no longer a ride there).
- Wizard of Oz art exhibits at The Animazing Gallery in Las Vegas; the El Segundo Museum of Art in California; and an exhibit devoted to the late Barry Moser, including some of his illustrations for The Wizard of Oz at The Bromer Gallery in Boston.
- Jonathan Shirshekan looks at the history of Hollywood's most famous pair of shoes in part 1 of "Keep Them Ruby: Following the Steps of the Ruby Slippers".
- Jay Scarfone and William Stillman look back at the caravan used to publicize The Wizard of Oz on its release in ""Oz on Tour: 1939".
- The new "Great Book of Records" column sees Scott Cummings reporting on a 1933 event to publicize the new Oz book for 1933, Ojo in Oz, and the new Wizard of Oz radio show, in "A Tea Party for Oz".
- "Collector's Corner" sees Bill Thompson writing about a curious item, Reilly and Britton's Children's Stories That Never Grow Old, illustrated by John R. Neill.
- At long last, Jane Albright wraps up her examination of Oz puppetry in part 2 of "Pulling Strings".
- In "Oz in the Arts":
- Friday Night Is Music Night: The Wizard of Oz 80th Anniversary, hosted by Warwick Davis in London, reviewed by Dave Ward.
- The Wizard of Oz Unplugged at the Waukesha Civic Theatre in Waukesha, Wisconsin, reviewed by Laura DeNooyer.
- Books featured in "The Bugle Review":
- Oz Behind the Iron Curtain: Aleksandr Volkov and His Magic Land Series by Erika Haber, reviewed by Michael Patrick Hearn.
- Finding Dorothy: A Novel by Elizabeth Letts, reviewed by Dee Michel.
- The Lost Tales of Oz, edited by Joe Bongiorno and reviewed by Atticus Gannaway
- In "Advetures in Oz", Christopher Rhoton relays his experience designing for a stage production of The Wizard of Oz in Chicago, with color photos from the show reproduced on the back cover.
- The inside back cover reproduces a Reilly and Britton advertisement for Children's Stories That Never Grow Old from a 1908 edition of Publishers' Weekly.
Also included with this issue:
- Issue number four of the revived version of The Oz Gazette, dedicated to younger (or young at heart) Oz fans. Among the items are a contest to draw a new map of Oz; how L. Frank Baum met W. W. Denslow; the Scarecrow reviews Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl; Glinda explaining why animals in Oz can talk (and why some can't); and an interview with the Cowardly Lion.
- The craft project is part one of an Emerald City toy theater, with the proscenium arch, box seats, and four Oz characters. (More parts and characters are promised in the remaining two parts, coming in the Autumn and Winter issues.)
August 11, 2019: Charles Santore 1935-2019The Wizard of Oz, first published in 1991. His original works are now in many museums, including the New York Museum of Modern Art, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Brandywine Rivers Museum in Pennsylvania. In 1972, he was awarded the Hamilton King award from the New York Society of Illustrators. He also received a gold medal from the New York Society of Publication Designers, and an Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America.
July 27, 2019: The 2019 Winkie Award
June 23, 2019: William F. Brown, 1928-2019
William F. Brown, a longtime show business writer, died today in Westport, Connecticut. He was 91. Cutting his writing teeth in Look magazine and advertising in the 1950s, he later amassed a number of television writing credits on shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show, The Johnny Carson Show, and Love American Style. He also wrote some books and the comic strip Boomer. He attempted to write Broadway plays, but The Girl in the Freudian Slip, How to Steal an Election, and A Broadway Musical never had successful runs. His only success on the stage was The Wiz, which ran for many years and earned him a Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical.
Brown is survived by his wife, Tina Tippit.
(Information courtesy Theatermania.)
June 22, 2019: The 2019 L. Frank Baum Memorial Award
The International Wizard of Oz Club presented its highest honor, the L. Frank Baum Memorial Award, to Bill Beem tonight during the Club's National Convention in Thibodeaux, Louisiana. A long-time Club member, Bill has been a quiet presence behind-the-scenes at Club meetings and conventions for decades now. He exhibited many items from his collection at the 2000 Centennial Convention and the 2012 National Convention, and chaired the 2006 Ozmapolitan Convention. He has also helped with programming at many Oz events, and served the Club on the Board of Directors and recording secretary. This is a richly deserved award which couldn't go to a better recipient.
June 9, 2019: The 73rd Tony Awards
Two actors with longtime associations with Oz received their first Tony Awards tonight, presented by the American Theater Wing for excellence in Broadway productions. Andre De Shields, who originated the title role in The Wiz in 1975, won the award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical for playing Hermes in Hadestown.
Later, winning the award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical was Stephanie J. Block. Back in 2000, she was the first actress to play Elphaba in Wicked, at the earliest readings. She went on to understudy Idina Menzel in the San Francisco tryouts and earliest Broadway performances before taking the lead on the first national tour, and eventually taking the lead on Broadway. She won her award for playing the title role in The Cher Show. Here's her acceptance speech:
Wicked also had a shoutout during the presentation for The Prom (introduced by Broadway's original Wicked Glinda, Kristin Chenoweth, no less), with "Elphy and Glinda" getting a mention, as seen here:
(Because of the many questions I am asked about possible forthcoming Oz projects or other bits of pseudo-news, I have added this section to answer some of these inquiries.)
The previously announced release date for the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical version of Wicked turns out to have been premature—again. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic shuffling release schedules around, the original first-postponed December 22, 2021 release date was given over to Sing 2. So the Wicked movie is on hold again, but it is still in development, although it has no definitive release date yet.
The latest Oz project to be announced in Hollywood: Cheshire Crossing, the graphic novel by Andy Weir and Sarah Anderson, optioned by Amblin Partners. (See this report.)
Okay, yes, word has leaked out that Warner Bros. tried to talk Robert Zemeckis into directing a remake of The Wizard of Oz, using the same screenplay as the famous 1939 Judy Garland version. Zemeckis already rejected the idea. This probably puts the idea on the back burner for a while, and based on the extreme negative reaction the idea got, I suspect it will stay there. Rumors of this have surfaced again, but appear to be the result of someone finding the old story and running it again.
It's getting harder and harder to keep up with all of the currently planned Oz movie and television projects. Bear in mind that at this stage, most of it is speculation and/or not even in pre-production, or possibly even a game of "Telephone". But here are some of the current Oz movies that could be coming to your local theater in the next few years:
- The Road to Oz, a movie biopic about the life of L. Frank Baum and how he created Oz, starring Eddie Redmayne as Frank. (See reports here and here.)
- Dark Oz 3-D, based on the old Caliber comic book.
- A non-musical, faithful adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz from New Line and Temple Hill.
- The Oz Wars, which would have the witches fighting for control of the Emerald City while the Wizard leads the resistance.
- John Boorman's animated adaptation of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz seems to be on track for release — in France. Once it's released, an English-language release will likely come out soon afterwards. (However, in a recent interview, Boorman admitted that the project has stalled due to lack of funding.)
- Oz: Return to the Emerald City was one of two possible competing projects at Warner Bros. This original sequel may now be shopped around to other studios, or turned into a novel.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a low-budget independent production from Barnyard Studios and Used Productions. This is very much a shoestring production, which is looking for money and actors. But its Kickstarter campaign to raise the last money it needed was a success, so it may be finished soon.
- Legend of Oz, a modern retelling of The Wizard of Oz from Valley Wind Productions in Ottawa.
- Oz, a new telling of The Wizard of Oz.
- A still unnamed horror movie set in the 1920s with Dorothy meeting Alice in Bedlam Asylum.
- Young Santa., based on L. Frank Baum's book The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus and directed by Sean McNamara.
- How the Wizard Came to Oz, based on two books by Donald Abbott.
- Not entirely Oz, strictly speaking, but the Judy Garland biography Get Happy may be made into a movie, featuring Anne Hathaway as Garland.
And it's not limited to movies any more. In development for television:
- Red Brick Road, a television series continuation of The Wizard of Oz in the style of Game of Thrones. The latest word is that this is being developed for the Lifetime channel.
- Dorothy, an Oz-themed medical drama in development at CBS
- Dorothy Must Die, in which Dorothy has returned to Oz and become a dictator, in development at the CW. This would be based on the book series of the same name.
- Warriors of Oz, a post-apocalyptic version in development at Syfy.
- A Wicked television miniseries, based on the original book (not the stage musical). Salma Hayak was attached to this as a producer. When last heard of, it was under development at ABC.
No, Peter Jackson is not producing or directing a billion-dollar all-CGI remake of The Wizard of Oz for Warner Bros. How do stories like this get started? Oh, maybe in stories like this...
In recent years, there have been proposals for other Oz or related projects, none of which now appear that they will get off the ground. Among them:
- Lost in Oz, a series that was to feature Melissa George as a Kansas university student who is whisked to Oz sixty years after the events of The Wizard of Oz (The Movie) and helping to spearhead a rebellion against the new Wicked Witch of the West. Although developed for the WB and a pilot film produced, it was never picked up, nor the pilot shown. (But keep an eye out on auction sites, as a bootleg DVD sometimes shows up…)
- A telelvision miniseries based on Gregory Maguire's novel Wicked, with Demi Moore in the title role. (There are stories that the people developing this version later pushed their involvement into the musical version now playing on Broadway and elsewhere.)
- The O. Z., a hip-hop flavored re-telling of The Wizard of Oz for Fox. Among the rumored Dorothy's at one point were Brandy, Mya, and the late Aaliyah. Justin Timberlake, John Leuizamo, and Little Richard were mentioned for other parts.
- Surrender Dorothy. Drew Barrymore as Dorothy's great-granddaughter coming to Oz, and battling the Wicked Witch of the West's granddaughter. (Rumors of this recently resurfaced, but were quickly squelched. This project is dead.)
- Somewhere starring Elizabeth Taylor as Dorothy, now a grandmother, returning to Oz. The deaths of both Taylor and developer Rod Steiger means this is unlikely to ever happen.
- Pamela West, where the Wicked Witch is the innocent victim and Dorothy (with Toto as a pit bull) is the evil interloper.
- The Land of Oz (not based on the book of the same name), produced by Hallmark for NBC. This eventually became the basis for the Sci Fi Channel miniseries Tin Man.
- The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus from Circa Pictures. It's no longer listed on their website.
- The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus from Hyde Park Entertainment and Toonz Entertainment.
- A Bollywood adaptation of The Wizard of Oz in India.
- A movie version of American McGee's (later cancelled) Oz video game.
- Geoff Ryman's Was.
If progress is made on any of these projects, such as actually going into production or a release date announced, the news will be posted as quickly as possible on this page. But at this stage, any of these going into production is very unlikely. (However, Tin Man was part of this list for some time before its eventual completion and broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel.)