OzCon International (Aug. 10-12) offered a wonderful program packed with enough great Oz activity to appeal to all kinds of Oz fans.
The year marked the centennial of The Tin Woodman of Oz, so our friend Nick Chopper received extra attention. James Ortiz, for example, joined us to talk about his fascinating and critically acclaimed off-Broadway production of THE WOODSMAN. David Maxine presented what we know about Broadway’s first Tin Woodman, actor David Montgomery. Eric Shanower walked his audience through different ways the character’s been illustrated. Jack Haley’s grandson Barry Bregman shared family stories about the MGM star. And Dina Schiff Massachi’s talk brought us clear up to Todrick Hall’s Tin Man.
That was just the Tin Woodman; there were roughly two dozen other presentations, too. Baum sites in Los Angeles, JOURNEY BACK TO OZ, Marriages in Oz, MGM special effects, Animated Oz, and Ray Bolger each had a spotlight. Authors shared new books about Matilda Joslyn Gage, Gay Fans of Oz, and newly published Oz fiction. It was a glorious abundance.
There was much more than presentations, of course. The dealer’s room offered rare book specialists, collectibles and fine art. Dramatics included the delightful Raymond Wohl’s one-man performance as L. Frank Baum, and a “readers’ theater” skit about Baum’s Tin Woodman of Oz. The costume contest, “It’s the Baum” game show, after-hours karaoke, and much, much conversation keep the adrenaline going all weekend.
If you’ve never attended an Oz convention, 2019 is the perfect time to change that! The Club will host Oz: The National Convention outside New Orleans in June, and OzCon International will return to Pomona, California, in July. Conventions attract fans of all ages, and with all interests. There are always first-time attendees as well as those who make it an annual event. We’d love to have you join the fun!