The Woodsman, Expanding Oz, Oz-Stravaganza, and ESMoA

The Woodsman, on stage now at the Bluebarn Theater in Omaha, is an engrossing, innovative production I completely loved. Although I heard James speak last summer and read his interview about The Woodsman in the Winter 2018 Baum Bugle, I had not seen the play performed live. You can read a glowing review at

Much of what made my visit memorable happened after the show when
writer/director James Ortiz introduced me to cast members and showed me some of the extraordinary puppets used on stage.

Thursday May 30 and June 6 following the 7:30 p.m. shows, James is scheduled for talk-back sessions with the audience. Too fun!  If you could make it, I can’t encourage you enough. Tickets are general admission. Arrive early and have a Green Monkey at the bar…

Bluebarn Theatre
1106 S 10th St
Omaha, NE 68108
Phone: 402.345.1576
The only reason I won’t be there again is because I have an exhibit opening June 1 here in Kansas City.  Expanding Oz borrows hundreds of pieces from my collection aiming to “trace the growth of the The Wizard of Oz phenomenon, explore its global appeal, and illustrate its influence on popular culture.” An opening event is planned May 31; I’ve included all Kansas and Missouri Oz Club members on the invitation list, but if you can join us, let me know! The more the merrier. 
Johnson County Museum
8788 Metcalf Ave.
Overland Park, KS. 66212
Phone: 913.826.2787
But the Midwest isn’t the only place to end the month.  Oz-Stravaganza!, the wonderful weekend festival produced by the All Things Oz museum , kicks off May 31 in Baum’s hometown of Chittenango, NY.  Saturday’s parade — the only Oz parade in the country — is always a highlight.
All Things Oz Museum
219 Genesee St.
Chittenango, NY 13037
Phone: 315.687.7772
West Coast?  You’ll have to wait a couple weeks, but the El Segundo Museum of Art opens Experience 41: Oz June 13. I’m especially pleased that selections from the Oz Club’s collection will included in this exhibit. Which reminds me to sign and return paperwork!  I’m loaning a few pieces, too.
209 Main Street
El Segundo, California 90245
Phone: 424.277.1020

Happy 100th, Nick Chopper

The Tin Woodman of Oz was published in 1918, so our last 2018 issue of the Baum Bugle celebrates that particular story.  As Oz book readers know, it was in this book that the Tin Woodman was prompted to revisit his past in search of the woman with whom he’d been in love prior to suffering the enchanted that cost him his heart.  A quest with twists and surprises, giants and transformations, discovered “twins” and old friends, the book was L. Frank Baum’s 12th Oz title.

For the Bugle, editor Sarah Crotzer provided an appreciation and John Bell a plot analysis. Scott Cummings revisited reviews and advertising in one of his occasional “Oz Under Scrutiny” reports. 

But we didn’t stop when the last page turned.  This story has found a life of its own in stage and screen adaptions. Five men who’ve brought Nick Chopper to life were interviewed about their projects in our cover story. Todrick Hall, the performer who’s Straight Outta Oz tour infused contemporary music, dance and themes into Oz, created memorable Tin Men; Dina Schiff Massachi explores them in her article, “Metal, Malleable, Male.” 

You also get a look at what the Tin Man has looked like through the years. Tin Man toys and collectibles (100 of them) are pictured inside the back cover. After describing the defining characteristics of some of the more collectible book reprints, the variety of character interpretations led to this issue’s “Baum Bugle Extra”, an online gallery of 100 different appearances of the Tin Woodman. Follow this link to see it here.

Of course there are also the popular Bugle reports. The Bulletin shares news. In addition to Ozma’s Honor Roll, we profile Bill Thompson, winner of the 2018 L Frank Baum Memorial Award. Oz in the Arts reviews some recent performances, and the Bugle Review serves up some recently published titles.  Finally, to her her many friends most importantly, the loss of the Oz Club’s beloved past president and Bugle editor, Barbara Koelle, is recognized with fond tributes from her daughter and dear friend Patty Tobias.