More Oz Options: Read, Listen, Watch

If you think you’ve read all the Oz things there are to read, I suspect you need to see TheOzIndex.com. Our webmaster, board member, Ozmapolitan Express editor, Facebook administrator — he of many hats — Blair Frodelius created the Index as a database to gather all the Oz related publications he can find. And boy, has he ever found some. Packed with fiction and reference titles, browse around. You’ll find the original Oz books, newer fiction for both kids and adults, biographies, collecting books, literary analysis and “making of” books. You’re sure to find a book that appeals to you.

I grabbed this photo of Blair off his chapter reading of The Wizard of Oz that you can find on our Youtube channel. He read Chapter 16 for us.

Here’s a promo bit from when Anne Hathaway recorded the original story.  And here’s her entire reading at just under four hours. Nearly 79,000 people have tuned into Youtube to listen to her read The Wizard of Oz.  Perhaps The Magic of Oz, recently celebrated in the Baum Bugle would be a less familiar story? Libravox posted a recording of it here. You can find their entire list of Oz titles on their website.

You can purchase recordings of all Baum’s Oz books, too. One site that sells them is audiobookstore.com.

While most books not yet in the public domain, are not available as free audiobooks, I found Gregory Maguire reading his Wicked sequel, Son of a Witch on Youtube.

Audio productions aren’t limited to books-on-tape (although you’ll find plenty of those).  The Colonial Radio Players have created “radio dramatizations” of the first six Oz books. From the modern new take on Oz, Hit the Bricks, (here’s a live table reading if you’d prefer) to the Lux Radio Theater hour-long version of The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland, that was broadcast as a Christmas special in 1950, Youtube has multiple options.

Some of my favorite other-than-book things you might enjoy online include the Wizard of Oz in Concert: Dreams Come True  Recorded in 1995 with an all-star cast, it’s a marvelous way to enjoy the MGM classic.

For a much shorter version of the MGM Film, try the incomparable Bobby McFerrin in his one-man show of the beloved 1939 musical. You can add a version of this performance to your collection if you find the Disney CD “For Our Children, the concert” recorded in 1991 to benefit the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Or, you can enjoy it online here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0jxxQGJOJ0

And if you’ve not seen Todrick Hall and Pentatonix, you can’t imagine what you’re missing.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rCQJmVaQpg&list=RD5rCQJmVaQpg&start_radio=1

More Todrick? Here’s the online version of his Straight Outta Oz production, that toured the US and Canada in 2016. This Oz production features all original musical written and produced by Hall. It uses the Wizard of Oz as a metaphor to share his own life story. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mUSwHhJ6zA

That’s it for now, but its just the tip of the iceberg for the Oz you can find online with just a little sleuthing.

No Place Like Home For An Oz Event

This Saturday, May 23, fans can experience a new kind of Oz event from the safety of home. Yaymaker Events invited film critic and Oz historian Ryan Jay to interview Oz celebrities in the first-ever virtual Oz convention. He soon assembled a star-studded cast to take fans behind the stage, screen, and page of some of his favorite Oz projects:

Todrick Hall (Straight Outta Oz)
Gregory Maguire (Author, Wicked)
Danielle Paige (Author, Dorothy Must Die)
Rob Paulsen (Voice of the Tin Man in Tom & Jerry The Wizard of Oz and Back to Oz)
Emma Ridley (Ozma, Disney’s Return to Oz)
Kari Wahlgren (Voice of Dorothy/Queen Ozma, Boomerang’s Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz)
Shanice Williams (Dorothy, NBC’s The Wiz Live)

Join the fun Saturday May 23 at 7 p.m. central daylight time for this live event.

100% of the $10 tickets benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS with relief to those suffering from COVID-19. Tickets available now at https://bit.ly/35TRkCR

Ryan, a life-long Oz fan, is well-known in the Oz community for his red-carpet and on-screen interviews with current Oz celebrities.  A member of the board of directors for the International Wizard of Oz Club and chairman of the Club’s Planning Committee, he began attending Oz conventions before he was old enough to drive. Today he presents and hosts Oz events around the country. 

Ozzy Options for Those Safely-at-Home

All over social media, I see Oz fans using Oz fabrics to sew face masks. Friends who are comfortable on camera perform live, sometimes daily. Facebook communities offer questions for members to answer, games to play, and productions to watch in virtual parties. The Club did our bit with daily chapter readings of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz you can find on our Youtube channel.

But that was Month One.  Now what? Because there’s no end in sight to safer-at-home shutdowns, isolation and closed businesses.  After casting about for Oz activities, I’m passing along these ideas for you to consider.

Write!
Keep a journal of your corona season. No Oz journals in your collection? With just a little online searching you’ll find new or vintage journals styled after the original book:

After the famous MGM film:

And after the Broadway musical Wicked:

You can also support small businesses by searching Etsy, eBay, and CafePress where you can buy Oz journals and other products directly from creators and vintage collectible dealers.

This is also the perfect time to write that Oz story that’s been kicking around in your head. Our 2020 Club Contests are open and would love to have you submit your work. Which is exactly what the team behind the All Things Oz writing contests are saying about their annual contest.  Check rules and guidelines by clicking these links, and get writing.

The Club Contests also seek research submissions and art. If you aren’t a fiction writer but enjoy exploring Oz topics, share your original work with us. Following the contests, we pass research submissions along to the Baum Bugle editor for consideration. There could also be opportunities to share your work as a presenter or performer at an Oz convention or festival.  Event planners are always looking for new presenters and fresh material.

Artwork
If you’re an artist and you know it I certainly don’t have to tell you how to keep busy! But those of us who aren’t producing art professionally can still enjoy some Ozzy creating.

Wizard of Oz coloring books for adults are a thing. You will find several both new and on the secondary market if you start looking.

Also new and wildly popular with crafters, “diamond art” using sparkly bits to cover large canvases of MGM art. Click on the Wicked Witch of the West at the left to see one of many possible suppliers

Cross stitch, embroidery, and appliqué projects are also easy to find with a little searching. Fans make quilts out of old Oz t-shirts, too.  Here’s an embroidery kit on Etsy similar to a piece in my collection.  I can barely thread a needle without drawing blood, so I have to add these to my collection by finding work that’s already finished. But for those with the skill, patience, and time there are wonderful patterns and projects to be found.

And all manner of projects can spring from the Graphic 45 Magic of Oz scrapbooking sets. There are several tutorials on Youtube, some of them hours long. This shorter one, below, might give you ideas for what you could do with this set of graphic papers.

Puzzles 

Hallmark’s 2000-piece Springbok puzzle was produced in 1993. If you have one, it’s high time you worked it!  They can still be found on eBay and similar secondary markets.

For considerably more money you also can find hand-cut wooden jigsaw puzzles with Oz themes, like this one (left) of Dave Montgomery as the Tin Woodman in the 1903 Broadway musical of The Wizard of Oz. (Click on him to see the puzzle on Etsy.)

If “free” is your preferred price, you can find digital jigsaw puzzles at JigsawPlanet.com. Search Wizard of Oz for hundreds of options, or upload Oz images to create your own.  Or break out your Oz vocabulary with this crossword puzzle that recently popped up in a Facebook post.

Thomas Kinkade Oz artwork was featured on puzzles in 2014, while this 1000-piece puzzle (below) has been showing up across the US recently.

I also recommend Everything Oz: The Wizard Book of Makes and Bakes. To shop for it at an independent book store,  here’s a link to copies available through ABE.com.

That’s it for today, but I’ve already started drafting blogs of Oz cookbooks, unusual Oz films to watch, and ideas suitable for kids.

Many thanks to Facebook friends who helped me turn up some of these. Please add your own Oz activity recommendations in the comments section.

 

PS. A few things sent to me since I posted this.  Here’s another embroidery chart.   A couple great puzzles (the Wicked Witch one has puzzle pieces cut in shapes; they show a witch hat and flying monkey as examples on the cover of the box):

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there are older sewing/fabric kits to be found on the secondary market, like this wonderful Bucilla Wizard of Oz Christmas stocking.