March 1, 2013 |
Barely a mile from where James Franco, the wizard in Disney's new "Oz: The Great and Powerful," was recently giving interviews sat a billboard touting a middle-school stage production. " 'The Wizard of Oz' is coming!" it proclaimed, an endearing promotion that the master shyster himself might appreciate. Down the street, some of Hollywood's top actors were talking up their $200 million plus production of "Oz," but inside these halls pre-adolescent cowardly lions and scarecrows were dutifully rehearsing their numbers.
March 7, 2013 |
Sometimes sweet, sometimes scary, sometimes sour, "Oz the Great and Powerful" is a film that doesn't know its own mind. A partially effective jumble whose elements clash rather than cohere, this solid but not spectacular effort stubbornly refuses to catch fire until it's almost too late. As directed by Sam Raimi, who departed from his horror film roots ("The Evil Dead") to turn out the high-grossing, family-friendly "Spider-Man" trilogy, "Oz" exhibits some of the same tonal duality that marks its maker's career.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 3, 1995
The Brea Youth Theater has assembled 150 actors for a production of "The Wizard of Oz," which begins at 7:30 p.m. today and runs through Aug. 13 at the Curtis Theatre, 1 Civic Center Circle. Tickets are $9.50 for adults and $7.50 for children 12 and under. Performances will be Thursdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Information: (714) 990-7722.
March 8, 2013 |
For sale: one used lion costume. But we're not talking just any lion costume. Archivist James Comisar owns one of the largest archives of television artifacts, with about 10,000 individual objects. Now he's looking for a new home for the iconic Cowardly Lion costume designed by Gilbert Adrian and worn by Bert Lahr during all the "mane" sequences in the beloved 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz. " This may be the perfect time to pique collectors' interest in the costume because of the opening Friday of Sam Raimi's big-budget "Oz the Great and Powerful," which tells the story of how the wizard came to take up residence in the Emerald City.
December 19, 1986 |
The first audience research screening for Frank Oz's "Little Shop of Horrors" could not have been going better. The recruited viewers were applauding after each musical number. They were laughing at each joke. They became hysterical during the macabre comedic show-stopper where a sadistic dentist, played by Steve Martin, meets his match with a masochistic patient, played by Bill Murray.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 2010 |
Meinhardt Raabe, who played the Munchkin coroner in "The Wizard of Oz" and proclaimed that the Wicked Witch of the East was "really most sincerely dead," has died. He was 94. Raabe died Friday morning at a hospital in Orange Park, Fla., after an apparent heart attack, said his caregiver, Cindy Bosnyak. Raabe -- pronounced RAH'-bee -- was one of 124 Munchkins in the 1939 classic film and one of only nine who had speaking parts. He portrayed the Munchkin official who solemnly pronounces the witch dead after Dorothy's farmhouse lands on her: "As coroner I must aver, I thoroughly examined her, and she's not only merely dead, she's really most sincerely dead."
June 21, 1985 |
George Lucas was in Japan early last year when he learned that his longtime friend and frequent collaborator Walter Murch was in trouble on the set of "Return to Oz" in London. Francis Coppola, another old friend and colleague, was in Los Angeles when he heard the news. Within a week, Lucas and Coppola were on the Elstree Studios lot, lending moral support--and in the case of Lucas, advice--to help Murch keep his job as director of the $25-million "Wizard of Oz" sequel.
January 6, 2011 |
Mamoru Hosoda's "Summer Wars," an official entry for the animated feature Oscar, imagines an online community known as Oz, a virtual world so vast that it has become a marketplace, a social media site and a gaming enterprise ? in short, the engine that drives the electronic universe. The film certainly functions as a cautionary tale about humanity's increasing reliance on technology, but it's also a superb example of Japanese anime, balancing science fiction fantasy with a paean to the timeless value of family life.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 1987 |
One thing was clear to Rick Lowry when he stepped into the Land of Oz on Tuesday and stumbled over a couple making love. He sure wasn't in Kansas, Toto. Lowry, a city carpenter, was in Sherman Oaks. He was there to make emergency repairs to the Munchkins' castle--a place of giant-sized headaches for Los Angeles parks officials.
September 23, 2009 |
Numerous myths and legends have sprouted over the last seven decades regarding MGM's production No. 1060 -- better known as the beloved musical fantasy "The Wizard of Oz" -- like the tall tale that the studio wanted to cast Shirley Temple, not Judy Garland, as Dorothy. "That's one of those legends that have gotten so blown up," says "Oz" historian John Fricke ("The Wizard of Oz: An Illustrated Companion to a Timeless Movie Classic"). "The Temple thing . . . never entered the 'maybe' stage.