Monday, September 17, 2012

Angelo Invades Chesterton!

This past weekend, my mother and I drove up to Chesterton, Indiana for their annual Wizard of Oz festival.

First, we checked out the Dorothy of Oz booth, where they were selling exclusive jewelry by Timeless Tresor. You had to buy an item from their jewelry line to get into one of the special clip screenings that producer Ryan Carroll hosted every hour.

As we were waiting for the noon screening to start, we stopped by Roger S. Baum's booth and bought the pre-release edition of his new book, The Oz Enigma. His wife, Charlene Baum was at the booth and they were both extremely friendly. He personally autographed everyone's books, which did take a bit for the people in line, but it's an honor to have met him and have an autographed message from him.

After that, we walked around for a bit and ran into Ryan Jay, who I had talked to online several times before. He is a nationally-syndicated film critic from Milwaukee, and is super cool. As some of you who have met me know, I am not typically a talkative person, so I didn't really say much.

I did a little shopping, and we headed over to the Dorothy of Oz screening tent. When we got in there, producer Ryan Carroll and Charley Cullen Walters, who does all of the public relations for the movie, were already talking up the flick and welcoming people. They showed about twenty minutes of various scenes from the movie, followed by a Q&A.

The animation certainly looked cute, and the score sounded really nice, especially in the first scene they showed where Dorothy arrives in Oz. One of the clips featured the song "Work With Me" written by Bryan Adams which was undeniably adorable and catchy. There was even a small appearance during the song by the Sawhorse and the Queen of Field Mice. There were also some genuinely funny moments in the scene where the Jester captures Glinda. Martin Short brings a lot of energy into his performance as the Jester, and Bernadette Peters seems to fit the role of Glinda nicely as well.

Courtesy of Summertime Entertainment. 

When asked about a release date for the film, Mr. Carroll never really gave a definite answer, but I did hear late next summer and 3,000 screens in there. I was charmed by the clips I saw, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we get to see the finished product sooner than later!

After the Q&A, we got something to eat and did more shopping. I bought a couple of things from Celeste Hertz's booth, too. She had a lot of cool items! Oh, yeah, and we saw this at some point...

I passed by John Fricke's booth, but didn't stop to get an autograph because I wasn't really interested  in buying his new Judy Garland book, and didn't want to meet him and then not buy anything. It was super crowded, but I was able to spot a few Oz fans I recognized from Facebook groups and whatnot.

Overall, I had a good time at the festival. I bought some really cool things like a Return to Oz puzzle, the Return to Oz storybook, a Wizard of Oz edition of UNO (because I can), two neat pillows from the iCollectOz booth, the Scholastic edition of The Magic of Oz, a couple of Dorothy of Oz dog tags, the pre-release edition of The Oz Enigma autographed by the author, a festival t-shirt, and a neat bracelet with removable Ozzy charms from Celeste's booth. 

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