Monday, May 11, 2015

Oz news!

Some new announcements have come up we can't wait on...

Intrada Records (specializing in film/TV score releases on CD) released a 2-disc soundtrack for Disney's Return to Oz, "including alternate takes, bonus cues, and the original 1985 album presentation." The official track list is shown below.

The title can be ordered from their website, and it can be ordered from Creature Features, who is offering an autographed version. The official release date is the 12th.

(Intrada also released the score CD for Oz the Great and Powerful. Most of their releases eventually pop up at Amazon.)

Creature Features also offers a podcast, and the latest episode interviews Walter Murch, discussing Return to Oz, offering his look at the movie's conception, production, and legacy. If you wanted a director's audio commentary for the movie, this might just be the next-best thing.

Some updates were revealed about NBC's upcoming live production of The Wiz, to air December 3rd. The first bit of promotional artwork was released (above), seemingly promising a lively interpretation of the musical.

Also, the first cast member was announced.

Stephanie Mills, the original Dorothy in the Broadway production, will appear as Aunt Em in the television event, meaning that the show will open with her singing the ballad "The Feeling That We Once Had" to the new Dorothy, seemingly handing over the role 40 years after she first performed "Home" onstage.

They have announced they are seeking a "fresh face" for Dorothy. Hopefully with Stephanie onboard, she really can hand over the role. NBC's official synopsis says that Dorothy is a young woman from Kansas, confirming that they will be sticking with the original play, and not going after the take attempted in the 1978 film version.

Several news articles wind up using pictures from the movie, speculation articles have popped up suggesting how they can work in the movie's ideas, and the public in general is not as familiar with the play as they are with the movie. This is why NBC is doing these plays, people. If you want the movie, you can have it: it's on home video. This is something else.

No other cast members have been announced, but fans are expecting NBC to cast Audra McDonald as Glinda. She played the Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music Live two years ago, knocking out "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," so she can probably handle "A Rested Body Is A Rested Mind" and "Believe In Yourself" quite well.

I'm so excited about this, I've actually written Universal Studios Home Entertainment about getting the recording of the live event released on Blu-Ray. (The Sound of Music and Peter Pan were only released on DVD and digital video, and following their format, we should also be getting a new cast album on CD and digital.) If you'd like to write in yourself, here is the link for where to contact them. (Well, follow the appropriate link under "other inquiries.")

Few tips: Say the title you're writing about is "The Wiz Live" and select "Blu-Ray" when selecting which format. Be respectful and write in a way that lets them know you're excited about the production and would love to buy the recording on Blu-Ray. And please be prepared to do exactly that. (I tweeted Disney Movie Club about wanting Return to Oz on Blu-Ray, and we got it! So who knows what a few e-mails might do?)

Finally, Amazon has another Oz-based kids series with a pilot coming soon for free viewing. Titled Lost in Oz (not to be confused with any other project with that title ever), the description is thus:

The show is an animated, action-adventure comedy set in a modern, metropolitan Emerald City. Stranded in this spectacular world, 12-year-old Dorothy Gale befriends West, a young, street-smart witch grappling with dark temptations, and Ojo, a giant munchkin. With Dorothy’s dog Toto, this unlikely crew embarks on an journey, seeking out the magic Dorothy needs to get back to Kansas.

Developed and produced by Bureau of Magic’s Darin Mark, Jared Mark, Abram Makowka, and Mark Warshaw (East Los High, Smallville), this contemporary re-imagining of L. Frank Baum’s universe is designed by Flaunt Productions (Under Siege, Project Spark), animated by Arc Productions (9, Gnomeo & Juliet), scored by Adam Berry (The Penguins of Madagascar) with theme music by Mark Mothersbaugh (The Lego Movie).
Sounds interesting, and a lot more family-friendly than NBC's Emerald City which was recently revived and expected to air either during the winter break or as a midseason replacement during the 2015/2016 season.

A lot of Oz news, people! What a time to be a fan!

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

The animated show looks charming. The stills have a stop motion like quality to them. I hope with the updated take they still manage to maintain a classic feel.