Friday, February 22, 2008

Wizzin' On Down The Road

This week, the 30th Anniversary DVD edition of the film version of "The Wiz" was released. In both honor and snub of that, and as people have asked me how different the play is from the movie, I am presenting six videos from YouTube of different productions of the play:

First up is a series of video clips of the recent Dutch revival of "The Wiz." Hey... this isn't an all-black cast! That's kind of cool!

Next up is a song that was done quite differently in the film: Aunt Em's solo "The Feeling We Once Had." This Aunt Em isn't too bad!

Next up is one of my favorites from the set: Dorothy encourages the Cowardly Lion to "Be A Lion."

The next three videos are all songs in the play that were NOT in the film.

- UNLIKE the movie, the Wiz leaves Oz, but not without encouraging the people to be independent in the lively number "Y'all Got It!"

- Glinda's entrance in the film is different, too. Addaperle (the Good Witch of the North, not Miss One, as she is in the movie) introduces Glinda, who sings the soothing number "A Rested Body." (Good, because we need a bit of relaxing before we get into the two closing numbers...)

- And lastly, "You Can't Win" WAS originally in the play, but it wasn't for the Scarecrow to sing. It was going to be a song some Winkies sing to Dorothy telling her how hopeless service to the Wicked Witch of the West is. However, it was cut before the play ever opened. (I guess they decided Micheal Jackson needed a more upbeat albeit whiny anthem...) Here is "I Was Born On The Day Before Yesterday," the original and more confident song the Scarecrow sang.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Guess Which One Of Your Favorite Superheroes Is An Oz Fan?

In Spectacular Spider-Man #56 (volume 1), Spider-Man's first encounter with villain Jack O'Lantern is recounted. When Spidey first sees him, paramedics are carrying the villain on a stretcher. Look at this dialogue:

Image Copyright of Marvel Comics

Yeah... in case you couldn't read that, Spidey thinks to himself, "Of course a fella who dresses up like a human spider shouldn't talk about looking weird . . . but this guy really takes the cake! I mean . . . a pumpkin-head? What's he supposed to be, a refugee from Oz?"

Meanwhile the lead paramedic says "Let's hustle, boys! The word came down to get this Jack O'Lantern guy into the prison ward on the double!"

Anyhoo... A man with a pumpkin for a head makes Spidey think of Jack Pumpkinhead from the Land of Oz. Apparently, Peter Parker has read the Oz books...

The comic book is dated 1981, four years before "Return to Oz," and remembering Jack's incarnations from the adaptation of The Land of Oz on The Shirley Temple Show in 1961, Barry Mahon's The Wonderful Land of Oz, and Filmation's Journey Back to Oz is unlikely.

Or maybe he picked up Marvel's 1978 comic book adaptation of The Marvelous Land of Oz that they tried to sell off remaining copies of for a few years...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Most watched Wonder...

It has recently come to my attention that the second episode of "The Wonders of Oz" has had over 3000 views, while all the others have only had a few hundred or so. (Episode 1 has only about 1290 by now.)

I found it curious. To be sure, Matt Bloom made his first appearance as the voice of L. Frank Baum on it, but him attracting that many views is unlikely. Then I remembered something.

The end credits song is by a very popular a capella group called Chapter 6. Likely, people doing searches for them turned it up. Maybe their interest was piqued and they watched it, probably expecting to hear a part of Chapter 6's "Wizard of Oz" abridgement. However, they found a trimmed excerpt of "I'll Be There" from the group's first album A Capella 101: The College Years.

Now, it seems, the video may get more views, as I listed the group members from 1999 in the video description. One of them, Luke Menard, has made it to the top 24 of this year's American Idol competition. (I've seen Chapter 6 live about a dozen times or so, and I've met them all. Luke is a very friendly fellow. His wife, Lara, is very fortunate!)

Yeah, so this year's American Idol may get that video more views...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Music Video

Here's another music video I've whipped up. I've had this idea in mind for a long time, probably ever since I first heard the song. So, there you are.

I'm going to try to keep up on fun videos until I get everything for Wonders 8 ready. Sam and I have lots of ideas, so stay posted, or, if you have a YouTube account, subscribe to my channel.

And hey, I'm assuredly not the only Oz fan with a YouTube! Why not send me a friend request or post a message somewhere, so I can find you. Maybe I'll even subscribe to you!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Little Announcement

Hey, all. I just need to let you know that I have disabled anonymous comments. In order to post a comment, you need a Google or Blogger account.


Because I was dealing with a lot of pretty rude comments, some of them about me, but, even worse, most of these negative comments were directed at my friends. Frankly, I'm not impressed when you say negative stuff about other people, then don't have the nerve to let me know who you are.

I want my Oz projects to be all-inclusive, but when you can't say something nice about someone, and then say it in a not-so-nice way, I frankly don't want to hear it!

I'm sorry if I sound like I'm ranting, or saying negative things about these people who've been posting these comments, but there is no other way for me to explain it this quickly.

I have the right to approve and reject comments here, and when I do, I don't want to deal with comments that I have to get rid of. I know not everyone sees eye-to-eye with me on everything, but there are better ways to communicate your opinions.