The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary

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The Wizard of Oz 70th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition will be released on September 29, capping off a year’s worth of Oz festivities that celebrates the movie’s 1939 premiere. Ashanti (who recently played Dorothy in The Wiz at City Center Encores in New York) and Lorna Luft (daughter of Judy Garland) will perform along with five of the munchkins from the original film at the “Emerald Gala” at Tavern on the Green in New York. I’ve GOT to get at ticket.

I grew up in Kansas. When The Wizard of Oz aired on network television on Easter weekend during my youth, it was practically a state holiday. In fact, the state tourism board used to run commercials that featured pastoral shots of the sun rising over waving wheat and a voiceover that proclaimed, “Aaahhhhh Kansas!”  The tag line to the ad was “Kansas. Land of Ahs.”  Get it?

Needless to say, I’m a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz and each viewing continues to be a magical experience for me. The first appearance of Margaret Hamilton as Elmira Gulch (and shortly thereafter as the Wicked Witch of the West) is as scary to me as those damn flying monkeys. The breathtaking transition from black and white Kansas to technicolor Oz still leaves me in awe. The film’s timeless themes of friendship and family and home will inspire generations for years to come.

Who’s your favorite friend of Dorothy:  Roy Bolger as the Scarecrow, Jack Haley as the Tinman or Bert Lahr as the Cowardly Lion? Voice your choice in today’s featured poll, and check out http://www.thewizardofoz.com for more information on the 70th anniversary festivities.

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