WAMEGO’S OZTOBERFEST (OCT. 1 & 2) OFFERS “THE COWARDLY LION’S DAUGHTER”…

 

Wamego # 76 August 12, 2016

WAMEGO’S OZTOBERFEST (OCT. 1 & 2) OFFERS “THE COWARDLY LION’S DAUGHTER”…

PLUS: SPECIAL GUESTS, AN OZ “MURDER MYSTERY,” AND A WIDE RANGE OF

BOTH NEW AND FAMILIAR OUTDOOR FAMILY ENTERTAINMENTS AND ACTIVITIES!

 

It’s impossible -- for me, anyway -- to believe that we’ve completed another year of these blogs. This is number seventy-six of the series, and I’ll be taking a hiatus for several weeks, so that plans might be made for the future of such journalese. We want to ensure that whatever is posted here manages to be of the best-possible benefit for the extraordinary OZ Museum of Wamego, and the town’s annual celebration: the great (and powerful!) OZtoberFest itself.

 

And that’s a logical segue to the paramount news of the summer: Instead of wrapping up with the trivia- questions-and-response that have been customary on the second Friday installment of each of these past eleven months, we’re instead going to offer the initial overview of the 2016 OZtoberFest schedule. It’s certainly time to launch (or solidify) your plans for the first weekend in October, and Wamego is producing a glorious spectrum of Ozzy – and other – fun for the whole family.

 

We start with Oz…of course! As has been previously heralded, this year’s celebration is particularly proud to welcome editor/writer/publisher Jane Lahr – the daughter of the legendary Bert Lahr, “Cowardly Lion” of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s 1939 motion picture version of L. Frank Baum’s THE WIZARD OF OZ. Jane will be available for photo opportunities and autographs in The OZ Museum on Saturday morning and early afternoon; she then will offer a program about her phenomenal dad at 4 p.m. in the main auditorium of The Columbian Theatre (just a few doors north of the Museum).

 

Another honored guest is Roger S. Baum, the great-grandson of L. Frank Baum, the “Royal Historian of Oz” himself. Roger has inherited the story-telling mantle of his ancestor, and two of his many books already have been adapted for the movies, LION OF OZ and LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY’S RETURN – with more to follow! After an absence of several years, he and his wife Charlene make a most welcome return to OZtoberFest

 

Much of the rest of the weekend’s Oz entertainment will be given, as usual, in the mini-theater in The OZ Museum itself. With all-new programming to share, our celebrity guests – in alphabetical order! – include: JP Cafiero, OFM, Franciscan Priest of the Sacred Heart Province of Chicago/St. Louis, is a familiar festival presence, as it is his family’s amazing Oz collection that comprises much of what is on display at The OZ Museum. John Fricke is widely regarded (it says here, anyway…) as the preeminent WIZARD OF OZ/ Judy Garland historian/author, with seven books -- plus documentaries, DVDs, CDs, and two Emmy Awards -- to his credit. Ryan Jay is the nationally-syndicated radio commentator and TV motion picture critic, whose one-of-a-kind footage of interviews with Oz-related stars and notables have thrilled attendees of the last three OZtoberFests. Paul Miles Schneider is the author of two exemplary contemporary Oz books, SILVER SHOES and THE POWDER OF LIFE, wherein twelve-year-old Donald Gardner discovers the reality of Oz in present-day Kansas -- and elsewhere!

 

Admission to The OZ Museum for either day of OZtoberFest is $12 for an adult, $8 for a child ($10 for a military adult, $6 for a military child). This includes unlimited time in (and come-and-go access for the day to) the museum, as well as admittance to all the speaker events, both at the Museum itself and at The Columbian Theatre for Jane Lahr’s Saturday-only reminiscences about her father. Two different, additional presentations – and two reprises of the Saturday programs – will be offered in the Museum on Sunday, when the prices of admission remain the same but must be paid again.

 

The general schedule of appearances by the special guests – and the topics they’ll discuss – will be found below.

 

Yet there’s much, much more to 2016 OZtoberFest 2016. A brand-new evening treat will grace The Columbian Theatre on Friday, September 30th and Saturday, October 1st at 7:30. The OZTOBERFEST MURDER MYSTERY is an original oztravaganza, built around a musical stage production of THE WIZARD OF OZ that is being beset with “raging divas, faulty props…and murder!” The merriment and mayhem leads to alternate endings, so there’s a surprise factor at each performance of this hilarious “whodunit?” (Was it the Wicked Witch? the Cowardly Lion? dear Aunt Em? Or…?!) Tickets are now on sale through The Columbian Theatre: $30.00 for adults and $25.00 for children and students, which includes the performance and hors d’ oeuvres. The OZTOBERFEST MURDER MYSTERY is sponsored by Briggs Auto Lane, Manhattan.

 

Beyond all of the foregoing, the Wamego Chamber of Commerce plans to produce a range of outdoor recreations, attractions, sights-to-see, and food and drink, all up and down Lincoln Avenue, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, October 1st. Corey Reeves, Chamber president, will emcee the action on the Main Stage, erected in front of the Columbian Theatre to showcase bands and local acts. The annual car show (from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. only) will feature vintage vehicles, resplendently polished and poised for the occasion. There’ll be vendors, a special playground for youngsters, antiques on display, home-made treats, and etc. – and many of these amusements will be Oz-themed to-the-max.

 

Finally: Negotiations are underway for the addition of even more special guests, attractions, and events to the roster, including both coloring and writing contests for local students. Additional detail will be forthcoming from The OZ Museum, OZtoberFest, and the Chamber of Commerce in the weeks ahead, so please watch for announcements about the additional delights!

 

For further information about OZtoberFest and the special guests:
The OZ Museum, 511 Lincoln Avenue, Wamego, KS 66547:
1-866-458-TOTO (8686) or email at info@ozmuseum.com

 

For further information about (and tickets to) the OZTOBERFEST MURDER MYSTERY:

The Columbian Theatre, 521 Lincoln Avenue, Wamego, KS 66547: 1-800-899-1893 or email at BoxOffice@ColumbianTheatre.com

###

 

Here is the preliminary, advance OZ EVENT SCHEDULE for OZtoberFest Weekend.

 

 

FRIDAY, 9/30:                

7:30 p.m., OZTOBERFEST MURDER MYSTERY, The Columbian Theatre (ticket information and prices above).

 

SATURDAY, 10/1:        

10:00 a.m., OPENING CEREMONY. Festival host John Fricke introduces all of the weekend’s special guests in an informal presentation on the outdoor stage in front of The Columbian Theatre. FREE.

                                        

In addition to the all-day and ongoing outdoor stage events (emceed by Corey Reeves) and the myriad outdoor activities planned by the Wamego Chamber of Commerce, The OZ Museum will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Admission to the Museum (prices above) includes the chance to meet Roger S. Baum, as well as attend any or all of the day’s special-entertainment lectures in the mini-theater and Jane Lahr’s presentation at The Columbian. Specific times will be posted in the weeks ahead, but on Saturday, these include:

 

“MEET” THE CAST & CREATORS OF NBC-TV’S “THE WIZ LIVE!”: Television and radio movie critic/historian Ryan Jay presents his own video interviews with the stars (in front of and behind the cameras) of last December’s triumphant national telecast.

 

RE-IMAGINING OZ FOR TODAY’S AUDIENCES: How does a Kansas boy grow up to write SILVER SHOES and THE POWDER OF LIFE -- acclaimed modern-day action/adventure Oz stories? Author Paul Miles Schneider lived through a tornado; reveled in his grandfather’s Oz books (and a private viewing of the real ruby slippers); and had “Wicked Witch” Margaret Hamilton as his childhood pen-pal...that’s how!

 

WHY OZ?: Johnpaul Cafiero recounts his family’s life-long Ozmania…and the emotional ramifications across the decades that led him to offering their collection to Wamego’s OZ Museum.

 

THE WIZARD OF OZ” ON TV -- THE 60th ANNIVERSARY!: On November 3rd, it’ll be exactly six decades since the very first network telecast of MGM's THE WIZARD OF OZ took place. John Fricke looks back on the history – and timeless memories -- of what became a forty-year-plus, milestone television event.

 

Definitely Scheduled at 4 p.m.!: THE LEGENDARY LION: Jane Lahr offers magical, emotional memories of her father, the incomparable Bert Lahr, whose nonpareil entertainment career included burlesque, vaudeville, television, Broadway (comedies, musicals, dramas), Shakespeare, Samuel Beckett’s WAITING FOR GODOT…AND his stint as The Cowardly Lion in MGM’s 1939 classic, THE WIZARD OF OZ. Jane’s special interview will include a question-and-answer period with the audience. SPECIAL REMINDER: Due to the expected crowd, THE LEGENDARY LION program will be presented in The Columbian Theatre, and all those who purchase Saturday admission to The OZ Museum will be welcome.

 

GRAND FINALE: Jane Lahr’s interview will segue directly to onstage appearances at The Columbian by all the special guests for a question-and-answer session.

 

Also:

7:30 p.m., OZTOBERFEST MURDER MYSTERY, The Columbian Theatre (ticket information and prices above).

 

 

SUNDAY, 10/2:

The OZ Museum will be open from 12 noon until 6 p.m. Admission prices are quoted above, and in addition to viewing the thousands of items on display, visitors may attend any or all of four different presentations, TWO OF WHICH ARE DIFFERENT FROM THOSE OFFERED ON SATURDAY. Specific times will be announced nearer to the Festival dates:

 

THE SPIRITUAL JOURNEY: REFLECTIONS FROM “THE WIZARD OF OZ”: Johnpaul Cafiero (OFM, Franciscan Priest of the Sacred Heart Province of Chicago/St. Louis) ponders the inspirational resonance of L. Frank Baum’s countries and characters. (NEW FOR SUNDAY.)

 

FRIEND AND CORRESPONDENT: THE WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST!: Author Paul Miles Schneider shares his experience of meeting Margaret Hamilton, MGM's “Wicked Witch,” when he was six years old. They then became pen-pals to fulfill Paul’s second-grade school assignment. These reminiscences include video and audio clips, plus photos from Ms. Hamilton's career. (NEW FOR SUNDAY.)

 

“MEET” THE CAST & CREATORS OF NBC-TV’S “THE WIZ LIVE!”: Television and radio movie critic/historian Ryan Jay presents his own video interviews with the stars (in front of and behind the cameras) of last December’s triumphant national telecast.

 

THE WIZARD OF OZ” ON TV – THE 60th ANNIVERSARY!: On November 3rd, it’ll be exactly six decades since the very first network telecast of MGM's THE WIZARD OF OZ took place. John Fricke looks back on the history – and timeless memories -- of what became a forty-year-plus milestone television event.

 

 
 

Article by John Fricke

 

OZ Museum
511 Lincoln
Wamego, Kansas 66547

Toll Free: (866) 458-TOTO (8686)
Local: (785) 458-8686
Email: info@ozmuseum.com

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