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‘The Wizard of Oz’ is Coming to Clarksville – Fun Oz Facts You Might Not Know

It seems like everyone’s “off to see the wizard.”  The Day in Oz Festival is coming to Clarksville, Missouri on Saturday, and it will feature an outdoor screening of the classic MGM that celebrated its 75th anniversary last year. Since Munchkins, witches and flying monkeys are on the brain, we decided to dig up a few fun Oz facts that you might not know.

The Wizard Of Oz - coming to Quincy Community Theatre
Tim Whitby, Getty Images
  • In the original book by L. Frank Baum, there were no ruby slippers. Instead, Dorothy received silver shoes.
  • The famous film starring Judy Garland was not the first, or even the second, third, fourth, or fifth Oz adaptation for the big screen. Oz had been the subject of several films going all the way back to the very early days of American cinema. Baum was even the president of The Oz Film Manufacturing Company, an independent film production company.
  • The first musical adaptation of ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ appeared on stage in 1902.
  • Stars like Dan Aykroyd , Kelsey Grammer, Lea Michele, Martin Short, Jim Belushi, Patrick Stewart and Bernadette Peters provided voices for the 3D animated film ‘Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return.’
  • On September 15, the 1939 ‘Wizard of Oz’ premiered in IMAX 3D during the grand opening of the new TCL Chinese Theatre in L.A. 95-year-old Ruth Duccini, one of two surviving Munchkins, attended.
  • Buddy Ebsen (the original Jed Clampett on ‘The Beverly Hillbillies’) was to play the part of the Tin Man in the 1939 film, but an allergic reaction to the makeup required for the character made it impossible.
  • L. Frank Baum wrote a total of 14 Oz books.
  • The Oz Club (Wizard of Oz fan club) was created by 13-year-old Justin Schiller in 1957 and is still active today, organizing Oz conventions and events, and publishing material related to the land of Oz.
A Day in Oz in Clarksville will include an appearance by Spirit of Oz, a professional touring group of Oz characters, who will peform in the park throughout the day. There will also be a Breakfast With Oz Characters for $6 per person, and several games and contests, like a Little Mister Scarecrow Contest, Little Miss Dorothy Contest, Scarecrow Building Contest, and Wicket Witch Cackle Contest. You can get more information and updates on the festival by liking the Day in Oz Facebook page.

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