Movie theaters nationwide are celebrating the 80th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz this week. Audiences young and old won't want to miss this special showing. This beloved classic includes special insight from Turner Classic Movies. For more details about these screenings, click here.
Believe it or not, The Wizard of Oz was a bit of a flop when it was released in 1939, barely recouping its initial investment of $2.8 million. It did, however, win two Oscars -- for Best Original Score and Best Original Song. It wasn't until the film was shown on television in 1956 that it became a massive hit. Now woven into the fabric of our culture, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was in fact named the #1 Song of the 20th Century.
TMTP's education outreach program Kids Love Musicals! uses the film and its story as a resource in classrooms all across northeast Ohio. Students engage in discussions on major themes including courage, love and a sense of belonging through song, dance and active play.
Here is one of our Teaching Artists, Mariah Burks, sharing the film's iconic song with a group of 4th graders at East Woods in Hudson earlier this month.
By Ken Bloom
Steven Cole was a friend of the great Ethel Merman, and La Merm gave him copies of her home-made private recordings. Among these are many rarities including “Leather Lungs" recording songs from her upcoming Broadway show, Gypsy. She even covers songs from the musical that she didn’t sing, including a genuinely touching “Little Lamb.” Mermania! has all that — and even more with many songs sung by Merman for the first-and-only time, such as two songs for Hello, Dolly! that were especially written for her by composer-lyricist Jerry Herman..
Harbinger first released this CD 20 years ago to great acclaim by fans of Broadway, American Popular Song and great singing.
We’re proud to call the album to your attention this month and offer it for digital download.
TMTP mourns the loss of Broadway legend, Carol Channing. The star of Hello, Dolly!, who also had memorable roles in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and the 1967 film Thoroughly Modern Millie, was 97 years old. Upon hearing the news, TMTP Founding Director Bill Rudman shared some personal words about the leading lady.
"Seeing her on stage was amazing, but when you could be in her presence, you really understood what she was about. I interviewed her 20 years ago, and everything about her was larger than life — which was of course why Gower Champion hesitated to cast her as Dolly. She could pull back when she had to, but her total eccentricity was what we craved — and what inspired the young Tommy Tune. In a world bogged down in conventional behavior, Channing celebrated being totally Out There -- (where, we didn’t always know!). She is irreplaceable."
The Musical Theater Project's authors include Bill Rudman, Heather Meeker and Joanna May Cullinan - and guest writers from time to time!