I have been on an extended hiatus and have been spending most of my time with the gnome community that lives nearby. But that’s a tale for yet another day.
Today it is my extreme pleasure to interview a long lived group of thespians who have been presenting The Wizard of Oz for almost 50 years now. They are a dedicated group and have taken their craft very seriously. I am lucky to have caught them between gigs.
They are here visiting with a member of their troupe who had a unlucky incident with his personal effects. And also I must report that the Professor himself has gone over the rainbow and we will all miss his visage.
First I know that you would not recognize these players as they are because in the 1960’s these puppets were distributed by a soap company as a premium. The owner of the Gazette was a very young girl when she and her mother collected the entire cast, minus poor Toto. It was only a short time ago that he was located locally in a thrift shop. Happy Celebrate Oz Day. My name is Ms. Baggs. I am the head reporter here at Ye Olde Crones Gazette.
All of the original costuming was made of plastic and was not very attractive so through the years, other more appropriate costumes have been made for the Wizard of Oz puppets.
Well here we have the entire ensemble sans Toto. Poor little critter still doesn’t have a hand hold yet.
Let me begin with Glinda. Ms. Goodwitch, I would like to know how it feels to have been playing the part of the good witch for all this time? “Well, I must say it has been a pleasure to play such a divine and lovely personage. I feel Glinda would be quite pleased with my portrayal of her loveliness and grace.” Do you put any stock in the rumors that Glinda could have been anything other than good? “Absolutely not, where in the world would you have gotten that silly thought? Was it something that Baddy Bad said? I don’t have to answer that question, we’re not having any of that silly “house wife” tattling here!” No, Ms. Goodwitch, I was just asking a question, not trying to start any of that nonsense. Thank you so much for your time. “Well thank your lucky stars that I was available at all”.
Alrighty then, let us move on to a friendly looking fellow who has been anxiously swishing his tail to talk to us. Mr. Leo, how have you kept yourself prepared for the role of the cowardly lion? “I am by nature a very confident and brave lion but it is fun to play a fella who lacks the courage to truly live his life”. Are you aware that many of the readers love the way you roar and could you demonstrate for us? “Oh, I’m afraid not, I might hurt my growler and then I’d disappoint the fans who come to see us. Besides, it’s so awfully loud, it hurts my ears.” We’ll let you go to attend to your rehearsal then.
And now the very tall and attractive shiny man is in our interview setting. Mr. Woodcutter, is the Tin Man’s role in the play a hard one to prepare? “Why no, not at all, I am very fond of the role. My character commands such empathy from the audience. Wouldn’t it be just awful not to have a heart? I can’t even imagine such a thing.” Are you challenged by the role after all these years? “No, I have my part down perfectly but sometimes it’s hard to find the patience to keep everyone on task. We are a very amiable group but there is a slight undercurrent of emotions sometimes on the personal level. And when that starts then I have to step in and let everyone know, we can do this, if we just work together.” Wow, it sounds like the troupe is lucky to have a guy with such insight and heart, no pun intended.
And now if I can find him we will talk with the scarecrow character Mr. Stuffing. Well I guess he’s wandered off, so let’s interview Baddy Bad instead.
Ms. Bad, I am so happy to finally get to meet you in person. I have a lot of questions but I’ll try to be brief as I can. What is with the water? “Excuse me?” I’m sorry, but that part of the story just has never made sense to me. Could you please explain why water would dissolve a perfectly witchy witch? “Look, I’m only playing a part here. My real name is Baude not Bad. I have been stuck in this role for ions and I’m not a wicked old witch. As a matter of fact, I feel rather bad for having played this part because I have given the world of witches a bad name because of the script.” So, you don’t know why water would dissolve a witch? “Well I do know that I’m not the one folks should be afraid of around these parts and water alone won’t do anything to help, hurt or hinder a witch. As a matter of fact I’d like to state for the record that I know there is good and bad, light and dark in all of us”. Well, I am thrilled that you have set us straight on this point. Thank you for your time. “You are welcome anytime, come tonight and see our performance, I know you will enjoy it”.
Oh here comes the scarecrow now. Mr. Stuffing, could we sit down and have that chat we talked about earlier? “I have no idea what you’re talking about. I have a lunch engagement with my agent and my buddies the crows.” Well I am sorry that we won’t be able to interview Mr. Stuffing, he’s headed out of here like he’s on fire.
Last but certainly not least is the lovely young girl who portrays Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz cast of puppets. Hello Ms. Wind. “Hello Ms. Baggs”. What would you like to tell the readers about your character, her motivation and her appeal to old and young alike? “Oh my goodness, that is a compliment and a question. Where to begin? I believe that Dorothy Gale is like all of us. We all get lost sometimes and I also believe that we have to look inside ourselves to find our own way. Like being type cast because I am young and attractive. Now that could get in a girls way of getting where I really want to go, which is to get a contract with “Over the Rainbow” agency and get to the big city where I can show off my stuff, like on Dancing with the Stars, instead of being out here in the boonies, plugging along the same old path and having to act with a bunch of bit players. I’d love instead to be starring in a role for the crowned heads of Europe and other such wonderful people.” Well it’s nice to see you have ambition, my dear.
This reporter has had an eye opening interview with this cast of characters as they reach for their 50th anniversary as puppet players in The Wizard of Oz. Sometimes even over the rainbow things are not what they first appear.
I hope you have been entertained by the goings on here and will return on the 26th to see who our giveaway winners will be. All you have to do to win either of the prizes is to comment here on this post. Will it be the letter holder, or the Witch Craft book?
You have two chances to win, so leave a comment on this post. I, Ms. Baggs will draw the names of the winners and make the announcement, good luck.
Now go back to the list on Oma Linda’s Olde Baggs ‘n Stuft Shirts and have more fun as we Celebrate Oz.
*****The opinions of the reporter and Ye Olde Crones Gazette are based on years of following this motley crew of puppets on many adventures. Thank you for reading it as tongue in cheek. And look for The Real Puppets of ‘Burque on TV in the fall. hehehehehe