“The Wizard Of Oz”
Special screening with DSO
8 p.m. Nov. 3
Max M. Fisher Music Center
You know the story. You know the characters. But the timeless tale of Dorothy and her friends in “The Wizard Of Oz” is more than the sum of its parts.
“It wasn’t until the 1950s, when television made ‘The Wizard of Oz’ an annual event, that the film’s iconography became a widespread part of the national and gay mindsets,” said Cass Varner, special events manager at Affirmations Lesbian and Gay Community Center. “It provided a treasure trove of gay-friendly statements and images, ranging from the sentimental to the campy.”
LGBT people can relive the splendor of Dorothy’s ruby slippers, Toto and the Munchkins when Affirmations hosts a screening of the beloved classic with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra playing the film’s timeless tunes at 8 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Max M. Fisher Music Center.
Varner notes that the core plot – a misunderstood child yearning to escape her lackluster middle-American upbringing – is a blueprint that reflects the lives of many LGBT people.
“(She) learns that one must face life with brains, heart and courage,” Varner said.
While high-tech, big-buck films like “Spiderman” and “Superman” lure new generations of moviegoers, the honesty and heart of “The Wizard Of Oz” will never be duplicated, she noted.
“Everyone at one point of their lives, especially as children, has seen this film and has experienced the emotions that Dorothy experienced, the terror of entering the Wicked Witch’s lair, her transition from little girl to wise young woman, and this incredible world that L. Frank Baum (author of the children’s book) created and Hollywood perfected,” Varner said.
Affirmations hopes to reach out to a handful of DSO members who are LGBT folks, but also those who haven’t experienced the symphony. “Not only is there the potential to reach out to a whole new community, but we’re also providing people who haven’t been to the DSO with an opportunity to get together.”
The timeless music, including Judy Garland’s heartfelt “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” is simple and sincere but deep in its messages about love and self-discovery, Varner noted. “There isn’t a false move here, and all those back-stories … well, they’re OK to read, but for the music lover looking for magic it’s all here in about two hours of pure entertainment.”