Wizards, Dogs, and Rabbits, Oh My!

Some selected news chum, gathered from lunchtime perusals of the headlines yesterday (when I had a bad headache) and today:

  • From the “We’re Off To See The Wizard” Department: I’m not sure which story is more bizarre. Variety is reporting that NBC is planning an update of the Wizard of Oz called “Dorothy Gale”, which follows the story of Dorothy, a girl from Kansas who tries to tackle modern-day Manhattan (her version of the Emerald City), finding a job in the art world where she must deal with a wicked boss. This is being executive produced by the fellow who brought you the recent remake of “The Bionic Woman”. But that’s nothing compared to the report that Andrew Lloyd Webber is planning to bring the 1939 Wizard of Oz musical to Broadway, combining the original songs with new songs by Webber and lyricist Glen Slater (who is working with him on the Phantom sequel). Sir Andrew’s opinion of the current attempts to bring this movie to the stage, “They attempt to do it exactly the same as in the movie. That’s completely wrong! You’ve got to think of it as a theater piece, which just happens to have three or four of the greatest songs of all time.” Lyricist Slater notes that neither the Wizard nor the Witch have songs — something he plans to remedy.
  • From the “Going to the Dogs” Department: Both Honda and Toyota have come up with a new approach to options to sell cars: making them dog friendly. Specifically, dog-friendly features are being added to the Toyota Venza and the Honda Element. The Venza offers doggy seat mats, barriers and other items designed to make dogs and their owners more comfortable, included $44.99 for a “zip line” to keep an 80-pound or larger dog confined in the back seat or $99.99 for a “bi-fold pet ramp.” The Element will feature a built-in bed in the cargo area, a private electric cooling fan, a spill-proof water bowl and a mesh net to keep animals separated from people… and rubber floor mats embellished with a dog-bone design. The dog-oriented Element will even have a fold-out ramp for dogs that can’t, won’t or shouldn’t (because some breeds can develop bad backs later in life) make the leap into the Element’s rear.
  • From the “Breaking (Unleavened) Bread” Department: Turning to a more serious note, the LA Times has a good article on an effort in Rancho Palos Verdes to educate catholics about Passover. This is a joint effort between Cong. Ner Tamid in RPV and the archdiocese of LA… and isn’t the only one in the area. Very interesting article… but they don’t note whether there is an equivalent effort to inform Jews about what Easter is — I’m not talking about the specific event it commemorates, but how it is observed (e.g., why is it, if there is an Easter bunny, that folks eat ham instead of hasenpfeffer?). Oh, and speaking of rabbi-t (look at the link), the NY Times Magazine has an interesting article on Barak Obama’s cousin, the Rabbi.