On April 24, jazz musician Kiki Ebsen spoke on the LMU campus about her new one-woman show, My Buddy, the Other Side of Oz. Kiki is the daughter of legendary actor, dancer, and singer Buddy Ebsen. The show discusses her father's life and how it inspired her career in the music industry.
Of primary interest to the students was Buddy Ebsen's work on the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz. He was originally cast as the scarecrow but was switched to the tin man. However, the makeup team used aluminum powder to give him a metal-looking face. Breathing in the dust created lung damage that put him in the hospital while the movie was filmed. His voice was on the movie soundtrack but remained uncredited for more than 50 years. Many of those in attendance were current or former students of Kevin Curran, Ph.D., a Journalism and Communication Studies faculty member. In his Media Studies course, students analyze the 1900 book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the 1939 movie.
Kiki also reviewed her father's career from dancing with Shirley Temple in Captain January to Davy Crockett, The Beverly Hillbillies, and Barnaby Jones. Kiki also recalled her days as a touring musician, including playing the keyboard with the band Chicago.
My Buddy, The Other Side of Oz will be performed for the first time on April 30 at the Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills.