Saturday, September 12, 2009
KARL SLOVER - Back on Stage
Karl Slover has spent most of his 91 years as a movie star. Seventy years ago at the pinnacle of his career, Karl Slover went virtually unnoticed in a newly released movie from MGM. The movie, The Wizard Oz, based on novels by L. Frank Baum is considered one of the most endearing films of all time. Last Saturday night at theater Dublin, one can see why.
When the film premiered at Graumann's Chinese Theater in August 1939, hardly anyone noticed Karl among the one hundred and twenty five other midgets and children playing Munchkins. It wasn't until fifty years later, when Karl, a resident of the Sheridan in Dublin, and his fellow Munchkins were accorded the fame they so richly deserved , a recognition which climaxed with the placing of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in November 2007.
Karl had spent the earlier part of the day at Market on Madison signing autographs and having his picture taken with sixty year old fans and some nervous toddlers. Tim Herrington and his daughter Heather, cultivators of prize winning day lillies, stopped by to meet Karl and have him sign a photograph of one of their best varieties of Oz themed lillies.
The event was organized by Kathy Jones, Dublin Main Street director, to coincide with the performance of the play by the Emerald City Character Company at Theater Dublin. The days activities included some of characters of the cast and carriage ride on a horse of a different color.
Before the last of three performances of the play directed by ECCC director, Chris Ikner, Karl was back at his card table signing and posing. When the lights came up on the brilliantly decorated set of Munchkinland, some eyes turned to Karl as he sat on the front of his seat, smiling and remembering the months seven decades ago when he was on a sound stage in Hollywood playing the role of the first trumpeter, a sleepy head, a soldier and one of the Munchkins who guided Dorothy down the Yellow Brick Road.
After the cast of local actors took their well deserved bows, Karl was honored with the presentation of one of posters for the event and invited to lead the four hundred plus members of the audience and ensemble in singing "We're Off To See The Wizard." Karl commented, "It was wonderful to see those kids on the stage playing the part I once did."