Outwrite scores “Out of Oz” author, Ben Stiller and Jonah Hill close down Atkins Park


If the “Wicked” enthusiasts are any barometer, Outwrite Books owner Philip Rafshoon should probably invest in a sturdier velvet rope for his Midtown shop’s scheduled November 5 author signing. That’s when author Gregory Maguire arrives in Atlanta with “Out of Oz,” the fourth and final volume in his popular reimagining of “The Wizard of Oz.” The much-anticipated book arrives in stores that same week on Nov. 1. Be warned: You may need to brush up on your bench presses beforehand. The $26.99 novel is a whopping 592 pages.

In an email to us Thursday, Rafshoon provided a few plot points in the climactic volume, including The Emerald City mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest (as opposed to being under a house = winning!) and the Cowardly Lion is on the lam from the law. Oh, and you didn’t hear this from us but a certain Kansas resident named Dorothy  “makes something more than a cameo appearance” in the tome. On his Amazon author page, Maguire himself spills: “She comes on for something more than a curtain call. Face it: you always knew Dorothy was too strong a force to stay buckled down on the Kansas prairie, didn’t you?”

As always, Outwrite has a few rules for readers in place to avoid a mob scene at the signing. Listen up: This will be a VIP Line ticketed event. Tickets are free and available in advance with the purchase of “Out of Oz” at Outwrite either in the store or online at outwritebooks.com. Ordering early will secure you a place in line and guarantee a signed book. If the “Wicked” Broadway musical fans who routinely camp out for tickets and sell out the Fox Theatre have taught us anything over the years, it’s to be pro-active. The signing will start at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 at Outwrite.


“Neighborhood Watch” co-stars Jonah Hill and Ben Stiller closing down Atkins Park Tavern in Virginia-Highland early Thursday morning with a large group for dinner at 1 a.m. The comic actors are in town with Vince Vaughn shooting the big screen comedy co-written by Seth Rogen. The plot revolves around a group of guys who form a neighborhood watch for the sole purpose of escaping their families. Until they discover an alien-led conspiracy, natch.


“I should probably point out that while I’ve attended a lot of openings in this city,  I wasn’t there when this particular piece of Atlanta history debuted. I did do some courting in the handsome nightclub that once occupied the lower level of the hotel, however. I’m not sure [wife] Doris knows about that. I should clarify that we were not married at the time.” — Former Atlanta mayor and current Buckhead Coalition president Sam Massell, 84, who was honored Thursday night as one of the city’s 100 Most Influential Citizens at a black tie gala marking the centennial celebration of the historic Georgian Terrace hotel in Midtown.


Yours truly is honored to be included in Sunday’s 5:15 p.m. Tom Sullivan-hosted “Inside the Food Studio” final panel event at this weekend’s 10th annual Taste of Atlanta food fest taking over Midtown’s Tech Square. We’ll be “Celebrating the Supper Club” and be discussing how to organize and launch your very own supper club with friends. Blessedly, I’ll be joined by the much more intriguing panelists, including members of Dinner Party Atlanta and the eateries Top Flr and Sound Table. For all the details on Taste of Atlanta, click here.