Upon his return from Australia in late 1976, Victor Willis joined the cast of the original Broadway production. It set a high … [30] In July 2015, Queen Latifah was cast as the Wiz and Mary J. Blige was confirmed to play the role of Evillene. An Australian production for J.C. Williamson Theatres Limited played in Melbourne and Sydney from January–October 1976; starring Andrea Frierson (Dorothy), Victor Willis (Tin Man), Freddie Paris (Lion), Chuck McKinney (The Wiz) and Robert Ellis (Scarecrow). A re-imaging of The Wizard of Oz, set against an urban background with an African American cast. [16][17], Dodger Productions holds U.S. rights to revive the musical, while Joop Van den Ende's Stage Entertainment holds the European rights. Ted Ross and Mabel King reprised their roles of the Lion and Evillene from the Broadway production. The album features Ross' versions of songs from the film version of the musical The Wiz, in which she starred along with Michael Jackson. When an approaching storm turns out to be a tornado, Dorothy takes shelter in the farmhouse as Aunt Em and Uncle Henry do so in the storm cellar. Both shows were directed by Jamie Hinde; musical director Steve White (both shows); production manager Andy Barnes (both shows); choreography by Suzannah Howlett (2000) and Juliet Vibert (2001, also appeared as a dancer in both shows). With Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross. This is … "Along the Nile, Strand-style: 'AIDA' opens Oct. 17 at the theatre; Dot residents get a break", Craig Zadan & Neil Meron Look To Recapture ‘The Wiz’ Wow Factor, "Hip-Hop 'Wizard Of Oz' Easing Down The Road", ‘The Wiz’s’ Stephanie Mills Returns for NBC Production. She explains that she only scolds because she wants Dorothy to be the best she can be, and fears that she will not be prepared for the responsibilities life will soon put upon her. It was directed by Des McAnuff, who, with Harold Wheeler, orchestrator of the original Broadway version, revised the musical for contemporary audiences. It was an early example of Broadway's mainstream acceptance of works with an all-black cast. In their quest to find the wizard, they also face Evillene, the equally evil sister of Evermean, the wicked witch whom Dorothy inadvertently killed when she arrived in Oz; Evillene might be their biggest obstacle. A revival ran on Broadway at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre from May 24, 1984, through June 3, 1984, closing after 13 performances and 7 previews. As BroadwayWorld previously reported, THE SHOWS MUST GO ON returns today with THE WIZ LIVE (2015), which will be available for 48 hrs beginning at … | As she searches for him by easing down the Yellow Brick Road, she befriends some creatures who face problems in their lives. Summer Stars series production ran June 12 through July 5, 2009. Dorothy and the Scarecrow invite him on their journey to see the Wizard with the hope that he may give him one ("Ease On Down the Road #2"). He agrees on one condition: they must kill Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West. The "Tornado" instrumental was released as both a 7" single and a 12" extended single, while the show's musical arranger Harold Wheeler co-produced a cover of "Ease on Down the Road" with studio group Consumer Rapport that became a charting single in 1975, peaking at #42 on the Billboard Hot 100. There are a few Heart words - the my I. The farm help soon discover about Dorothy's repeated attempt to run away to her birthplace in Omaha, Nebraska, but before anything else could be said, Aunt Em (Stephanie Mills) follows after her. As the tornado hits the farm, the house, with Dorothy inside, is lifted into the air and flies for miles, with the wind represented by dancers ("Tornado"). As an overjoyed Aunt Em and Toto appear, and she runs to hug them, she knows that she is back home at last. This retelling includes various urban settings and extreme sadness and melancholy, and features themes of rising above one's background and the expectations of others. He reneges on his promise, and the Lion knocks over a screen in anger. He then had everyone in it wear green glasses, and in time, they came to believe it was green. [3] After drawing mixed critical reviews, producer Ken Harper considered closing the musical after its Broadway opening night. Each time it happened, a tinsmith replaced each missing part with one made of tin until he was entirely made of it. The cast also featured Tony Terry as the Tin Man. The house finally comes to rest with a bump in the middle of a field covered with flowers. [37], In his review of the 1984 revival, Frank Rich wrote: "What made The Wiz surprisingly moving the first time around was that its creators found a connection between Baum's Kansas fantasy and the pride of urban black Americans. An adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" that tries to capture the essence of the African-American experience. Plot – During a snowstorm, the young teacher Dorothy is thrown into the wonderful world of Oz, where she has to ask help to the powerful wizard who rules Oz to come back home. When he learns where they are going, he apologizes and asks if he may accompany them to ask the Wizard for some courage. They provide reading success from the beginning. [28] Stephanie Mills, who originated the role of Dorothy on Broadway, played Aunt Em. Clicking her heels together three times, she finds herself transported back to Kansas in an instant. [32] The following month, David Alan Grier was cast as the Cowardly Lion, and newcomer Shanice Williams was chosen to play Dorothy. History. But not so in New York. Both productions were run at the Hackney Empire. In this version of the classic story based on the smash Broadway musical, Dorothy is a shy 24-year-old Harlem kindergarten teacher who is brought by a snowstorm to the mysterious Land of Oz, a sprawling, decaying, nightmarish, and dangerous megalopolis that resembles the physical characteristics of New York City. Just as his speech reaches its climax, the balloon comes free from its moorings and rises quickly into the air, taking Dorothy's hopes of getting home with it. With their goals seeming further out of reach than ever before, they sink to the floor in tears. In his preface Bordman says that “few readers will want to read this book from beginning to end but will rather ‘dip into’ it.” Probably true. "[38], In their review of the 2006 La Jolla production, Variety wrote: "'The Wiz' remains a collage of contemporary slang and imagery, but La Jolla's is a multicultural collage in which Baum's themes speak to the broadest possible audience. While searching for a way to get the shoes from Dorothy, Evillene forces her and the Lion to do menial chores around her castle. The 1975 Broadway production won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. 24-year-old kindergarten teacher Dorothy, born, raised, and still working in Harlem, is celebrating Thanksgiving with her extended family, but she doesn't seem to be thankful for much. Directed by Sidney Lumet. 18 Oct Arts Hope College Faculty Member Gabe Southard to Present Flute Recital on Oct. 21 [31] In addition, Beyoncé was offered to play Glinda, but no deal was made. You see his day started off as normal where he went to his job fixing all the mistakes that the other programers made. An adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" that tries to capture the essence of the African-American experience. Sixteen-year-old Dorothy Gale lives with her Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and dog, Toto, on their farm in Kansas. The haughty and condescending people laugh and ridicule this odd group for wanting to see the Wizard until they see that Dorothy is wearing Evamean's silver shoes. "Common, Ne-Yo and Elijah Kelley are Newest Additions to All-Star Cast for 'The Wiz Live! (2014), Zadan and Meron announced The Wiz Live! [29] An open casting call for the role of Dorothy took place on June 6, 2015. "[40], 1974 musical based on the 1900 book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The Wiz was hardly a great musical in 1975, but it had something to say, and it said it with verve and integrity. It has had revivals in New York, London, San Diego, and the Netherlands, and a limited-run revival was presented by Encores! With Common, Amber Riley, Uzo Aduba, Stephanie Mills. That baby! As he puts it, “I packed up my The film was a critical and commercial failure, performing poorly at the box office and severely panned by critics, who branded the casting of Ross instead of Mills as Dorothy a disastrous blunder.[24][25]. [27] With Queen Latifah, Patti LaBelle, Busta Rhymes, and Little Richard among its planned cast,[27] the telefilm ultimately went un-produced; FOX instead became a co-producer on The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2004), starring Ashanti as Dorothy and Latifah as Aunt Em. Parents Guide, Kenneth Chisholm . Taglines The 2001 show was particularly notable because it was the last show to be performed at the Hackney Empire before the theatre closed its doors for refurbishment. Seeing Dorothy's silver shoes, however, they dare not harm her. Give her time. They continue following the Yellow Brick Road deeper into the forest, where they are attacked by a large lion ("I'm a Mean Ole Lion"). 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