L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is part of our national cultural fabric and has received numerous stage and screen treatments that …
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L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is part of our
national cultural fabric and has received numerous stage and screen
treatments that reflect different takes on the story and
characters. Here’s a winner close to home.
In January 1975, Charlie Smalls wrote music and lyrics to “The
Wiz,” an African American musical version with hip characters more
akin to today’s urban scene. The book is by William F. Brown. It
opened on Broadway and was an instant hit, playing 1,672
performances. A London production followed in 1984, bringing the
score and characters across the sea.
The mix of upbeat gospel, rock and soul music and imaginative
choreography keeps an audience totally engaged as the familiar tale
Douglas County High School actors, directed by Judi Hofmeister,
will perform this great antidote to February blahs at 7 p.m. Feb.
16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 in the DCHS auditorium.
The story starts in Kansas and a tornado brings clever
choreography that drops Dorothy and Toto into a city-ish Oz, where
they celebrate the death of the Wicked Witch of the East with a
crowd of hip Munchkins.
Then it’s off down the Yellow Brick Road toward the great and
mighty Oz to ask help in returning to Kansas. She meets the
Scarecrow, Lion and Tin Man, who each have special qualities and
encounter a poppy field.
The Wizard, a former small-town con artist, offers to send
Dorothy home if she’ll get rid of Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the
West, and adventures ensue with flying monkeys and magic.
The good witches Addapearl and Glinda come to the rescue and all
ends well after an energetic performance by a large cast which
carries the audience on the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City —
making the audience feel like it’s not in Douglas County
Tickets cost $10, adult/$8 student/senior.
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