Let’s all celebrate at the Emerald City as a brand-new 21st-Century WIZ is coming your way! Invite your friends to catch The WIZ live at the Cadillac Palace Theatre as part of the North American Tour that launches in Baltimore this fall! Highlighting a legendary score jam-packed with soul, gospel, rock, and finger-snapping 70s funk, this ground-breaking adaptation of The Wizard of Oz forever altered the Broadway landscape with hit songs “What Would I Do If I Could Feel?” “You Can’t Win,” and “Ease on Down The Road.” Adapted from L. Frank Baum’s classic novel with exemplary music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls, the Tony award-winning “Best Musical,” finally returns to the US after 40 years! Listen to the moving story of Dorothy’s quest to find her place in the modern world, and witness how modern pop, jazz, and ballet are combined explosively to create a brand-new groove for cruising along. Before all the good seats disappear, purchase your tickets today!
The Wiz Tickets
“Black Musical Shows Vitality and Style” – The New York Times
“One of the most cyclonic blasts to hit Broadway in a long time.” – Newsweek
“A virtual musical circus … Driving rhythms, soaring songs … Boisterous, exuberant.” – WABCTV
“With belting vocals and dazzling dance, this musical update jumps into a vivid Oz full of street art and neon lights” – The Guardian
The Wiz is a black version of the perennial Wizard of Oz with characters and storyline that are largely faithful to the 1939 movie version of L. Frank Baum’s 1900 story.
The story opens on a dilapidated Kansas farm where a tornado drops Dorothy and Toto off in a little piece of urban Oz. The melodies are lively, and the lyrics are jive. With a real yellow brick road, Dorothy heads for the Emerald City after the Munchkins celebrate the death of the Wicked Witch of the East. Along the way, Dorothy encounters an odd ensemble of friends, including an uptight Tin Man who requires guidance to let loose again, a hip Scarecrow who wants to join her, a mama’s boy Lion who has lost trust in the mental health treatment he’s been receiving from an owl, and an overly uptight Tin Man.
Together, they will venture towards the “Great Man” in the flashy city to seek help. All but the Lion manage to flee when they come across the lethal poppy field. To address their individual problems, they encounter the Wizard, who offers to grant all of their desires in one go, provided they defeat Evillene, the Wicked Witch of the West. While the group almost reaches Evillene, her captor-winged monkeys stop them, and Dorothy only loses her temper as she drenches the witch with water when she is at her meanest.
Quite surprisingly, the wicked witch melts into a harmless puddle. Confronted with their triumph, the Wiz confesses that he was only a two-bit con man from Omaha until the Almighty Himself told him to come to the big city to spread the word about the simple things in life – power, prestige, and money – that only through his ability to give everyone in town a pair of green sunglasses has he been recognized as the powerful Wiz. Then, using similar magic, he convinces the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion of their brains, heart, and courage. There is the normal mix-up during his departure in his balloon without Dorothy and the reappearance of the good witches, Addaperle and Glinda, who inform Dorothy that she has merely to click the heels of her silver slippers together three times to return home.
In 1975, the Broadway production of The WIZ won seven consecutive Tony Awards, including “Best Musical.” It served as a pioneering illustration of how works with an all-Black ensemble were accepted by Broadway audiences. Since then, it has been performed again in New York, London, San Diego, and the Netherlands with Encores! staging a limited-run revival.
The main cast includes Alan Mingo Jr. as the Wiz, Deborah Cox as Glinda, Melody Betts as Aunt Em/Evillene, Kyle Ramar Freeman as Lion, Phillip Johnson Richardson as Tinman and Avery Wilson as Scarecrow.
For the creatives team, the show will be directed by Schele Williams, with Writing by Amber Ruffin, Choreography by Jaquel Knight, Costume Design by Sharen Davis, Scenic Design by Hannah Beachler, Lighting Design by Ryan O’Gara and Wig Design by Mia Neal.
“A warm and wondrous ode to Black Joy” – The Guardian
“A colorful triumph.” – The Hollywood Reporter
“Graced with fitful acrobatics, the production exploded with color and impressive vocal performances.” – Variety