THE WIZ JR.
Adapted from “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” By L. Frank Baum
Book by William F. Brown Additional Material by Tina Tippit
Music and Lyrics by Charlie Smalls © Copyright 1975, 1979, 2006, 2010
This tya version of THE WIZ was developed by First Stage Children’s Theater - Milwaukee, WI
Jeff Frank, Artistic Director; Rob Goodman, Managing Director
The Wiz Jr is a 90 minute version of the smash Broadway musical hit The Wiz for family audiences with music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls and book by William F. Brown packed full of incredible songs like "Ease on Down the Road," "Home," "Be a Lion," and "Don't Nobody Bring Me No Bad News." The show running seasonally at Oberia Dempsey Theater since winter 2015, is an urbanized retelling of L. Frank Baum’s classic 1900 children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in the context of modern African-American culture. It opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theater on January 5, 1975.
The 1975 Broadway production won seven Tony Awards, including “Best Musical” and is an early example of Broadway’s mainstream acceptance of works with casts that are all or majority people of color. A big-budget film adaptation of the same name was released in 1978 and has since become a cult classic. A live television production of the stage show, The Wiz Live!, was broadcast on NBC on December 3, 2015, with an encore presentation on December 19th of the same year.
The New York Black Arts Festival stages this production as a modernized version of the Geoffrey Holder original in the Harlem soul tradition. So come on and “Ease on Down the Road” to The Oberia Dempsey Theater and enjoy the music with a stellar cast of powerhouse singers and dancers and the classic story of a girl on a journey through Oz with wonderful characters only to find out there is no place like home!
Originally produced by First Stage Children’s Theater, Milwaukee
Based on the original Tony Award winning Broadway musical, THE WIZ.
Produced by special arrangement with SUSAN GURMAN AGENCY LLC, New York, NY
Background on TYA version of THE WIZ: