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A Must See

The Wiz Celebrates 40 Years Of Greatness Hosted By Phylicia Rashad

We all know the songs – “Ease On Down The Road,” “Be A Lion,” “Believe In Yourself,” and, of course, “Home.” Whether you’re seasoned enough to remember the original Broadway hit or young enough to only be familiar with the film version, The Wiz is a family classic that resonates with African Americans of all ages. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the famed musical’s debut on Broadway on January 5, 1975.

To celebrate the occasion, George Faison, renowned producer, writer, composer, director, dancer and choreographer and of the original Broadway production, will present performances of original songs and dances from the show on August 12th in Central Park (Rumsey Playfield) & August 13-14 at 7:00pm at Marcus Garvey Park in New York.

The performance, The Wiz: A Celebration in Dance and Music, will feature performances by several members of the original Broadway cast. Tony Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad, who played a munchkin and swing in the original production, will co-host the performance with Faison. André De Shields will reprise his original role as the “Wiz;” Dee Dee Bridgewater, who won a Tony Award for her role as “Glinda,” will reprise this original role; and Ebony Jo-Ann will reprise her role as “Addaperle,” which she played in the Broadway revival of the production. Singer-songwriter Wallace Gary will join the cast as the “Scarecrow.” Damien L. Sneed will act as the musical director and conductor.

The Wiz was the winner of seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Original Score – Charlie Smalls, Best Featured Actor in a Musical – Ted Ross, Best Featured Actress in a Musical – Dee Dee Bridgewater, Best Costume Design – Geoffrey Holder, Best Choreography – Faison, and Best Direction of a Musical – Holder. The production also received five Drama Desk Awards: Outstanding Musical – Ken Harper, Outstanding Music and Lyrics – Charlie Smalls, Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical – Ted Ross, Outstanding Choreography – George Faison, and Outstanding Costume Design – Geoffrey Holder.

Faison, who was the first African American to win a Tony Award for Best Choreography, has created a GoFundMe campaign to help with the costs associated with recreating this groundbreaking musical. To lend your support, visit the GoFund Me that has been setup.

Don’t forget, In addition to the performances at Marcus Garvey Park on August 13-14th, the musical will also be performed August 12 at 8:00 pm at Rumsey Playfield. The performances are a part of Summer Stages 30th Anniversary season and are free.

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