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  The Wiz at Theatre At The Center

The Wiz

Theatre At The Center
1040 Ridge Rd Munster

The R&B musical adaptation of the book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum first opened on Broadway in 1975. After celebrating the demise of the Wicked Witch of the East with the Munchkins, Dorothy is given the silver shoes of the Wicked Witch of the East and departs for the Emerald City down the yellow brick road. Along the way she encounters a hip Scarecrow, an uptight Tin Man and a mama's-boy Lion. Together they seek help from the powerful Wizard, who turns out to be a phony. Dorothy's adventures in the Land of Oz have been set in a dazzling, lively mixture of rock, gospel and soul music. Its Broadway run, for four years and over 1600 performances, was historic as a large-scale big-budget musical featuring an all-African American cast. The production features the music and lyrics of Charlie Smalls and book by William F. Brown. It won seven Tony Awards including Best Musical and was later produced in the 1978 Motown/Universal motion picture adaptation starring Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Lena Horne, and Richard Pryor.

Thru - Aug 7, 2011

Price: $36-$40

Show Type: Musical

Box Office: 219-836-3255

Running Time: 2hrs, 30mins; one intermission

  The Wiz Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...All in all, Flaster's show gets the most crucial thing right: the tone. This is a happy, empowering, embraceable affair that pays homage to the show's history of providing an emotional link between urban, black America and the story of a rural, white town. And it laughs at itself."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Stage Review - Highly Recommended

"...Director/Choreographer Stacey Flaster has infused nearly every moment of The Wiz with unbounded joy. Many years ago, the national touring production of Vinnette Carroll’s Your Arms Too Short to Box with God ran TV and radio spots that said something like, “So much singing, so much dancing, so much all out joy, you’ll be dancing in the aisles.” As a director, Flaster seems to have made that line of old ad copy her mantra. Her Jesus Christ Superstar last summer at Theatre at the Center and even her Nunset Boulevard earlier this year radiated joy out from the stage and into the hearts of the audience. As The Wiz depends on joy to keep it afloat, it is the perfect showboat for Flaster to steer."
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J. Scott Hill

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...For the first time, I’ve enjoyed a production of The Wiz. Stacy Flaster’s vision and her cast’s clarity become truthful performances made for a fun, toe-tapping journey.  Somehow, Flaster got the funky material to become a fine show – with loads of heart (including one for Tinman!). Get to Munster to experience the  re-birth of musical."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"...Musical Director William A. Underwood and his five member orchestra definitely have their groove on though, and the score is one of the welcome assets that have always made "The Wiz" feel like home to me.  In spite of a few clouds, Theatre at the Center's brightly colored and tuneful trip over the rainbow is well worth the taking."

Joe Stead

Chicago Now - Highly Recommended

"... The foursome sing, dance, and tease like real friends on a road trip. Well, maybe more like real - AND TALENTED - friends. The entire ensemble is like a group of pals that are playing make-believe together. They radiate a true sense of fun. Each musical number brings tireless animation. At my show, there seemed like there was an audio issue on ‘Brand New Day.‘ I wasn’t sure if the orchestra was too loud, the singing too soft or the cast too tired. The song, especially for its content, just didn’t have the exuberance of the rest of the show."
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Katy Walsh

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Vasily Deris,Marlon Washington, James Osborne, Chris Carter, N’Jameh Camara, Joelle Lamarre, Rebecca Pink, Reneisha Jone’ne Jenkins( who is also a part of the Yellow Brick Road duo), Danielle Davis and  John Pierce Taylor(the other part of the Yellow Brick road duo). These talented young people change characters and costumes on a regular basis and never miss a cue or a beat- they are the backbone of the musical, so I salute the ensemble- BRAVO!  Th’s is a wild evening of theater allowing us to use our knowledge of a classic tales and see it  transformed into a lively mixture of rock, gospel and soul music."
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Alan Bresloff

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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