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The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour

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ChairinMain
#250The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 1/30/24 at 1:56pm

CATSNYrevival said: "I didn’t hate Glinda singing “He’s the Wiz” but it seemed half baked. We know who Glinda is through other media but she kind of just walked out, sang the song and left. She should have more dialogue in the scene to establish her character. Even by the end of the show with her additional scene in act two Glinda was the most under developed character."

 

Unfortunately, that's the script structure to blame; in the original script, we hear about Glinda early on but don't meet her until the very end of the show. That works...okay in the book, There's a reason the film Wizard of Oz  combined the two Good Witches into one character. 

Not to armchair quarterback, but if I were adapting the Wiz for modern stage, I'd structure it so Aunt Em and all three Witches are doubled by the same actress. That creates a real star part, and would refocus the show to center around Dorothy's (more complicated) relationship with her Aunt and her home. The lyrics of "the feeling we once had" lend themselves really well to an interpretation of some love but real tension between Aunt Em and Dorothy, which I think is a very interesting place to start the show. I think if Dorothy is legitimately tempted to stay in Oz at the end of the show, if she's making this journey not even sure if what she wants is to get back to Kansas, go back to the home she had before her parents died,  or find some other kind of home...that would be a MUCH stronger story.

I mean...Amber Ruffin didn't do that, and the show works fine. Melody Betts is WONDERFUL as both Aunt Em and Eveline, but the show does not double those characters with any particular intention, and that always bugs me.

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ChairinMain
#251The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 1/31/24 at 7:09pm

I don't usually feel this way but I do hope that for the Broadway leg of the tour they throw a little extra money at the set. I don't think they will, but a trap door could do wonders for the fluency of the show. 

LushyBear
#252The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 1/31/24 at 7:30pm

Saw this yesterday in SF.

 

I went in completely cold, I know Wizard of Oz and have seen Wicked many a times, but the Wiz never entered my sphere. And I guess I am also not the target audience for this show, and that's perfectly fine. 

Wayne Brady was out last night, but I don't think he would've made a huge difference for me. 

What others shared around the scenery is pretty true. It's cheap and bland. The backgrounds can be very distracting, especially in the 2nd act when we have a factory setting in the back with moving cogs. 

This show is singing forward, and everyone was pretty spot on. I do think that the riff and optional note fest that's going on here is a little much, but it's done well at least. 

Costumes are not great, except for the Tin-man, Lion, and Scarecrow. I was too far in the back to see any notable make-up. 

I felt like the second act dragged a lot. All that's really left in the story is to meet the Wiz, get the quest to kill the Wicked Witch, get the prize and go home, but oh boy do we take a long time to get there. The opening dance number of the second act is not bad per se, but it just seems so random, as it doesn't drive the plot forward whatsoever, and it takes forever.

I enjoyed the leanings into a 70s aesthetic, but I think they could've gone a bit further there. The poppy-field scene is just weird and out of place, and it all starts with that terrible transition on that back wall. Usually they hide transitions with moving pieces in front of that wall, but here it's just bad. 

 

I hope they spruce this up a bit before it hits NYC. The set and costumes could use some massive re-haul. Acting and singing is fine. 

 

But yeah, not my show, and that's perfectly fine. :)

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ACL2006
#253The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 1/31/24 at 7:42pm

LushyBear said: "
Wayne Brady was out last night, but I don't think he would've made a huge difference for me."

 

Already? Was Alan Mingo Jr. on?

 


A Chorus Line revival played its final Broadway performance on August 17, 2008. The tour played its final performance on August 21, 2011. A new non-equity tour started in October 2012 played its final performance on March 23, 2013. Another non-equity tour launched on January 20, 2018. The tour ended its US run in Kansas City and then toured throughout Japan August & September 2018.

BoringBoredBoard40
#254The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 1/31/24 at 7:53pm

They are apparently raising another 2 million dollars to enhance the production elements for Broadway

LushyBear
#255The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/1/24 at 6:12pm

ACL2006 said: "LushyBear said: "
Wayne Brady was out last night, but I don't think he would've made a huge difference for me."



Already? Was Alan Mingo Jr. on?


"

He was, and he was fine. 

 

A few more thoughts now that I've seen the movie version as well. It's wild to me that this show heavily takes inspiration from the Scarecrow scene and nothing else. I guess what I would've enjoyed a bit more would've been a bit more cohesion and stance on design. I think the movie does something interesting in putting it into this nitty gritty New York setting. It doesn't have to be that, but maybe try something new. 

 

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inception
#256The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/2/24 at 6:43am

I don't know that comparing the stage show to the film is a good thing.  It has developed a cult following over the years, but for people just coming to it, they may not realize what a colossal failure the film was considered when it was first released.  People hated the changes that had been made for the film from the original stage version.  I had never seen the stage version when I first saw the film, but even as a child on first viewing it I was confused and found it a mess - and I grew up on messy movie musicals!  Only as an adult coming back to it, especially on viewing the remastered blu-ray which cleaned up a very muddy transfer that got shown on TV in the 80's, did I appreciate aspects of it more.  But Sidney Lumet was still definitely the worst choice for director.


...

jimmycurry01
#257The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/2/24 at 8:06am

inception said: "I don't know that comparing the stage show to the film is a good thing. It has developed a cult following over the years, but for people just coming to it, they may not realize what a colossal failure the film was considered when it was first released. People hated the changes that had been made for the film from the original stage version. I had never seen the stage version when I first saw the film, but even as a child on first viewing it I was confused and found it a mess - and I grew up on messy movie musicals! Only as an adult coming back to it, especially on viewing the remastered blu-ray which cleaned up a very muddy transfer that got shown on TV in the 80's, did I appreciate aspects of it more. But Sidney Lumet was still definitely the worst choice for director."

Lumet was certainly the wrong director, but Joel Schumacher deserves at least 35% of the blame for the film's messiness. His screenplay was a confused adaptation that seemed to miss the entire point of the Broadway production. I give about 5% of the blame to the woefully miscast Diana Ross. She may be the only reason the film actually went into production, and her vocals may be wonderful on the beautifully produced soundtrack, but she was otherwise a terrible choice for the role. She drags the film version down more than a few notches. It is unfortunate that the film version has come to define The Wiz for so many, as it was truly a missed opportunity.

 

LushyBear
#258The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/2/24 at 6:30pm

inception said: "I don't know that comparing the stage show to the film is a good thing. It has developed a cult following over the years, but for people just coming to it, they may not realize what a colossal failure the film was considered when it was first released. People hated the changes that had been made for the film from the original stage version. I had never seen the stage version when I first saw the film, but even as a child on first viewing it I was confused and found it a mess - and I grew up on messy movie musicals! Only as an adult coming back to it, especially on viewing the remastered blu-ray which cleaned up a very muddy transfer that got shown on TV in the 80's, did I appreciate aspects of it more. But Sidney Lumet was still definitely the worst choice for director."

Well yeah, I am not saying that I would've preferred a replica of the movie (but I am pointing out that one scene in this revival is heavily influenced by the movie), but I am saying that I think they could've taken this further art direction wise (like the movie did - of all things that are not great, I think it at least offered a very different interpretation of OZ). 

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MagicalMusical
#259The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/3/24 at 7:33pm

I saw The Wiz film as a kid, and I loved it. As an adult, I guess I am surprised, considering how many people say it's bad, that I still love it. To be fair, maybe nostalgia is at play, and The Wizard of Oz is a story I love so much I love a lot of versions of it, but with the amazing soundtrack, what I consider to be a fantastic, yes, you read that right, fantastic, emotional and vocal performence from Diana Ross, a good performance from Michael Jackson, Evilene and the Wiz himself, and wonderful costumes, sets and the art direction (and I guess, maybe, the actual direction?), plus the idea you should leave home and explore, I truly think the film is good, and it is a top favorite of mine. Should it have been the same as the Broadway conceit of a little Black girl from Kansas and the message is how important home is and other similarities? Well, I actually would love to have that, but also the '78s version that already exists, since I really like what the '78s version did. Maybe someone will make a true-to-the-Broadway-show film someday. The only thing I truly do not like about the '78 film is the self-help bs about how "knowing yourself is home" and whatever else. That's unnecessary and kinda scary ****. But the rest...it's a great film. Really sends you on a big, epic, weird and wonderful adventure.

All because of the film. I want to see this revival when it reaches Broadway! I really hope they fix the visuals like some of you are saying it needs!

Nento
#260The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/9/24 at 12:54am

yes finally!!

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ErmengardeStopSniveling
CJRochester
#262The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/17/24 at 11:02pm

Theatermania's review of the show in LA: 

The Wiz Tour Has Great Vocals, But Stumbles on the Road to Broadway

https://www.theatermania.com/news/review-the-wiz-tour-has-great-vocals-but-stumbles-on-the-road-to-broadway_1730676/

Updated On: 2/17/24 at 11:02 PM

troynow
#263The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/18/24 at 9:58am

This review was pretty interesting... I was at this performance of the WIZ, gotta say the theatre was on fire. The crowd was on their feet and with the cast the entire time. 

I also gotta say, the direction of the show was terrible. I was sitting in row M on the right side of the theatre and missed so much of the show. Often times people were just milling around. The comment in the LA Times about the ensembel lacking personality was try...it is as if the ensemble is just there to fill space without purpose. So I have to agree about Schele Williams directing this show.

The vocals could use alot less riffing but they are amazing. Best part of the WIZ is hearing the music and seeing Nichelle Lewis. I think it is cool to see someone finally NEW! 

I hope they cut the over acting back in half and fix the direction of the show and add ALOT of magic before broadway. 

Owen22
#264The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/18/24 at 11:04am

I'm really afraid reading some of these reviews.

I saw the show's first tour in Detroit and loved it. I had been an Oz fanatic as a kid and I remember really appreciating that the adaptation stayed closer to L Frank Baum's source material than even the MGM film.  There was even less psychology to the characters than even the film gave. It was basically a black version of the children's book. Very funny, not very nuanced but what a score. It was basically a pageant and we loved it.  It was very theatrical.  As Dorothy (it was a very young Lilias White) clicks her heels together and begins "Home" Oz slowly disappeared behind her until she is alone onstage, no scenery until she hit that last note and Toto (who does not go with her to Oz in this version) runs on stage to indicate she is back in Kansas. So simple and your body explodes into gooseflesh. That was theatre. 

 

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morosco
#265The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/18/24 at 2:44pm

Does the current production have an overture? I had forgotten that the original production had an overture that was not recorded for the cast recording. It sounds wonderful and just listen to those strings!

The Wiz overture

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emo_geek
#266The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/18/24 at 5:07pm

Saw it last night, and there was an overture. 


"I never had theatre producers run after me. Some people want to make more Broadway shows out of movies. But Elliot and I aren't going to do Batman: The Musical." - Julie Taymor 1999

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GiantsInTheSky2
#267The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/18/24 at 5:40pm

At the very least, I hope we get a full cast album. 


I am big. It’s the REVIVALS that got small.

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Scarywarhol
#268The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/18/24 at 5:56pm

I completely agree that Tony Walton's production design for the film was something unique and special, despite all the problems in the movie. The original production also had a cohesive look and point of view, completely different to the movie. Every visual element we've seen from this (and every report I've heard from friends who have seen the whole thing) makes me so dispirited that I'm not sure I'm gonna bother seeing a show that I've waited my whole life to see on Broadway. The costumes and projections look so tacky and generic that it's hard to trust that there's a creative voice at the center of this that knows what it's doing. 

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BroadwayBaby6
#269The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/19/24 at 2:44pm

I saw the show yesterday in Los Angeles. It is a mess:

The sets (which will probably get revamped for Broadway) are chintzy. The show relies too heavily on projections.

The book problems aren't solved. The show is too long and is badly paced.

Everybody is camping it up and screaming like they're on American Idol.

The direction is embarrassingly amateurish.

Dorothy acting is wooden while the rest of the cast who can act are directed to camp it up.

There is no magic or wonder in the land of Oz. The choreography is unimpressive and is  not organic to the show.

There is no character development, no stakes and no urgency.'

Deborah Cox has less than 10 lines but sings two songs. 

The show needs a new director, a  new set designer, a new book writer and a new choreographer. 

I heard that they're spending $2 million to revamp the show for Broadway but a strong experienced Broadway director is badly needed for this show.  If I were a producer on this show, I'd call  as seasoned Broadway director in to fix this mess before it heads to Broadway.

 


"It does what a musical is supposed to do; it takes you to another world. And it gives you a little tune to carry in your head. Something to take you away from the dreary horrors of the real world. A little something for when you're feeling blue. You know?"

GottaGetAGimmick420
#270The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/19/24 at 3:47pm

Considering Schele has other shows, this has already recouped its tour $$$, and it’s already been on the road — I’d be surprised if we’d see any major changes between now and Broadway

troynow
#271The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/19/24 at 11:21pm

Small correction this production has NOT recouped. So it is quite imperative the show make change,. I agree about hiring another director. Schele is not the right person for the job.

KarenValentine'sheadband
#272The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/19/24 at 11:44pm

BroadwayBaby6 said: "I saw the show yesterday in Los Angeles. It is a mess:

The sets (which will probably get revamped for Broadway) are chintzy. The show relies too heavily on projections.

The book problems aren't solved. The show is too long and is badly paced.

Everybody is camping it up and screaming like they're on American Idol.

The direction is embarrassingly amateurish.

Dorothy acting is wooden whilethe rest of the cast who can act are directed to camp it up.

There is no magic or wonder in the land of Oz. The choreography is unimpressive and is not organic to the show.

There is no character development, no stakes and no urgency.'

Deborah Cox has less than 10 lines but singstwo songs.

The show needs a new director, a new set designer, a new book writer and a new choreographer.

I heard that they're spending $2 million to revamp the show for Broadway but a strong experienced Broadway director is badly needed for this show. If I were a producer on this show, I'dcall as seasoned Broadway director in to fix this mess before it heads to Broadway.


"

 

I agree with everything you said. Saw it last week and IMO underwhelming is an understatement. I was waiting to be dazzled but it only came when Ms Cox hit the stage. She was fabulous! 

 

tomwsjr
#273The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/20/24 at 7:08am

Why does Schele keep getting high profile directing jobs?  I just don’t get it!

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MagicalMusical
#274The Wiz returning to Bway in 2023 after National Tour
Posted: 2/20/24 at 9:22am

Owen22 said: "I'm really afraid reading some of these reviews.

I saw the show's first tour in Detroit and loved it. I had been an Oz fanatic as a kid and I remember really appreciating that the adaptation stayed closer to L Frank Baum's source material than even the MGM film. There was even less psychology to the characters than even the film gave. It was basically a black version of the children's book. Very funny, not very nuanced but what a score. It was basically a pageant and we loved it. It was very theatrical. As Dorothy (it was a very young Lilias White) clicks her heels together and begins "Home" Oz slowly disappeared behind her until she is alone onstage, no scenery until she hit that last note and Toto (who does not go with her to Oz in this version) runs on stage to indicate she is back in Kansas. So simple and your body explodes into gooseflesh. That was theatre.

"

Sounds so magical. I wish I had seen the original, like you.