The Wiz

The Wiz is a retelling of L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and I saw the Utopian Operatic Society’s performance at the Broadway Theatre in Catford. The Wiz has music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls and a book by William F. Brown, and was originally created in the context of African-American culture – so it was slightly odd to see a majority white London cast perform the show. Having said that, the group is an amateur one who clearly loved the show and wanted to put their own stamp on it – which they did.

The enjoyable tale was great fun, with many catchy tunes including the famous “Ease On Down the Road”. The sets were imaginative and the actors enthusiastic: I particularly liked the actor playing the guard at the gate of the Emerald City. The costumes were great fun too and showed a great deal of ingenuity.

I was left feeling as though I would love to see a West End production of this show. In the meantime, I’m off to watch the movie…


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